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Dewetha's journal 
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King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Dewetha's journal
my user name can be found on Yahoo,redhotpawn,fics and maybe a few more places that I don't really go to much any.

basically I have played on Yahoo for the last years. blitz type games(5,5 etc) I maxed out once around 1400. a lunch time diversion but as soon as I play 1600+ guys they just brutalize me. I figure if I want to improve I had better find a way to study some chess. I found this site and it has been a gold mine.

I have been playing on FICS for the last month. I have about a 1150 rating right now. it was a little higher but trying a new openings has put me back down a notch.

for openings, I never knew the names and not much more than 3 moves or so. to improve on that I am reading my first chess book Play the Ruy lopez by everyman chess. understanding a opening beyond the first 3-5 moves is new experience and very enlightening.

the middle game has declined a little as I try to take opening into the middle game with the new openings. for a while there I was playing the London system for white and caro-kann for black and doing well. I think I ma more of a counter puncher from a closed system(semi or otherwise) and fell these two systems work for me in back to back games.

the end game is the area where real improvement must come from. especially with tight times at the end and moves are hurried. I hope that increasing my opening knowledge will help me avoid issue and thinking too long at the start to save some of the clock for when it counts.

beside this site, I started using chess tempo web site to increase my knowledge. I really like that site.
I also purchased Deep Shredder 12 and started to analyze my games. instead of just playing 6 -10 games. I play 2 or 3 and then go over it with software.

I have much to to learn and many miles to go before i sleep but the extra work is paying off as I have played a few really well games against stronger opponents.

I would like to be a strong 1600-1700 player on FCIS by years end(2010).
really looking to really have deeper understanding of the Ruy Lopez and London openings for white for longer games. a few openings seam interesting for fast games are the Bird and Tayler and may try to sneak them in later on. for Black I have been sticking with the caro-Kann. there is never enough time in the day but would like to add Sicilian in there. and an opening I have seen called the advanced Dragon.

maybe also update this thing once a month.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Last edited by dewetha on Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:05 pm
King

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:20 am
Posts: 379
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
Hi! Welcome to the site :D

At your level the most improvement comes from just staring at a chessboard. It doesn't matter if you're reading/studying a chess book, analyzing a position, watching a video (actively), or playing a game. Though some ways may be more effective than others (depending on all kinds of factors), all of them can help you improve somewhat. The important thing is to have fun, that way you are likely to spend more time thus helping you improve.

The most important study area for a player of your level is usually tactics. Most of your games are probably won by tactics. So try studying those. There are a lot of good books on them and a few decent sites on the internet. Tactics and playing/analyzing games should be the bulk of your training.

At your level the opening isn't that important really. Just try following good old principles and get a decent position. From there you can just outplay your opponent if you're better tactically/positionally. I know of players rating over 2000 who don't know much theory and just play this way successfully. Knowing what you're doing and studying an opening can't hurt you. But more effective would be to spend most of your time on other areas.

An important thing about endgames is that you don't only have to know and study them, but also play them. That definitely goes for if you're not a natural at it (if that's true, that would make two of us). Try studying endgames and playing basic, but also more complex endgame positions with the computer or a strong player and analyze it afterwards (first yourself/with a stronger player, and with the help of a book if it's an elementary position, and only then with the computer, to be sure) this could help your problem if moving slowly in endgame/time scrabbles. It helps you build an "endgame intuition" if I can call if that, where you just get a feeling that a certain move is right in a certain position. Watch a stronger player (curtains for example) and you just see how good his instinct is.

For (free) tactics I recommend the websites called chess tactics server and chesstempo. The first one can be annoying if you're not good at it, but it will help you build pattern recognition which is the most important thing in chess. There are also a lot of random chess puzzle/problem books that you buy anywhere and just try to solve them.
For endgames I recommend Jeremy Silman's Endgame course. But remember, play the endgames!
I don't know of anything good for openings at your level really. Maybe someone else can help you with that.
And of course strategy and positional play follows from knowing your tactics. But if you can find some good training tools on that, studying it wouldn't hurt you.

I was at your level 2 two years ago, and in retrospect I believe this is key to improving and making most use of your time.
Good luck with your goal and I hope I helped.

edit: btw, since you're on FICS, you could add channel 226, which is the chessvideos.tv channel where some of are active.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:34 pm
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 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
Welcome Dewetha! It would be hard to improve on what hiddie just said- excellent advice!

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Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:08 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
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 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
thanks Hiddie. I will add that end agem book to my list. and thanks for the channel info.

