Saturday, May 05, 2007

All work and no play

I spent all of my chess time this week doing tactics problems and when I tried to play an actual chess game yesterday I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. I just kind of pushed my pieces around and then when the tactics came it was like I'd been kicked in the head, I couldn't see anything! Here is an example, my opponent has just played Bxh3 seeing that gxh3 allows Qxf3.

White has a winning move here and it even crossed my mind, Rc5. This will drive the queen away from attacking the f3 knight allowing white to take the bishop. I can't remember exactly why I didn't play Rc5, but I played e4 instead. Same idea, but it allows Qh5. My generous opponent gave me a second chance by playing Rxe4. Once again Rc5 is a winning move.Bonehead that I am, I played Bxe4 Qxe4 and now, Rc5. Rc5 is pointless there and allows Bxg2 Kxg2 Qg4 and black takes on f3 next move. Black then has 3 pawns for the exchange. I managed to keep my rooks pretty active, win the pawn on c7, get both rooks to the seventh and push my passed d-pawn and obtain a winning advantage which I then proceeded to draw.

I played a couple other games yesterday that were similarly below the quality of play I should have. Hopefully it's just a matter of not having played actual games recently and I can snap out of it by making play part of my routine in addition to work.

Back in tactics land, here are my CT-Art stats for the current level:
Level 50: 79% (85 problems done, 49 to go)
CT-Art Elo: 2343
Total problems done: 906, 303 to go.

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At 4:07 PM, Blogger transformation said...

Loomis, i am mighty impressed. 79% for all five levels aggregated? outstanding!

despite any misgivings that you might have, you do outclass many a chess player, including me, as i have always told you...

i am stuck at level four, getting as far as problem 779, and this effort awaits another day that i have more of this very *SPECIFIC* type of energy. i am at 2119 there, and find a real edge at 2130 or so, but when i do 'do it', do so with 100% concentration.

kudos to your progress and level and elevation, and look forward to hearing what comes of it.

did you see my 2nd to last post on the relatedness of ratings, with some excellent comments by readers included thereafter? hope you can drop by, if only for a minute or two. i created some real objective data of some, i think, worthwhile interest.

warm regards, david

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Loomis said...


Thanks for the note. The 79% is just for level 50, not all the levels in aggregate. You can see from a couple posts ago where I list my percentages for each individual level.

I assure you that when I solve CT-Art problems they get my full effort in finding the solution.

I did see your post, but to be honest, I'm not sure I understand it. It sure is a lot of data.

At 12:58 AM, Blogger likesforests said...

I also missed an easy move tonight while in a difficult position, and it seemed more like a lack of mental toughness than a lack of tactics. After a few more weeks of playing tough games, I believe these anomalies will go away for both of us. And if that doesn't work, the tactical puzzles we're solving should do the trick!   :)


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