Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Blitz will never be the same - new FIDE rules

Since 01st of Jan 2018 FIDE put new Blitz rules effective - here is the short version:
1) The game is NO LONGER lost with the first irregular/illegal move, but only after the second one.
With the first irregular/illegal move the opponent receives an add-on to his clock of 1 minute.
2) If both flags fell or the clock of both players indicates "0.00" (when electronic clocks are used), the player who´s flag fell first (or shows the respective indication on an electronic clock), loses the game (given, that there is still mating potential).
 The long version can be found at http://rules.fide.com/.

Monday, 15 January 2018

The invisible peak of 2102 and Lessons Learned from the last three tournaments

Since last summer I had to pause my training mainly due to 3 topics: my job, another job (actually being the main reason) and my part-time academic studies.
Although I was still able to harvest what I sowed until (and especially in) autumn and actually made it up to an all-time high of 2102 by year-end, I lost almost 50 points during a single tournament - the Staufer Open - at the very beginning of 2018, simply because I thought I would be some sort of super hero being able to play 17 tournament matches within 10 days (with a two day break to celebrate New Year) - very silly, indeed. Even more so, since I already failed last year doing this sort of marathon (playing both the Erfurter and Staufer Open). During a few games it became very obvious that I was simply not able to focus and concentrate as necessary - not seldomly overseeing hanging pieces (both of my opponents but even more of my own)... Scary but yet very healing!

However, the last 3 tournaments showed pretty impressively that I can withstand players up to 2200 without having to fear anything! Maybe this is also due to my work on what I already referred to as my "mistake db", where a first outcome revealed that I showed too much fear against higher rated opponents and chickened out way too often. It took quite a while to put this theory (having learned the hard way) into practice, but since last Autumn things seem to materialise (more and more)...

The good thing about failure is that smart people learn from it (and grow)!

To summarize the last three tournaments´ outcome, here´s the list of lesson learned (some of which also becomes part of my "Training Achievements"):
  1. From now one I will not (never ever) play two tournaments with less than 3 weeks of rest, recriation and evaluation in between. No matter what!
  2. I will not try to advance my chess and progress with my academic studies at the same time (especially not when I also work as part-time lecturer next to my full-time job): From now on, it will be "either (chess) or (academic studies)" - and for the coming academic period (until end of March) I already made my decision: it will be chess only!
  3. Continued self-reflection and the proceeding with the above mentioned "error db", finally made clear that I am fairly good at getting into superior positions with "heavy pieces" (against both weaker and even stronger opponents), but I also blunder way too often in exactly those positions (yet again, against both weaker and stronger opponents).
    Consequently, I have to not only to work on this weakness but also be aware of it whenever I reach any positions of this type. Hence, I bought a book written by the late Jakow Damskij especially dealing with heavy pieces (including a nice testing section)

 Sooo, after some 6 months I am back!
(Actually, I was never as convinced that I can make it to 2150 as I am since about 2 months! Maybe, given my age and/or all the other stuff keeping me busy simply forced and will still force me to work harder and longer as compared to a 20-year-old, but this time I really feel like there is substantial potential just about to be unleashed...)