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“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:24 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
typical chess routine these last few weeks.
A.work on tactics at Chess temp daily. it's a great way to spend a few minutes on down time here and there. maybe 20 or so a day.
B.work on end game at chess tempo a few times a week. I think I will increase more end games and decrees some tactics games.
C. play fewer games and then analyze them using deep shredder 2
D. everyday watch videos here and on you tube. hoping 1pct of it sticks
E: once a week or so sit and read a chess book and play the moves out.

my new chess habits are improving my game somewhat. I have some good games and some bad ones. I try to play 10 min games but once in a while will answer a seek for a 2,10 or 5,5 type blitz game.

typically I think blitz games are filled with mistakes on both sides of us lower level guys. the chess tempo site has helped me and I am doing fine on time. after all clock management is part of strategy in blitz IMHO.

analyzing the games in shredder is become a nice habit. I pay attention to my moves as well as my opponents. like I said, they are filled with mistakes galore but looking to see why a move is better has helped. it also let's me judge my quality of a win.

I'm at 1150 or so and beating a guy in the 1600 in a 10 min game feels good when both sides are not far off from machine perfection.

thanks to all who post videos and answer questions.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:33 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
lately I have been trying to use deep shredder to analyze recent games I have played. sometimes I just can't believe the tactical blunders I make! sometimes the pieces are in play the way I want to see them and I have goal in mind. I tend to have blinders on a strategy set to attack a certain way. the computer doesn't care it just looks to maximize the mistakes the other guy makes to a piece advantage. I need to really pay attention to what I can do vs. my long term plan.

I have also decided that using the same opening e4(london) in hopes that constant analysis from the same opening will help me recognize certain tactical pattern and improve my early piece development. reading the books is fine but I probably will be better off learning as I go and then one day start to look for more conventional lines whn I don;t make so many tactical blunders.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:06 am
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
I guess it's par for the course, as I jumped into the deep end on really becoming better at chess my rating dropped 200 pts.
it is slowly on the rise but there is a huge difference in the way I lose a game. I tossed opening theory out the window. I have stuck with a basic opening for White and Black. this dose leave me in a bind sometimes when I don't recognize something well know and my opponent takes advantage and I have to scramble a little bit.

practicing tactics on chess tempo has improved my skills the most. now when I make a mistake, I am starting to recognize it even before my opponent try to capitalize. now I just need to work on calculating thing better in my head before i move. I still come up short on some exchanges and that puts me in a bind quickly.

I'm looking forward to focusing on endgames more. I think there may be a good advantage there against higher rated players if I can exchange off the correct pieces and drive towards an end game.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:41 am
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha attempt to get better!
my first game post. not too spectacular but I finally have started to come out on top in exchanges. not sure if it is all luck or I just getting better at it. of course I missed a check mate one move earlier :)

I analyzed the game in deep shredder and I definitely made less tactical mistakes than my oppenent.


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“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:59 pm
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 Re: Dewetha's journal
There might have been more immediacy in opening the center via e4 push on his uncastled king, but your effort to find moves with tempo and to take advantage of Kf8?? were great.

You did end up with the better pawns after the exchanges. If the Queen's had fallen off the board, I suspect Black could have kept a draw R+6P vs R+5P. Shredder can tell us that of course.

It would have been interesting to see how to keep the advantage while it was Bishop vs Knight.

Anyway, I say well done!

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Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:44 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha's journal
Thanks enterprise. after 15. exd5+. I was really wining it(edit: I meant to say winging it. oops LOL). I think he might have been a little gun shy to exchange queens while his knight was still pinned. he would have messed up my pawn structure for sure. I would have to set that up in Shredder and see what plays out but I think I could have been a piece up

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“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:41 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha's journal
today I decide to pay for a subscription to Chess tempo. I definitely need more end game practice. I do pay attention to the pawn structures a little more to see if I am gaining a better end game position but I don't always know what to do with it.

I also set the preferences on Chess Temp for hard. the problems now are a little deeper and that should help even more in advancing my skills. played a few real quick games (2, 10), (5,5) games and the tactics really show up there. Blitz games seam to be all about making less mistakes and capitalizing on there blunders until they are crushed. the hardest games to win under time for me are the games where it is solid enough play and we enter the end games nearly even. I have had more material and a better advantage but speed of the end game throws me off a lot.

I have had some great efforts, despite what computer analysis says :) on the other hand I have had some horrible play. My biggest hurdle is concentration while playing.

overall I am making a better showing against stronger players that me( 200 pts or more).

I have been sticking with one basic opening with white the london in this move order 1.d4, 2.Bf4, I don't know the lines there too much but generally stick to e3 unless they are looking at a quick queen side play, I will go 3. Kd2. that is about all the theory I know.

