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Crash's Journal 
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:06 pm
Posts: 572
Location: Canada - Windsor, Ontario area
Rating: 2183 CFC
Rating Class: National Master
 Crash's Journal
Very Short term goals (within two weeks)
1) Shore up my opening repetoire so that I can get a playable game out of the opening in every game.
2) Get myself ready for my next tournament in eleven days by looking over my games from last weekend thoroughly and understanding how I lost or I should have lost any games where I was worse.
3) Enter every game into a database and annotate each game.
4) Look up each opening and know what I should have played.

Short term goals (within one year):
1) Get the Canadian NM title (need 20 more games with my rating above 2200 after 5 games in my first tournament)
2) Get my USCF rating over 2200 (currently in the 2150s and I already have the USCF NM title)
3) Play at least 40 games against masters and experts within one year.
4) Play at least 15 games against senior masters within one year
5) Play at least 60 to 80 rated over the board games within one year
6) Read at least 25 good chess books not counting opening books.
7) Study chess for at least one hour a day five days a week.
8) Study chess for at least ten hours a week in total.
9) Help my chess students improve as much as they are capable of without pressure.

Crash


Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:24 pm
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Location: Red Bluff, CA
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Hey Crash, glad to see a journal by someone with such lofty goals. :-)

First of all congrats on your USCF NM title. :thumleft:

Secondly... what does NM stand for? :-)

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"... the French wages outright warfare over the entire board, calls for stronger nerves, and demands a soul that finds joy whenever the lust for battle is stoked. In other words, Watson is right: it’s a damn good opening!" - Jeremy Silman


Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:33 pm
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National Master! Something I wish I was :)

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FIDE 2118, USCF 2073.


Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:50 pm
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oooh, very cool! I didn't know it was National Master, I thought it was just "Master" and then "International Master" Learn something new every day.

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"... the French wages outright warfare over the entire board, calls for stronger nerves, and demands a soul that finds joy whenever the lust for battle is stoked. In other words, Watson is right: it’s a damn good opening!" - Jeremy Silman


Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:06 pm
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Location: Canada - Windsor, Ontario area
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Rating Class: National Master
 
Robofriven wrote:
oooh, very cool! I didn't know it was National Master, I thought it was just "Master" and then "International Master" Learn something new every day.


I'm not sure what the criteria in the U.S. are but I got a letter and a certificate from the USCF back in 1993 or 1994 after I had about ten or fifteen consecutive tournaments where I gained rating points.

In Canada, they recently began an NM program and to qualify you have to keep your rating above 2200 for 25 consecutive games. So far I have five games from last weekend. However my rating dropped precipitously from 2205 to 2202 if you can believe the rating calculator on the CFC website. I still feel like a 2205 player and hope to recapture those lost three rating points in my next tournament in two weekends. :)

I have been inactive for eleven years and hope to recapture my previous form within a few tournaments.

Crash


Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:09 pm
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Location: Canada - Windsor, Ontario area
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JoshSpecht wrote:
National Master! Something I wish I was :)


I'm sure you will be if you want it hard enough. You're still young enough that even international master or grandmaster is not totally out of the question.

By the way thanks for pointing your forums out to me. They look great and seem to have the same type of serious posters that I enjoy reading.

Crash


Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:11 pm
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Glad to hear you like the site :)

I think the main thing for me is that I would need to play a LOT of tournament games, which I'm not sure I have time for. But I feel like being part of this forum has improved my play a lot.

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Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:58 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:06 pm
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Location: Canada - Windsor, Ontario area
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Rating Class: National Master
 
JoshSpecht wrote:
Glad to hear you like the site :)

I think the main thing for me is that I would need to play a LOT of tournament games, which I'm not sure I have time for. But I feel like being part of this forum has improved my play a lot.


Concentrate on your studies for now and sneak in the odd tournament here and there. When you graduate you will be free to play as much as you wish.

Crash


Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:00 pm
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Location: Canada - Windsor, Ontario area
Rating: 2183 CFC
Rating Class: National Master
 Recently read chess books
Recently Read Chess Books (July, August, September):

1. Winning Chess Brilliancies by Yasser Seirawan
2. Chess Master... at any age by Rolf Wetzell
3. How to Build Your Chess Opening Repetoire by Steve Giddins
4. The Grandmaster's Mind by Amatzia Avni
5. Chess Tactics for Champions by Susan Polgar and Paul Truong
6. Chess for Tigers by Simon Webb (Previously Read)
7. Understanding Chess Move By Move by John Nunn
8. Think Like A Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov (Previously read)
9. Simple Chess by Michael Stean
10. Chess Middlegame Planning by Peter Romanovsky
11. The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
12. The Art Of Planning In Chess Move By Move by Neil McDonald
13. Improve Your Chess Now By Jonathan Tisdall


Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:00 pm
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We were just talking about The Art of Learning the other day!

Is it any good/worth reading?

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"... the French wages outright warfare over the entire board, calls for stronger nerves, and demands a soul that finds joy whenever the lust for battle is stoked. In other words, Watson is right: it’s a damn good opening!" - Jeremy Silman


Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:55 am
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Tisdall's book is amazing.

