Saturday, March 05, 2005


Well, the 87% didn't last long. By the end of the level 20s I dropped down to 74%. That's disappointing because I was hoping that I could stay above 80% but it's still 9% above my percentage the first time through. As I said, because I didn't achive 80% on the level 20s I have started over again. This time through I got 94% on the level 10s (a bit of an improvement) and at the moment I am standing at 83% on the level 20s and I am about half way through. I don't think I started off as well this time but I've been much more consistent and my percentage hasn't dropped over the last 100 or so problems.

I am also about 100 pages into "How to Reassess Your Chess." I am definitely learning a lot but I am having a bit of a hard time applying it to my game but I am sure that will come with practice.

My tentative study plan for the next few months is:

1) Finish "How to Reassess Your Chess"
2) Work through Alekhine's "My Best Games of Chess, 1908-1937"*
3) Read Seirawan's "Winning Chess Endings"
4) Reread "How to Reassess Your Chess"
5) Read Jacob Aagaard's "Excelling at Chess"
6) Read Nimzovich's "My System"

*Not sure if I am going to take time off and read this on its own or spend a bit of time everyday going through the games while I am working through the other books. If I do the latter I will probably read "Excelling at Chess" before I reread "How to Reassess Your Chess."

I would like to shuffle in another games collection somewhere but I am not sure where or how.

Of course, as I am going through those books I will be doing the tactics problems.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Thanks for the warm welcome, guys.

The level 20s are going much better this time around. At the moment I am standing at 87%, 90 or so problems through. Not sure what the change is this time around but I guess I am just becoming more familiar with the patterns.

I stopped "The Art of the Middle Game" because I just received Silman's "How to Reassess Your Chess." Certainly seems like a wealth of information but I can tell that it is going to be a long haul. I will probably read "The Art of the Middle Game" shortly after I finish Siman's book. I am trying not to get into the habit of collecting chess books without completing any. Well, we'll see.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Yet another blog influenced by Michael de la Maza.

So, after following the MDLM blog ring for a while I decided to give it a try. I bought Yasser Seirawan's "Winning Chess Tactics", went through it, and then decided to go through the seven circles with CT-Art 3.0. Now, I don't consider myself a great player or anything but I always thought I was a reasonably decent chess player (I mean, I can beat most of the people I know); however, according to CT-Art, I am about the worst player of all-time. I was hoping to go through the seven circles like everyone else but my percentages have been so pathetic (level 1: 92%; level 2; 65%; level 3 (so far): 45%) that I have no choice but to change the program. What I am going to do is repeat levels 1 and 2 until I achieve at least 80% on both. After that, I am going to attempt level 3, which I know I won't be able to get 80% on, and repeat levels 1, 2 and 3 until I get 80% on each. I will repeat this pattern until I finish the CT-Art program. While I am doing this I am also going to work through some books on tactics. Right now I am going through Lev Alburt's "Chess Training Pocket Book" and the massive Polgar book. Next week I will also be receiving "One Thousand and One Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations" and "1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate" both by Fred Reinfeld. This may sound like overkill but this is only out of desperation. As I am studying tactics I am also going to read through "The Art of the Middle Game" by Keres and Kotov and maybe some other master games. I don't want to focus entirely on tactics but at the moment I think dedicating most of my studying to tactics is absolutely necessary.

I've been playing chess casually since I was about 7 but I've never really studied it seriously. I just turned 22 so I realize I am not a future world champion but I believe that I have the potential to at least be a good club player. At the moment, my dream is to achieve master status and at least play in the British Columbia chess championship tournament.

Anyway, hopefully I can maintain this blog for at least a while.