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Sarciness' Rollercoaster 
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King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Well, I finally decided to start a training journal! I have been posting videos here for quite some time and think they help me to analyse my own games objctively. I can also go back and watch them later to review a game in a quick and convenient way, recalling all of my thought processes- both good and bad! They may even interest someone else one day...

Right now, if I think of my chess 'talent' like a tube of toothpaste, it's like the tube is full. Anywhere I squeeze is likely to get toothpaste out. By this I mean that whether I work on openings, middlegames, endgames, study master games... my game is likely to improve as I have so many weaknesses! I know that I am in the top 30% of tournament players in the UK (ECF 148), about 1700 or 1800 elo (approx) but there is such a long way to go in every department that my tube definitely is full (exuse the pun!)

So... how am I looking to improve at the moment? Where am I focusing my squeezing? Well that is where I hope this journal will help me focus. I am doing tactics puzzles on chesstempo.com, but the rest of what I'm doing is sporadic. I was intending to study the endgame in detail as I feel this will help me to understand chess better at its fundamental level, but I've been sidetracked by openings. Openings are currently the weakest part of my game and I had no good response to 1.e4 which clearly cannot be a good thing! I have toyed Alekhine's Defence, with the Scandanavian 2...Nf6 and also the Caro-Kann, but the CK isn't really my style and the other 2 openings just aren't all that good.
I used to play the Loewenthal Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5!? 5.Nb5! a6?! 6.Nd6+! Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qf6), but it's not actually a good opening if white plays correctly so I'm now using that Sicilian knowledge but channeling it in a more positive way- I have decided to take up the Classical Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 or, the order I may use if I think my opponent is a Rossolimo player: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6). I have put a little work into studying this opening, but again, nothing consistent.

I want to get off this rollercoaster of no study for weeks, then a few hours here, a few minutes there then nothing for a few days... consistency will be key if I am to improve, and I'm sure I can improve! So, what's my plan? Well my plan is to spend an hour a day on chess. 1 day should be tactics, 2 days should be Endgames and 1 day should be openings . This means that I should work a minimum of 5 days a week for an hour: a very achieveable goal. I can always do more if I want, but this will be a minimum.

Will I get off this 'coaster and become a freshly squeezed tube of toothpaste? Only time will tell whether I put in consistent effort or whether I continue to have highs and lows but always end up where I started.

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Sun May 29, 2011 7:21 am
King

Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:57 pm
Posts: 441
Rating Class: Novice (<1200)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Best of luck to ye.

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Tue May 31, 2011 6:25 am
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Cheers me lover!

This is the reason I'm giving up 3-minute chess. I dread to think how much time I've wasted playing it!


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Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:34 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
So.. In the past week I've spent a fair bit of time on chess...but very little time on actually improving my game. I have spent quite a bit of time playing blitz and quite a bit of time on chesstempo.com. However, I've been treating chesstempo like blitz- just superficially looking at a move, assuming it's good and playing it. If it's good then great, if not then move on. This is not a good state of affairs and I want to re-focus my efforts. On the plus side, I have spent some time looking at the French Defence, where I am adopting the main lines and now have some sort of idea what I'm doing!

OK, aims for this week:
Step 1: Cut out the blitz, at least for now! It's OK for openings practice and getting new ideas but mostly it's a waste. I won't play anything less than 15 minute chess for at least a week.
Step 2: Get reading up on my endgames! I have books I want to read- why am I wasting my time on blitz when I could be learning new and interesting concepts?
Step 3: Go through some games in my chosen openings! I have a brand-new repertoire and seeing some master games in the main lines will certainly help my opening and middlegame strategy.
Step 4: Limit time in chesstempo to 2x 45 minute sessions this week. Aim for 100% accuracy, don't worry about speed.

That should be enough for this week!

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:45 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
It's been about 5 days since my last post already!

1. Played a couple of blitz games but plenty more "standard" ones and think I really learned something. Also won my game in the CVTV tourney... Merit!
2. Did a little reading on endings (not much though- was so tired!)...Pass!
3. Didn't go through any master games...Fail!
4. Did 2 sessions at 45 minutes. Re-gained 30 of my lost 100 elo, but only managed 25/40 problems correct...Merit!

So overall, a good week.

New targets are broadly similar:
1) Go through some games in the Sicilian.
2) Make introductory video on my new opening repertoire.
3) Continue to study Silman's Endgame course. Finish Section for 'B' players and quiz. Review sections 'C' and 'B'.
4) 2x 45 minute sessions on chesstempo.
5) Continue freeze-out of blitz.

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Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:28 pm
FIDE Master
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:59 am
Posts: 272
Location: Miami FLORIDA
Rating: 2300
Rating Class: FIDE Master
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
hey, you appear to be interested in getting better with your chess. If I can be of help please feel free: http://chesstrainingschool.com/

my contact info is there, any questions I will answer them.

Charles

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:01 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
No offence, but to write this message on every member's training logs is not the best way to drum up business.

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Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:15 am
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Another week has flown by! I've not been in best-of moods! Not sleeping, work opportunities evaporating and been too tired to do much chess. Still, I will be back in London soon which should be better, at least for a while.

There is a great series of tournaments to enter in London at the end of august- but I don't know if I'll be in the country by then as I may be off to China to work. Hopefully I will get some chess in over the summer!


OK, so appraisal of last week's targets:

1) Went through a few games in the Sicilian Dragon... pass!
2) Didn't make video. If anything, I feel less prepared to do it than I did last week! However, I have consulted a French Defence expert and he gave me some good ideas... fail!
3) Just this morning I spent about an hour with Silman's book. I finished part 'B', which was mostly revision but also learned a little about bishops of opposite colour endings. Also been through 2 games from Capablanca's Best Endings- that guy could play! ...merit!
4) Don't know how long I spent on the site, probably at least an hour but it's been unfocused and unhelpful- just blitzing moves by intuition and learning nothing... fail!
5) I have played a little blitz and not much long play... fail!

