Friday, February 03, 2006


Proof of Theory

Well the evidence is most impressive. While not playing regularly at all for at least 2 months I have managed to climb back almost 200 rating points higher than I was in October time frame to match my all-time high on FICS of 1683! This is with about 7500 problems solved on CTS, and no other outside study. Previously, I did pratically zero tactical study, maybe 1000 problems total out of books or online, so this makes the results even more impressive.

Opponent Type ECO End Date
58: - 1632 W 1864 MisfitGeek [ sr 25 10] B56 Res Sat Dec 17, 23:18 EST 2005
59: + 1652 B 1557 AWF [ sr 25 10] D05 Mat Sun Jan 29, 00:07 EST 2006
60: - 1627 B 1636 guime [ sr 25 10] A17 Res Sun Jan 29, 13:44 EST 2006
61: + 1650 W 1631 mbchess [ sr 25 10] B18 Res Sun Jan 29, 14:39 EST 2006
62: + 1668 B 1598 HFrauenstein [ sr 25 12] *** Res Mon Jan 30, 14:40 EST 2006
63: + 1688 W 1672 Pushkin [ sr 25 10] C60 Res Mon Jan 30, 21:20 EST 2006
64: - 1669 B 1692 Thryge [ sr 25 10] B52 Res Tue Jan 31, 23:40 EST 2006
65: - 1650 W 1648 Kira [ sr 25 10] A50 Res Wed Feb 1, 16:46 EST 2006
66: + 1667 W 1642 Cruin [ sr 25 10] B72 Res Fri Feb 3, 00:57 EST 2006
67: + 1683 B 1661 Tano [ sr 25 12] E21 Res Fri Feb 3, 16:25 EST 2006

Thursday, November 03, 2005



Studying tactics might actually be helping my overall game. Started hard core tactics studying at the beginning of October. Here is the results of my play on FICS so far with about ~3000 problems solved:

48: + 1521 B 1439 ruca [ sr 22 12] B70 Mat Tue Sep 27, 13:05 EST 2005
49: + 1542 W 1461 LeLigerien [ sr 25 10] C66 Res Mon Oct 31, 14:00 EST 2005
50: + 1565 B 1540 xdresser [ sr 25 10] D00 Res Mon Oct 31, 14:34 EST 2005
51: + 1591 W 1624 bobbilipili [ sr 20 10] B92 Res Thu Nov 3, 15:42 EST 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


30 Reasons Not to Play Chess before Bed!

Here is a graphical chart that shows how badly my tactical recognition skills deteriated one night recently when attempting to solve problems after 1 A.M!

As, you can see from the curve. I never was able to recover from my new found ability to overlook easy tactics in this problem solving session. Therefore, if you find yourself having a bad day, then perhaps, it is time to just give up and call it a day, and come back again the next day with a new perspective.

It has taken me almost a week to recover the rating points lost in this one Chess Tactics Server Session.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Tactics, Tactics, Tactics!

Hello again:

I am still spending considerable too much time, on the Chess Tactics Server! Not sure, if this really helps my play at all, but hopefully it will improve my tactical vision. As they say, "Tactics, Tactics, Tactics!". I do not get a chance to play as many games as I would like, and I surely have never solved as many chess problems, as I have solved on this server in the past three weeks. I am up over 2,500 problems, which is over a hundred problems a day. Previously, I don't think that I would have ever done more that about 10 problems a day if I was lucky. That includes either by reading them in books, which hardly ever give enough feedback, online, or via software, where nothing has really grabbed my attention well enough for me to want to come back ritually, such as with the Chess Tactics Server.

Again, kudos, to the site owners. Two, slight drawbacks that I have noticed, however. There is no configurable setting to stop after a set number of problems, which makes it difficult to stop sometimes, as no one want to stop on a failure, which is the only option currently, unless, of course, you consider stopping after every success an option, but that seems to be a little too drastic for me.

Secondly, I have found that I am able to easily jump about 20 rating points by using a direct internet feed, instead of wireless. Therefore, it would be great if they could incorporate some kind of lag compensation into the ratings based upon the speed of your connection and browser. Hopefully, this will come over time as well as the site grows in popularity. Overall, I still think that the site is pure genius. Check it out if you have not already.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Blogging Help Anyone? Please!

I want to use the Rounders2 template. I really like the style of it. Anyone know how to get my content, in specific an 8x8 table full of chess images that make up the chessboards that I want to post in the blog to look correct? View source for my previous post to see what I am trying to display. If I attempt to use the same table under Rounders2 there are big spaces between each column and row, and, or course, everything is rounded! Is there some html formatting that I can do to suppress the rounders CSS stuff for the content of my blog? Or should I give up and just create some gifs based upon the tables I want to post and upload them somewhere for displaying in the blog?

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Good First Moves for White; Uncommon Replies for Black to 1. e4

I have been spending a lot of time as a couch potato recently thanks to some medical conditions. But this have given me the opportunity to discover yet another cool interactive chess web site, Chess Opening Explorer. Unfortunately, the site is currently subscription based, but at least it is moderately priced at ~$22.00 for the year. I know that Fritz offers something similar to this when playing through an opening but having this information available on the web for easy access anywhere and anytime is a great idea. It would be sweet if the opening explorer was free, and paid for by advertising only, but oh, well, guess you can't win them all. Perhaps, I should search for more opening databases? Maybe there is a free site available out there as well that breaks down with number of times played, and win-loss percentages as well.

Good First Moves for White

So, if you are a beginner and ever asked what should I play first as white? Here is your answer, according to the statistics at the Chess Opening Explorer, 1. e4, or 1. d4! Feeling a little adventurous? How about trying 1. Nf3, or 1. c4. Want to really surprise your opponent, and castle quickly? How about the relatively safe 1. g3 ... 2. Nf3 ... 3. Bg2 4. 0-0. Other moves will most likely get you into trouble, with skilled players. I will have to try throwing in some more Nf3, c4, or g3's, in the next time I play at the local chess club, and see if I can throw a few others for a loop with something that they have not seen before.

Uncommon Replies for Black to 1. e4

Okay, so now how about as black? How should black respond to the most common 1. e4? It Looks like the rather uncommon replies such as g6 (favoring the Pirc, 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O c6 .... as shown below) or,

Nc6 (possibly transitioning into a Ruy Lopez, or staying on the uncommon path with 1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 e5 ),

both seem to give black some decent odds for a win against e4, with a safe opening, that may get your opponent out of some of the more common open lines. Well, I've wasted enough time today attempting to get the diagrams to display properly in this blog, so I will have to leave more in depth look at the Queen's pawn openings (1. d4 ), and others (1. c4, 1. Nf3) for another day.

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