Sunday, November 27, 2005


Slow Down

I'm running into some difficulties on Step 4. Ostensibly I am supposed to be spending up to 4 minutes per problem (cough, cough), but I just seem to rush ahead like it's CTS. I need to remember that they love to throw in ringers, which really discourages lazy calculation.

I am thinking in advance that I will need to break up the 1 minute/30sec circles for these 2000 + problems. I probably will resort to mini-circles since they have worked fine in the past.


J'adoube "...tactics play a much smaller role now than I previously thought."

MDLM graduate J'adoude has recently posted some is reflections on chess improvement. I wonder about this, and I am curious as to what other Knights think. I think more than any other factor poor tactical assessment loses chess games. That's pretty simple, quite accurate for me certainly, and fundamentally seems to be the reason De La Maza changed his chess study.

Before starting this chess training I imagined I would end up with combination(s) in most of my games, either played by me or my opponent. I guess that was a pipe dream, as I rarely see genuine combinations. I have noticed that whenever there is a combination in an annotated game, there usually is some earlier mistake that sets it up, almost like you need collusion to have it all work out.

On the other hand, it seems like simpler threats occur on all the time, and seem to play a huge role for anyone who ignores them.

Here's something that I missed in a recent blitz game:

Black to Move


I just looked at one of the World Cup Games, and it looks like amateur vs. professional. I like the straightforward tactics that occur, much like in TCT problems.


TCT Results

Circle 1Circle 2Circle 3Circle 4
Step 197%99%99%100%r
Step 293%96%95%97%
Step 393%97%97%96%
Step 480%86%90%90%*
Step 574%



I used to think my games were lost by poor planning as well, but stronger players have convinced me otherwise. Most of my games are decided by missing simple threats by my oponent, or missing tactical oportunities that they give me.

That's exactly why I started
the "circles", to stop missing so much stuff.
Interesting tactic in your example. I think I might of missed it in a game situation as well, The Queen Sac often feels so out of place in games, I often don't consider it.

Great posting.
1. Qg5+, fxg5 2. fxg5+, Kh5 3. Nf6#
Nice tactic.
Wow. This is like the second time someone has posted something about my comments about tactics.

Anyway, my reaction is the same as yours - there really aren't any amazing tactical combinations that come up that often.

If you simply play good solid chess lines and don't do stupid things, tactics just don't occur that often.

Chenev says that you should just play for small advantages and eventually you will be presented some winning opportunities - but these usually aren't tactics per se.

I don't know about anyone else, but if I play someone rated at 1500 or more, they really don't fall prey to tactics. It's much more positional.

Of course, I'm going to add a caveat and say that this only applies to slow controls - blitz games are entirely different.
I lose consistently to tactics and blunders. A review of all my lost long games shows that I usually screw up. Tactics are very important. However, my problem is that I don't take care when playing. It's pretty agonizing as of late. I know the tactics, and I should see them if I just took some time to review my move before making it. At my level, I think victory is a matter of attention to basic detail to avoid blunders and knowledge of tactics.
Takchess, I find it easy to get in a habit of not looking for sacrifices.

Knightwiz, you got it.

Jim, your comments remind me of what Petrosian said about how it's really hard to win in chess. When everyone is constantly meeting or even preventing threats, games are long and often drawn.

PMD - I remember being frustrated like that pretty recently myself. It sounds like you are on the right track towards more careful play.
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