Monday, April 30, 2007

Big weekend

I had some time over the weekend and managed to make a lot of headway on the CT-Art problems. At this rate, I'll be done by... ok, ok, last time I got into the prediction game I was waaaay off. So no more predictions. I'm just going to do problems when I feel like it. I've now done a total of 879 exercises, so I've got 330 left of the 1209 problems in CT-Art.

I like getting back into chess, but what I really need is a tournament to look forward to. Alas, that probably won't happen for over a month. At least I have plenty of time for tactical training!!

Here is a sample from Level 50:

And here's the line that I saw that wasn't quite the right solution:

Nef3+ and now:

if gxf3 Qxf3 when mate cannot be stopped.

if Kh1 Bh3 gxh3 Ne1 threatening the queen and Qf3+. What I missed is f4 Nxc2 Bxe8 -- whoops the rook is hanging at the end of the line. Fritz says black has an advantage here, but there's a lot of work to get the win.

Stat update:
Level 50: 82% (58 done, 76 to go)
CT-Art elo: 2322

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Getting back into it

I'm picking up the pace getting back into chess study. I've started in on Level 50 of CT-Art and so far it's going well. As usual, the levels are easier at the beginning, so my percentage is pretty good so far and I expect it to drop later in the level despite my best efforts.

The problems of level 50 often require very deep calculations. Sometimes there are very long problems that leave you only gaining a pawn -- these are very frustrating. Without further ado, here are the current stats:
Level 10: 97% (110 problems)
Level 20: 92% (286 problems)
Level 30: 86% (221 problems)
Level 40: 77% (204 problems)
Level 50: 84% (31 done, 103 to go)

I also saw a new website for chess tactics, It uses a rating system similar to CTS, but they don't have the same timing restrictions -- I know a lot of people will like that. So far it's brand new, and honestly they are still some issues. Until there are more users, the rating system doesn't really work properly because the problems don't have accurate ratings. I like the interface though, so we'll see if it picks up popularity.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Not dead

Hey, I'm not dead, just up to other stuff for a while.

Back in November I started writing a chess engine. I worked on that through January and it plays an ok game. It plays on FICS ( with the username 'Marginal' and turns out to be a nice opponent for regular people, not walking over everyone like most computers.

I have also finished my Ph.D. dissertation this Spring. Graduation is in May. As you can guess, this meant I didn't do anything in the way of chess study for a few months to make sure I finished on time. After that was done I started to get back into CT-Art.

I'm not sure what my plan of study will be, maybe I'll post on that soon. In the meantime, I've finished Level 40 of CT-Art. Here are my current stats:
Level 10: 97% (110 problems)
Level 20: 92% (286 problems)
Level 30: 86% (221 problems)
Level 40: 77% (204 problems)

Clearly a big drop in success rate. I've considered going back to redo the levels from the beginning, but for now I'm going to start on Level 50 and see how it goes.