Monday, November 28, 2005

Experimental Accidents

The tournament didn't go so well. I got ground down by Bonin as usual, and lost a game to expert Jon Jacobs when I stupidly took myself out of my repertoire and into a Benoni position I didn't know how to play. I drew with an A player when I played meself into time trouble in a better heavy-piec ending and fell into a repetition, and I drew with a C player (!) when I kept on looking for tactical solutions instead of just consolidating my extra Pawn.

My three wins were against two A players and an expert--a blunder, a nice endgame grind, and a win after holding on for dear life against a strong attack.

Overall, it was a mediocre result. My play was not notably sharp. I would say that doing thousands of tactical problems over the last couple of months...did nothing at all for my game. Maybe it just doesn't work on players already over 2000 or so.

I have noticed that when I get taken out of my repertoire early, my results are pretty bad, even if I get out of the opening with a good position. So it may be time to buckle down and book up a little.

I'm going to keep on doing some problems at CTS just because it's fun, but I no longer expect anything from it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Accidental Experiment

Between my continuing advetures at work--we're releasing a cool new product the week after Thanksgiving--and my complete hypnosis by The Chess Tactics Server (CTS), I haven't done much analysis of my games, or any other chess work, in about two months.

What I have done, is about seven thousand problems at CTS. I can get in 50 to 100 at lunch time, and every time I sit down at the computer in the evening intending to analyse games or work on openings, I start by "warming up" with a few problems--and 200 problems later, it's time for bed.

This weekend and next is the Marshall Chess Club Fall Futurity. I'm intending to play 7 of the 9 rounds (taking byes Sunday evenings). Considering I've done no preparation at all, I've stumbled into an experiment about the use of tactical problems as training: if I play well it will be evidence that tactical training is very helpful even for a relatively high-rated player--de la Maza fans rejoice! If I play badly, it will be evidence of, er, something else.

Here's a game I played back in August, where I got positionally crushed by IM Jay Bonin. It's the last game I did any work on before CTS ate my brain.

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