I generally like to attack attack the king side castle(especially with the pawn move to h6) with my queen and white bishop. I need to learn a good attacking line without that white bishop.

for Black I use a basic caro Kann liek opening or try to transposition into something like it. if they go anything but d4. I go with c6 then usually d5. if d4 is used I go with d5 with a hope to bring my white bishop out past the e file and goc6. to many times I ignore the correct move to go c6 on move 2 and not worry about trapping my white bishop.

my short term goal is by the end of feb is to get over the 1200 hump and stay there. also to practice my end games as much as tactics.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:51 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha's journal
my machine is offline so I been playing around with my family's imac and downloading some front ends for fics. just played a few games and it is puzzling how looking at new software can throw you off. I just played a guy around 100 pts higher than me and the game was very strange feeling with a big 20inch high res screen and raptor on a mac look vs babas and my laptop. i fought through some new positions for me and was probably more lucky than good.


oops. pgn won't load.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:06 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha's journal
here are my last two games one as white(some form of London) and one with Black as some form of the Caro Kann. I basically have been relying on the tactics engine at Chesstempo to really grasp the middle game better. at some point I may want to delve a little deeper into these openings and there theory. right now if someone uses an opening I have not seen I just kind of try to get into my opening and slow play potions until I see a tactic. I came to this conclusion by getting pummeled in some book opening theory that trapped my queen. so for now I try to be less aggressive and more of a counter puncher when I don't know what's going on. it has at least helped me make a better showing against higher rated players and once I get some book only guy out of book, It's a little more even of a fight.

I have reached my target and have been holding over 1200 for most of this month. I had a bad few days and dropped back down to low 1100's then the brainstorm I had above has settled me down some. boring games maybe but i can learn from the somewhat.




edit: this was actually a bad game I had against a better rated player.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:46 pm
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha's journal
so far I am learning a lot about chess this year. I learned that I lay too fast. even in correspondence games, I spend 5 sec looking at the bard and moves when I have a day or three to decide.


I think I need to really turn my attention away from blitz games and play more correspondence games. I need to leverage these games as a way to practice and hone my thought process so when I play blitz, I can calculate and make quick decision without missing obvious blunders.

I know everyone says that openings are not really important for a guy in my rating. but I was a boy scout and I like being prepared for all 3 phases of the game.

since my main Black opening is the caro-Kann, I noticed that this opening can become very position very quick when playing a strong player. I have just been out maneuvered so many times that my position has lead me to have no real chance at winning an exchange. I have been experimenting with when to be aggressive, when to pull a piece back but I just not matching that up to the game very well.

I purchased an eBook to kind of get a better idea of what to move based on more than move 3. between this eBook at the excellent videos on the caro kann opening on this site, some of the ones by Gentlewhisper are outstanding, I hope to understand the benefits of the positions and put my self into a losing position without a forced move.

my game play goals are to learn a good mental check list.
stop leaving hanging pieces.
pay more attention to bishops and the remove the defender tactic.
when piece moves look to see If I can take advantage of the space.
when he moves make sure I see his plan for doing it.


it's going to be a long road to 1400 let alone 1600. I have the brain power, just not the focus. that I have to work on very hard.

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:25 am
King

Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:40 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Chicago,IL
Rating: 1230
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Dewetha's journal
well my focus is still sporadic at best. some days I play very solid and miss very little. some days I miss everything and just lose by the 6th move and then someday things like this happen:




most of the time I play very closed position games. almost always Caro-kann or some slight slav mutation to D4 and the london for white.
I think a lot of my tactics training on chestempo has helped. considering I was losing that game for the first 25 moves, I did well when the board opened up and I didn't miss much according to some analysis with deep shredder.

I still many more miles to go. my vow is to play slower. even on Redhotpawn, where I have a day to 3 to make a move, I still spend like 20 secs and move. I need to shake off the blitz brain!

my tactics score is going up slightly and I think that training has made a big difference as my ratings go up just hair when I am doing well on chess tempo. started playing at chesscube. it has a nice web interface and has been keeping me entertained but the my rating there is crazy so, I think there are a lot of neewbies like me at that site. it has bumped yahoo off my lunch time games. too many lame people on yahoo. they disconnect, call you names. Chess cube seams to have a people with a little better class.

I think the 1300 barrier is going to take a while. more self training and watching videos on here!

_________________
“One doesn't have to play well, it's enough to play better than your opponent”
(Siegbert Tarrasch)


Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:06 pm
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