So, tagets for next week:
1) Keep the endgame momentum going! Go through class 'A' endings and also a couple of Capa's games!
2) Get the tactics practice going again (2x 45-60 min sessions). Maybe throw in some endings training on chesstempo.
3) Consult Steve Farmer about the Sicilian Defence for my white repertoire.
4) Make introductory video (finally!)

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Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:39 am
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Here's my latest Longplay game which kind of illustrates where my chess is at the moment. I opened OK, but tactical errors mired the game. Let me know what you think.


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Last edited by Sarciness on Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:44 pm
Premium Member
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:31 am
Posts: 1636
Location: Germany
Rating: Over 9000
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Yea, saw that live =D Was bothering you with match requests until I finally realized you are already playing.
Wondered about 15.Rg1 probably would have taken 15.fxg5 but it's not necessarily looking better (after sth. like ...hxg5 / Rg1 g4 )
28....Qxe4+ Why not ?
Nice mating net afterwards =D

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Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:56 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
15. Rg1? I thought that the g-pawn was now pinned, but the g8 rook was guarded. I would have spot this in a real game, but I never pay proper attention to internet games. After that my position went from much better for me to much better for him. I think that best was fxg6 EP with idea of Nd5. After this white has targets on f7 and d6 and black really needs to castle queenside.

28. Qh6? Was an example of egocentrism. It furthers my goals (h6 pawn), but forgets about the space left behind (Qxe4+). Another elementary error that I shouldn't be making.

Still, I got away with it and pulled off the win.

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Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:06 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Last weeks targets:

1) I have spent some time on endgames but it just doesn't seem to be 'sticking' right now. I guess I am already much stronger than average players of my grade but I am still severely lacking in endgame technique. I didn't get through Class 'A' but I did get through the K+P and R+P sections in 'A'. I went through 1 of Capa's games... pass (just)
2) Have done a couple of sessions on Chesstempo.com. One of them I turned into a live video here: viewtopic.php?t=8856. My rating didn't improve but the practice can't hurt.... pass
3) I have consulted Steve Farmer and await some feedback on a PGN I sent him with tonnes of questions... distinction!
4) I still haven't made my intro video! Will this repertoire ever begin!?... fail!

In addition I have played 2 live 20/10 games (and posted them to the forum, the first in 2 parts due to d/c: viewtopic.php?t=8841, viewtopic.php?t=8842 and 2nd video here: viewtopic.php?t=8852. In both games I was very happy with my play and even the computer barely critisised either game!

This bodes well for the rapid tournament I'm playing in tomorrow.

Aims for this week:
1) Put in a decent performance at the 6 round 20/10 tournament tomorrow. It's open so 2/6 is acceptable. I have a chance of winning a prize if I do decently due to my crap Rapid grade (118).
2) Analyse rapid games (all 6).
3) Post video about rapid games.
4) Continue with Silman's Endings and Capa's Endgames.
5) More tactics practice.
6) Make the damn intro video for my white repertoire!!

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Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:47 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last entry, so I should have made significant progress. However, I have been focusing on getting a new job, which has finally come about for me (I signed the contract today!) and I will be off to China come mid-August! I'm very excited about it, but it probably won't be the best opportunity to work on my chess as they don't really have many chess clubs over there.

Let's see how much chess progress I did make on last time's targets...

1) I didn't just put in a decent performance, I put in an excellent performance- scoring 4.5/6 against much higher rated opponents, having winning chances in every game, coming 4th overall in a field of 29 players and beating some strong opposition on the way! I'd say this is my best Rapidplay result ever! Here's the crosstable. http://www.ccfworld.com/Chess/Results/2011-07-02_RP.htm ...distinction!
2) I didn't really analyse my games from the rapidplay... fail!
3) I posted a video about my rapid tournament here: viewtopic.php?t=8862 which was excellent in terms of the chess I played, but poor in the quality of analysis. Probably not surprising given my performance in 1) and 2)!... pass!
4) I have not studied the endgame much these past weeks. Half an hour maybe... fail!
5) I have spent some time on chesstempo (with mixed sucess) and also done some tactics from this book by Igor Khmelnitsky: http://www.chessexam.com/Exam/CE2_limited.htm . I will get an overall rating and see where my tactics need to improve after this and I will be taking Steve Farmer's advice in sorting them into open, semi-open and closed positions too... merit!
6) I still haven't done the damn repertoire video! ...EPIC FAIL!

So next week I want a smaller list of targets:
1. Do the damn intro video!!!!!
2. Continue Chess Tactics Exam
3. Continue to study Silman's endings.
Capa is optional this week.

Let's hope I can get all 3 done this time!

P.S. Please leave some comments on my training journal! Is it interesting? What do you like? What would you like to hear more about?

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:38 pm
Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Hey there!

Good job in your tournament! Also congrats on your job!

I enjoy reading your training journal. I try to update mine everyday, because it's actually the main place now I track my training. I have several notebooks (on my laptop and physical), but this is the place I track my daily activities. I'm not saying you should update daily, but sometimes it helps me to focus, since I know I have to report!

Keep up your progress...even a little progress daily (even 15 minutes) is better than nothing.

Best regards,

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:21 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 745
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Sarciness' Rollercoaster
Thanks for your feedback BRB! I think both of your ideas (doing a bit each day and posting more often) are something I'd like to do but my lifestyle seems to meant that I have time in clumps so I tend to do loads one day and nothing the next day. I think I could commit to a weekly posting though which is what I've been aiming for and I know I need to try to do a little each day. Cheers.

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Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:13 am
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