Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Day 243 / 122 to go

I practiced the stuff that I hammered into CPT yesterday.- for some 90 minutes.
But then, I have to admit, I started to follow the games of Carlsen versus Karjakin throughout the evening.
 The second draw was interesting - it was not clear to me that rook versus bishop pair could keep the draw!

However, due to the world championship matches, I neither went for any Lommers nor continued with Smith´s book...   TOMORROW I will!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Day 242 / 123 to go

In absence of CT-ART 4.0, I did the 9 tactic puzzles available in each issue of "New in Chess". Here´s a nice one - Black to move:
Hint: It actually took me quite some time to correct my focus away from a mating-attack...

In addition - and as indicated yesterday, I was working with CPT and one variation for Black. I spent quite a while but only made little progress this evening; but it was overdue to start this sort of work!
Tomorrow I have to include one or two Lommers into the training session...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Day 241 / 124 to go

Tonight, I spent quite some time with closing the opening gap I so painfully was confronted with during the Heusenstamm Sparkassen Open. But isn´t it especially that sort of pain making us - at least me - work harder? It is! 8-)
Tomorrow I will start to hammer some of the stuff into my CPT. (Running Chessbase + Stockfish on 4 cores makes it a bit tiresome to work with CPT at the same time...)

On top I advanced in Smith´s book: I reached the part about tactics, so I couldn´t really practise my PAT. Here´s a very fine one I missed - White to move:
Also the following one was "too extreme" and "too out of the box" for me - Black to move:

BTW: I crashed my mobile phone yesterday! So no continuation with neither CT-ART nor Soltis´ "The Inner Game of Chess" for approximately two weeks (given that it´s a company mobile that needs to be replaced --- somewhat scary but true: it takes longer to have it replaced by the company)... 8-/

Days 237-240 / 125 to go

Yet again, I managed to gain some 10 rating points out of the tournament. However, I went into the last round with more or less no rating difference, i.e. I didn´t really achieve anything during the first 6 rounds. That´s not really satisfactory... 8-/
All in all, I still have one - but known - huge construction site with one variation for Black. Something that a strong IM made me aware of the hard way...
In addition, I made inappropriate judgements within three middle-games, resulting in a draw (instead of "more") and a loss (instead of a "dead draw"), but also one victory (which, overall, was not really deserved). However, I also went for variations which I don´t play frequently in 3 games but came out of the opening pretty fine. Hence, I would conclude that this tournament showed a "certain weakness" in positional understanding. Taking the last three tournaments into account, it probably was the weakest one, purely taking "quality" (and not rating points gained) into account.
But, as stated above, I still managed to finish with a two-digit rating improvement... 8-)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Day 236 / 129 to go

As indicated yesterday, I started with CT-ART 4.0 and made it up to 2469.  After the tournement (next week) I will increase the level of difficulty to the range  50 to 140 (instead of the current 30 - 130).  Let´s see how I do then...
On top I worked with CPT - focussing on one variation for Black.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Day 235 / 130 to go

Today I continued with CT-ART 4.0 and managed to climb up to 2450 (and for all those "wondering": I am limiting the difficulty-level to "30 to 130" - thus neither working on the very easy ones from 10 to 20 nor on those above 130 up to 180. I simply found out that my current limit is at about 130. I can still manage some of those between 130 and 150, but only if it is not about endgames).
Furthermore I started to prepare for an upcoming tournament which starts on Thursday: I went through some opening variations using CPT - actually, I spent almost 2h on that!

Tomorrow, I will actually do the very same again: One session CT-ART and one session CPT.   Hopefully, this will assure that I can once more increase my rating (or at least not incur any loss)...

Day 234 / 131 to go

Yesterday I spent some 45 minutes with CT-ART 4.0. All in all I remained at around 2400 - no rating progess made...

In addition, I practiced my PAT with 6 positions from Smith´s book. I solved all of them and didn´t even need to spend 30 minutes as proposed by Smith...

Day 233 / 132 to go

Sunday I spent the whole day (0845 in the morning until 1830 in the evening) doing my annual tax report - but all in all, it transformed into a nice "income")!

No chance for any chess training...   

