Friday, July 08, 2005


Discipline vs. Oblivion

There are plenty of things that my "each move" discipline is shaky on, and I have been lucky that it hasn't cost me more. I have been good about scanning for hanging pieces each move, and that's about it. I think my subconscious attitude towards defensive positional elements has been one of everything better just pop-out or I am going to relegate it to oblivion! I need a better approach.

Although I was waiting until finishing TCT, Tempo and Mousetrapper's posts now have me considering beefing up my own "each move" discipline sooner rather than later. My theoretical bent towards chess makes me inclined to first make a large list of material and positional weaknesses, essentially everything you might want to achieve or prevent. Over time I hope to incrementally incorporate several of these things into my "each move" discipline. The rest of these deserve enough training such that they do begin to pop-out, as relegating them to oblivion has not paid off.

Mousetrapper has done a nice post of his working list, and is the source of "Evenly attacked pieces" and "King and Queen only defended squares and pieces" in my list. I wasn't really considering those specifically before, and now I can see that there is merit in doing so.

There are plenty of little details missing in I list, but I think I have most of the larger categories well laid out. I would appreciate any comments on stuff I left out. Arguably putting tactics under "- Material exchange and gain threats" is a bit oversimplified.

Another "each move" thing is writing down moves before making them. I am beginning to realize that this can be tough. When I played my last standard game, I was good about writing moves down first in the opening, but then, somehow, I got squirrelly entering the middlegame and started moving pieces first half of the time. I had over 40 minutes on the clock, and a slight opening advantage with the White pieces, yet somehow I must have felt that the pressure was on. I actually did write something down first that was a bad move. I looked at it, crossed it out, and saved myself from going down the exchange, proof that my discipline was worthwhile. In spite of that, these impulses appear difficult to curb. Maybe I need a big sign saying, "Crossing out text won't unmove pieces".

Lastly, I highly recommend an after the move visualization blunder check. Not doing this probably cost me more games than anything else I can think of.


TCT Results

Circle 1Circle 2
Step 197%99%
Step 293%96%
Step 393%96*%
Step 480%??%
Step 574%??%

Well thought out and written. I think that doing the simple stalemate drills in the Bain Book may have raised my rating. Until doing this I had never stalemated. I have just started to write down moves which I can only complete about 10 moves then it tends to fall apart. I do find it helpfull for the portion of the game that I record.
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