Druss Blog

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

Monday, December 19, 2005

Started by 4th circle

I have started solving CT Art problems again, after a break of about a month, and decided to start my 4th circle. I was plodding through the 40 level puzzles in my 3rd circle, but have decided to abandon these and start off my 4th circle from level 10 again.

Although the 40+ problems are interesting, and good for improving my concentrated thinking, I think that if I could just master the 10, 20 and 30 level ones then I would improve dramatically. I have been playing my chess computer a lot, and also playing 5 0 blitz on ICC. The majority of games that I loose are because of a tactical slip - and one that isn't that difficult ... about the 10, 20 or 30 CT Art level.

So I have decided to forget about the complicated stuff for the moment, and just repeat the low level CT Art stuff until I can nail them. I will still try and achieve MDLM's goal of repeating these puzzles enough times until I can solve them all pretty much at one sitting (which hopefully will not take more than 7 times!).

I started my 4th circle just over a week ago. I finished the level 10 problems in one sitting reasonably easily, however the level 20s are taking longer. I can solve them, but I have to think a bit. I can generally only do about 10 or 15 at a stretch before having a rest, so they can take a while. I'm about half way through these.

It occurred to me the other day that chess is a surprisingly rich tactical game. Much more so than I used to think! CT Art really highlights all the possible tactical hits out there, and I'm missing so much of the basic stuff in my games. If I could just get on top of these then I would see a definite improvement.

So my new goal is to get my ICC 5 0 blitz rating "all time highest score" above 1500. Which is achievable, but will take some time. It is 1330 at the moment.


At 10:04 PM, Blogger funkyfantom said...

Hey Druss,

I love CT-Art dearly, but it surely does NOT "highlight all the possible tactical hits out there."

It doesn't even come close.
No program possibly could. That's
one of the many reasons
why chess is such a great game.

De la Maza proved that overdosing on CT-ART on a regular basis for a long time can boost your tactical skills and probably your chess rating.

One thing though. If a player can rattle off the solution to a CT-ART level 10, 14-ply problem, without accurately visualizing,calculating and understanding ALL the possible variations
in advance, then all you have accomplished is memorize a string of moves. And in a real game, one tiny
mistake in that big tree of variations could easily mean your queen sac just leaves you a queen down.

Remember that the level 10 problem is usually a game between two GM's, and the loser of the game obviously didn't solve the problem.

In CT-ART, you can easily score full points on a problem that you really don't understand well enough to play in a tournament game. I do it all the time- I am a good guesser- I know what a tactical solution feels like. Sometimes I just cheat this way.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Druss said...

I didn't mean to say that CT Art is a comprehensive and exhaustive tool for analysing tactics ... although it did come out that way.

What I meant to say was that CT Art is very good at highlighting the tactical richness of chess. A lot of things that CT Art highlights are tactical themes that I miss in my own games - especially blitz ones.

I agree about solving the problems though, it is easy to fall into the trap of just memorising moves. I try and see as many of the combinations as I can, and try to come up with a solution against which there is no defence.


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