Day 232 / 133 to go

Saturday (afternoon) our team played 14 rounds  at the county championship and finished third - thus qualifying for the state championship! (Which gives us the chance to qualify for the national championship tournament, but that is definitely simply unreal to achieve...)
Nevertheless, we succeeded and made it to the state championship tournament!  8-)
(The young dude on the left is my son.)

I did pretty well - only lost two (against stronger players, one in totally won positions, though) and made two additional draws. That´s not bad at all! Even better: one dude played a variation that I cannot remember having had on my board before, so I did have a closer look at it Saturday night. Hence, it shouldn´t be a surprise next time...

Day 231 / 134 to go

Friday I was preparing for a Blitz tournament held on Saturday: I was intensively practising online blitz! I didn´t play well, though...

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Day 230 / 135 to go

Started with Soltis - here is a very nice position and if I am not mistaken, it was Tal with White who showed how to handle it with a purely positional sacrifice:
Ok, talking about a sacrifice it becomes clear that it has to be Bxf7. And yes, Komodo judges this move simply as "bad" - resulting in a downgrade of the position of -0,5. Nevertheless, I like Tal´s thinking behind it:
1) Positionally, it is still bad for Black (which is also acknoweldged by Komodo).
2) There are certain attacking chances for White - and a lot Black can go wrong with!
3) Although there is no surgically clean or forcable win for White, Tal simply reverses the burden of proof: (this seems like the essence to be taken from this game) Black is NOT - by no means - able to show that the sac doesn´t work!

Hence --- let´s go for it!   8-)

This sound like he had quite some fun during that game just as much as it indicates the right level of self-esteem. Hmmm, reminds me somewhat of the buzzwords "flow" and "gumption"...
So going back to Day 143 - I not only read about these things again, but also about some other helpful stuff...
Actually, I guess I should go through some of my older posts regularly (maybe even create my own "top ten")... 8-)

On top, I took the freedom for some online blitz games --- Saturday my team (incl. my son) will participate in a local Blitz Tournament! So besides the fun-factor, I can honestly say that this was some sort of preparation for Saturday.

Day 229 / 136 to go

Yesterday I spent my training day with CT-ART 4.0 --- gaining some 20 rating points and continued with Soltis´ (e)book.  The session with Soltis was not too fruitful: it was mainly about mis-calculations of others. Something I didn´t really benefit from. Actually, I deliberately didn´t put too much energy into this section as I simply don´t want to engage too much with the bad variation calculation quality of others...  8-/

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Day 228 / 137 to go

Remember Rowson´s analogy to E=mc taken from "The Seven Deadly Sins of Chess"?
In Soltis work which I used today as part of my training session, he refers to Botvinnik regarding the same issue: "Sometimes you are dealing with material apples and strategic oranges which cannot be added."  So today was a - hopefully - helpful repetition of the importance to include the dynamic value of a piece into the calculation/evaluation of a position...

In addition, I did two Lommers:  In both puzzles I found a mistake! (No´s 80 and 81 - for those "really" interested)  80 is a draw and not a win and 81 is definitely a loss and not a draw.  Of course, I only found out due to Komodo, but I somehow "felt" that it would be worth while not to trust the book but to consult the machine! I got the overall plan as well as the first moves correct, but coulnd´t calculate the variations deep enough... 8-(

Monday, 14 November 2016

Day 227 / 138 to go

I climbed to 2407 on CT-ART 4.0!  Now I have to try and keep this level - I don´t think I can increase that within the coming days.... maybe I can climb a bit higher within the coming months, though. Let´s see.
Here´s a nice one from CT-ART, which I didn´t solve completely (but still earned some points):White to move
The first move appears pretty obvious and natural - but already White´s second move is only to be found if one already is aware of the right theme/concept...  What is White´s move in the following position?
Did you see Kf5 and Rxf5?  No? Neither did I --- but now it should be clear, what is going on, right? White to move and keep the draw:

In addition I solved one Lommer. That has to be enough for today. I admit, overall, today´s session was a bit short... 8-/

Day 226 / 139 to go

Yesterday I did my best to finally get over 2400 with CT-ART 4.0 - but after about 90 minutes I reached 2397. Since my concentration was really going down, I stopped and didn´t try any longer...  TODAY, I will try it again!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Day 223 / 142 to go

Today I honored Smith´s Woodpecker method: I spent some two hours with CT-ART 4.0, trying to lift my rating above 2400. Actually, I reached 239x a couple of times, but fell down to 237x just as often...  8-(


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Day 222 / 143 to go

During the day I did some Soltis-stuff, and it actually started like it ended yesterday: I missed a check within my calculation.. But maybe, in the very end, it is good that it happened rather often in a rather short period of time: there is some chance that I don´t forget about it...