Also, while I wish that were true Crash, I'm currently applying to History Phd programs, so....I'm not sure if I'll ever have free time :(

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Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:03 am
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Glad you to see yet another training journal :thumright:
Crash looks you like you have a pretty serious schedule and having in mind the amount of books you read I think you'll get your Canadian NM for sure!! :wink:

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Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:07 am
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Robofriven wrote:
We were just talking about The Art of Learning the other day!

Is it any good/worth reading?


Yes it is. I enjoyed it though possibly more for the martial arts content than its chess conclusions. I am not sure that I agree with all of his interpretations of his experiences but it was very interesting for me to read about his semi-mystical and flow experiences as I have had a few of my own.

I believe that we can learn from anyone who masters an art and Waitzkin appears to have mastered the push hands tai chi. He was a world champion. For chess I would pay more attention to other authors though I believe that some of his conclusions about learning are interesting and worth reflecting upon.

Here is what I wrote about the book on chessforums.com:

The Art Of Learning A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin

There isn't an annotated game in this book but it is still highly relevant as a chess book. This book is as much and maybe more about the martial arts than it is about chess but that is okay with me as this is another lifelong interest of mine. I found it entertaining and thoughtful and thought provoking.

Waitzkin never really lived up to his promise in the chess arena though he is still relatively young and could come back to become a grandmaster. He did reach the pinnacle of an International Master title which doesn't seem to have been his full potential. He was a master at a younger age than Fischer but all the attention and adulation as a result of the book and movie "Searching For Bobby Fischer" probably interrupted his forward progress. From this book it is apparent that he accomplished a great deal more in the world of competitive martial arts and specifically in the push hands arena than he did in chess.

The premise of this book is a kind of unified field theory of learning based on a synthesis of Josh's chess and martial arts experiences. I really enjoyed this book. Waitzkin seems to be very much a mystic which coloured some of his interpretations of his experiences.

He describes what he interprets as mystical experiences of flow in chess and martial arts where time has seemed to slow down. I have had similar experiences myself during chess games, in the karate dojo and during violent confrontations so this was particularly interesting to me. I am not sure that I agree with all of his interpretations of these types of events but nevertheless it is quite interesting to see someone else describe these events with a somewhat different perspective.

Waitzkin gets into sports psychology where he uses the analogy of a trigger to bring yourself quickly into peak states. He would have benefitted from a study of Tony Robbins ideas or Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) where Robbins began which offer quicker solutions to arrive at that peak state instantly.

I am not sure that I fully subscribe to all of his thoughts in this area but again it is interesting to read a slightly different perspective and I certainly picked up a number of ideas which I can use.

Dvoretsky and more specifically, one of Josh's Dvoretsky trained mentors, comes in for a bit of criticism for trying to mold and change Waitzkin's chess style towards the example of Karpov and Petrosian. Waitzkin favoured chaos and wild complications so Kasparov is suggested as a better model by his other trainer Razuvaev who is treated more favourably as a chess Yoda.

Waitzkin seems to prefer Dvoretsky as an author rather than a personal trainer. He has very good things to say about his books.

Interesting also is his theories on tells which have applications in the world of sports and gambling. He described a match against a highly tuned martial arts master who he defeated by thinking about certain techniques while executing other techniques. The master responded to the techniques that Josh was thinking about and was fooled when Josh did not follow up as expected. Of course the master made adjustments which made the match closer but ultimately Josh eked out a win.

There is a lot here that I haven't fully digested (yet) but I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in chess or the martial arts (or both). Read some Anthony (Tony) Robbins or NLP if you want to find a better discussion of techniques for reaching a peak state.

Highly recommended.


Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:35 am
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armis wrote:
Glad you to see yet another training journal :thumright:
Crash looks you like you have a pretty serious schedule and having in mind the amount of books you read I think you'll get your Canadian NM for sure!! :wink:


I'm quite certain that I will too. If I can shake off the rust hopefully I can do it straight out of the chute. I was a little worried based on my early blitz chess play that I had lost some of my ability but at the moment this does not seem to be the case. The other wildcard was my health problems but the first day of the chessca tournament I played pretty much 13 hours straight without a rest and did not experience any problems. I must say though that after the tournament I have had a hard time getting back into the rhythm of things.

I managed my clock very well, certainly better than most of my opponents, and as a result was free to get up and take a walk when I wanted in every game. I also ate a lighter lunch the first day (a greek salad) which seemed to work (we only had a few moments between rounds). My first day finished at about 11 pm and I went for Chinese food which may have been a mistake as it disrupted my sleep and may have contributed to a poorer performance on the second day. Next tournament I will save the big spicy meal for after the last round when it doesn't matter anymore.

Of course once I get my NM then I will have to set new goals.

Crash


Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:49 am
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Thanks for the very awesome synopsis of the book Crash. I'll definitely be looking to get it when I have fiscal means and looking to buy a book like that.

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"... the French wages outright warfare over the entire board, calls for stronger nerves, and demands a soul that finds joy whenever the lust for battle is stoked. In other words, Watson is right: it’s a damn good opening!" - Jeremy Silman


Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:02 pm
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