Monday, August 27, 2007

New schedule, starting rep 3

I am not happy with my progress in tactical training. I spent about four and a half months doing difficult tactical problems (levels 40 - 90+ on CT-Art). I did the problems with effort and understood the solution. When I went back and re-solved levels 10 through 40, there was no significant improvement in my solving rate.

A lot of people have thought about and written about different approaches to the repetition of tactical excercizes. One thing I'm probably doing wrong is too much time between reps. Lots of other people have made study programs to better allow for repetition to help in learning. I'm hoping that will aid my success.

It took me about 3 weeks to do the second rep of levels 10 through 40. So I have created a new schedule for myself. I'll start at level 10 every 3 weeks. Hopefully I get more problems done every time I go through.

So I've re-re-done the first 250 problems. Once again I missed one problem on level 10 -- a different one this time, I don't know if that's bad or good. Through the first 140 problems of level 20, I'm at 97%, slightly better than the 95% last time through. The real test will be in levels 30 and 40.



At 11:30 PM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

That's a great plan!

What happens when you finish all of the problems levels 10-90 in three weeks :)

Indidentally, this is working in my games. I have been on this amazing roll lately winning in slow games. Funny thing is, I'm playing like crap in the opening but outplaying my opponents in the middlegame, seeing mates they don't see, etc.. I.e., I'm getting lucky and winning with swindles. I've shot through 1400 in my rating and am almost at 1450.

Looking over others' rating graphs, I see lots of people tend to shoot through 1400 and then hit a plateau at 1500. I'm noticing that 1400 players still miss one-move tactics, while those higher than that tend to see them all the time. Perhaps that's the reason for this 1500 plateau phenomenon.

Once I finish these damned circles I'll start working on not killing myself out of the opening as much (I've often been ending up a piece down or a couple of pawns down, and just think to myself "OK, that was a gambit, so I need to go nuts with my piece activity and try to destroy my opponent).

I'm finally about where I want to be in chess. Not missing one-move tactics or en prise. Amazing that can get you to 1400 at ICC.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Loomis said...

Congrats on the progress. It seems there is always something mysterious about players 100-200 points higher rated than ourselves. Until we find out there's not.

If I get through all levels in 3 weeks then I will try to do it faster. I'm still rather taken with the fact that DLM did the whole problem set in a single day. I'll either do that, or determine that I'll never do it.

By the way, have you ever thought of checking out the Carolina Cobras? I know they're trying to play their games at Duke again this year. There are some nice people that go and watch the games. John Timmel is a really nice guy rated over 2100 (also the organizer of the Orange County Chess Club in Hillsborough). I also happen to know that they'd be interested in some blog coverage.

At 2:59 AM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I went there once but was too intimidated to say hi to anyone, so I just went and got dinner wallowing in shame :)

You are right about the rating mystique. Two years ago I put the 1200 rated people on a pedestal, thinking they were way out of my league. I beat my first 1500+ player last night (again, got lucky as he missed a mate in two). I'm probably a solid 1400 at this point, but I can see now that it is very within reach to reach 1500.


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