In the evening, I eventually went for two (yes, two) Lommers!  Got the first one right and the second as well - but both were rather easy...  I probably should have done a bit more - but, all in all, it was ok for today.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Day 221 / 144 to go

Today I continued with Soltis and came to a (famous?) game/position of Fischer:

I failed on the following line: Rxf7 Rc1 / Qf1 Rxf1  just like I failed on Rxf7 Rc1 / Qf1 h5 / Qxc1 Qxc1
In neither variation I properly identified that the rook on f7 can retreat to f1     8-(

Later on I actually did a Lommer:
Here I failed because I lacked to recognize that if white queens in the following variation, he does so with check!
Kb5 g4 / Kc4 g3 / Kxc3 g2 / h7 g1=Q / h8=Q Qa1 now Black get´s the queen on h8 - so I skipped this line as favourable for white - and therefore any chance for white to keep the draw.
But - white queens with check (and this makes the variation work and correct)!

In both cases I miserably failed due to the same louzy oversight: a check - and considering the relevant pieces and not just the threat of the opponent!  Hard work still ahead!  8-(

Day 220 / 145 to go

I started with some Soltis - here´s a very nice position every White player would be delighted to have - but how to continue?
Unfortunately, I turned away from any tactical posibilities and focused on positional moves too fast. So I missed an impressive variation... 8-(
Interestingly, Houdini and DeepFritz get the right continuation pretty quickly - but my 9.3 Komodo took some time...

I closed todays session with 4 puzzles in Smith´s book (sovled them). Tomorrow, I have to get be to my old friend Lommer... 8-/

Monday, 7 November 2016

Day 219 / 146 to go

Yesterday we (son and me) had a team match. We both scored the full point - both with White. Both somewhat impressively and at no moment endangered...  Especially for my son it was a nice victory against a player rated somewhat 250 points higher.
Unfortunately, the team lost... 8-(

Day 218 / 147 to go

Yes yes -- I probably shouldn´t have done it, but it did:

...and know what?  I enjoyed it!  8-)

Day 217 / 148 to go

"Sometimes the hardest move to see/find appears on the shortest calculation-branches within an analysis tree."  - how true...  Already on Friday I continued with Soltis --- more and more I have to revise my previously mentioned opinion: I think it is really a good (e)book.
In addition, I continued with Smith and solved 12 puzzles there. Here are two really fine (and actually a bit too tough for me) ones:
(White to move)
I saw/thought about c6, but didn´t get the point...  8-/

(Black to move)
Here, I actually didn´t have any decent plan at all - shame on me...  How does it continue after Bxe2?!

Both made very obvious that I am not yet going deep enough! (Funny enough: I read about that kind of stuff in Soltis book and at the same time reach the topic in Smith´s book.)

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Day 216 / 149 to go

Today I simply took a day off - due to work + travel.  Tomorrow evening I will have sufficient time for a decent training session!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Day 215 / 150 to go

This evening I contnued with Soltis ebook and puzzles/motifs on how to drag defenders away. As already indicated, the amount of diagrams and positions to solve is great. Here´s a nice one (Black to win):
In addition, I continued with Smith´s book and reached some exercises there - I did the first three and got the moves right but not the variations properly calculated: I was simply too tired. So I decided to stop. Assumingly, the daylight saving (clocks changed last weekend) is yet "disturbing" me...
 I prefer to continue once I am fit enough and not tired in order to get the solution 100% straight instead of just identifying the correct theme/first move...

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Day 214 / 151 to go

Just came home --- horrible day.  No chance for any decent training today...   happens every once in a while!