Druss Blog

An account of my attempts to try and improve my chess.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Over 1100 now

Another week and up to 1130, so that's past the 1100 mark and I have completed 161 out of 266 in the last section. So only 105 to go and I've finished my first circle. But it's getting harder, I've completed the 40s and these last 105 are all 50s and above.

I don't think I'm going to complete my first circle before I go on holiday. After only completing 54 in the last week it doesn't look good for finishing up by Friday. I haven't been putting in as much time as normal, partly because I've been dodging terrorist bombs - I live and work in central London - but also because I've got a bit bored after my big push over the two weeks previously. Oh well, it would have been nice to have wrapped it up before my break.

On the plus side I completed a 50 this morning in no time at all. The solution just seemed to leap out the board at me, a nice six move checkmate with a couple of sidelines. So I'm definitely improving. I keep worrying about the seventh circle though - how can it be possible to do all these problems in a couple of days? I've been at this for weeks now and I've not even managed to do everything once. Probably a bit counterproductive thinking like this. Must stop and just focus on this first circle.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Another week

Not such a good week this last one. After a big push the week before I didn't do so much this week.

Completed 1076 in total in my first circle, which is only 64 in the last week. Partly this is because I spent less time on them (especially last weekend as it was sunny, and I was out having fun!) but also because they are getting more tricky. I'm on my last section "Conjunction of Tactical Methods", and I've completed all the 10, 20 and 30 difficulty level ones. I've been ploughing through the 40s and 50s last week, and this is slower.

I've completed 107 out of 266 in this section. It is the largest section, which is a bit depressing for the final one ... although that does mean I've only got 159 problems to go and then I'm finished my first circle! I'm going on holiday in a couple of weeks, so I'd like to get it done before then if I can. My wife says that I'm not allowed to take my computer with us, so I won't be able to do any then. It would be good for that break to be at the end of my first circle as well.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Past the 1000 mark!

As of this morning, I've completed 1012 problems (out of 1216) in my first circle (out of 7). I'm very pleased that I passed the 1000 mark! Only 204 to go, so the end of this first circle now seems in sight.

That also means I did 140 in the last week, getting my average of 20 per day above my target of 16 for the first time.

I did put in a big effort last week, I made sure I plugged away every evening. Although I don't think I'll be able to sustain that pace going forward.

I am on to the final section though - 16: Conjunction of Tactical Methods. Seeing solutions is getting easier as well - sometimes they now jump out at me, and I'm certainly solving them more quickly.

Will I be able to speed this up considerably for subsequent circles? If not, this whole exercise is going to take a long, long time. Still, I'm positive about it all at the moment. I'm making progress, and the end of the first circle is in sight.

Monday, July 04, 2005

More progress

Now completed 872 in my first level. That's 124 in the last 11 days … an average of 11.3. Again, under the 16 per day average, but still fairly consistent with the last bout. I tend to do it in fits and starts. I hadn't completed many during the week, but then had a spurt at the weekend.

Not quite so depressed about it as I've finished the dreaded "Destruction of the pawn shelter". This went on for ages! I get through the easy problems quite quickly and then get stuck on the tricky ones. Maybe my idea of going through each of the tactical methods by group isn't so good - the original guidelines were to run through the problems in strict difficulty order (easiest to hardest).

I thought it might be interesting to record my scores in each of the tactical sections. Hopefully this will improve in future circles!
(1) Annihilation of defence - 56%
(2) Distraction - 54%
(3) Decoy - 64%
(4) Open attack - 63%
(5) Opening of a file - 52%
(6) Space clearance - 41% (!)
(7) X-ray attack - 64%
(8) Interception - 58%
(9) Blocking, encirclement - 59%
(10) Destruction of the pawn shelter - 43% (!)