Druss Blog

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

Monday, October 17, 2005

2 weeks into my 3rd circle - finished level 20

A nice week last week - I finished off the level 20s. Also, I went back over the ones I got wrong using the 'erroneous' filter and redid them until I got them all right. I tried this approach with the 10s and it works well. You get to repeat all the ones you didn't get the first time round ... or in some cases the second or the third time round!

My new plan is to progress this each circle - on circle 2 I repeated level 10 until I got them right. Circle 3 will repeat levels 10 and 20. And so on. Also, I'll progress the maximum level I try, so I stopped at level 40 on circle 2 and I'll aim to stop at level 50 on circle 3. At least that's the new plan this week. I'll see how I get on with this as this circles progress.

It is an interesting exercise to repeat the problems you got wrong - it highlights areas of weakness in your thinking. I think mine fall into two areas:
(1) blindness to certain themes
(2) not enough breadth of analysis.

(1) blindness is easy to spot. Here's a good example (problem #149):

I thought through the problem to this stage (problem #149 a couple of moves later):

But then thought, "So what?". I couldn't see that taking either rook would open up the back rank mate.

This is an example of (2) - not enough breadth of analysis (problem #259):

I kept wanting to play h4 instead of f4. I am not thinking through all the options thoroughly. In fact the only way I managed to finally solve this problem was by learning f4. Am I just learning some of the specific problems off by heart rather than understanding them? Is this bad? Or will I remember the pattern somehow?

There are other examples where I get carried away with quite a complicated line of analysis, only for it to not draw any definite conclusions. My initial thought is that I'm just not seeing deep enough, and there is in fact a solution possibly a couple of moves more ahead. What I'm really doing though is missing an easy 2 or 3 move combination! I can get distracted focusing just on one line and miss a number of other (simpler) ones.


At 12:58 PM, Blogger Temposchlucker said...

I kept wanting to play h4 instead of f4

Those initial moves are strongly based upon learned patterns in the past. If you learn to play f4 here, that will be the move that comes to mind in similar cases in the future.
You still have to validate the move anyway because circumstances can be different, but at least you initially are working on the right move.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Siliconpawn said...

I will bet that by taking the time study this problem throughly you will consider f4 in the future.
The main issue for all of us is how often do these patterns appear in our own games? The pawn chain problem seems to be a common occurence but the problems where you have to do something like move a knight three times across a board with all of the pieces on the board I never see when I do my own post game analysis.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Montse said...

hey druss,

If you play h4 and after gxh4, you can reduce the problem to a 3 pawn set-up (forget the d-pawns and the kings) and ask if you can force a pawn break. Look at the pawns on g,f and e-file. Can Black force a breakthrough with only pawns to play? You will notice that your pawns and the opponents pawns are on the same file (except for the H-pawn). The essence of a pawn break is that is a forced sequence which means that your opponent have to react on your threat. In this case you have to see how many moves he has to play to Q his pawn if he doesnot react to your threat coz then it becomes a pawn race.He has 4 moves to play and you 3 coz your pawn is already crossed the midline. You Q first. So your pawn is a threat and that's why he has to stop first your pawn to Q for example your g pawn. Unfortunately the set-up gfe-pawn (black (g4f5e4) versus white(g2f2e3) CANNOT force a pawn breakthrough coz white can either block your pawns or prevent the breakthrough.
For instance on 2...g3 3.fxg3 or on 2.. f4 3.g3
If you had a breakthrough you should check also the pos of enemy K versus your breakthrough pawn. Can it be intercepted?

Hope this might be more helpful

At 11:59 PM, Blogger King of the Spill said...

Calculation really is a must with those tough ones. I think that 4 Rook arrangement is incredibly rare, and I wouldn't beat myself up over not seeing it.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger BlueEyedRook said...

Back rank threats are easily missed. And pawn endings are notoriously tough, on a whole the fact that you are able to look back and see what you did wrong is a good sign.

After most of my losses, all I can do is curse loudly, throw something across the room, and try playing a different opening! (Did I mention my rating sucks?!)


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