Thursday, June 22, 2006

My "crap"top

So here I am .. 1 week before the Blunder Meets the World ... and my training laptop decided to STB. Full Dell-hell ... power issue. Fortunately, I am a little handy with these things.. I have parts on order ( system board) and should be here by Monday. I am saving myself a couple hundred instead of having Dell go through it. My hard drive should be ok... all my databases etc.... need to work on a back up. Note to self: Get an external HD to back up the training stuff.

The Polgar brick is my tactics gym for now ... I have a back up system ( minus the data bases) for openings training.... no problem... I still have books... must breath.

Oh ... and I started my Sabbatical tonight... 10 weeks off...Paid! Yeah people hate me ... including my wife.


Off to the World Open in 1 week!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thick as a Brick

Having completed the circles training last month... I still find it helpful to practice problem solving. I am making my way through the Lazlo Polgar 5334 "Brick" So far I have completed the first 648 problems which is barely 1/9th of the way through.... if this was CT-ART... this would be 1/2 way through a complete circle. It just seems like I am gettign nowhere. I have to admit though... I am recognizing quite a few of the mate in two problems from the seven circles of hell.

As far as training for the world open... its practice practice practice. I read through Chess for Zebras ( skimmed it the first time through... some other date I plan to pick apart the games more deeply) and have realized that its all about practice at this point. My brain is full. Since I am "Thick as a Brick" when it comes apply what is full in my head... I have to practice more. I am sparring with Fritz and finding positions where an advantage is had and playing against the computer to get more of an intuitive feel of how to play the position. I really need to learn this aspect of the game since most of my games are lost after I have an advantage.

On ward!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Mass Open catharsis

I went through each and every one of the 6 HORRIBLE games played over the Memorial day massacre called the Mass Open. More than using Fritz to spot the bonehead moves... I went through each postion as carefully as possible and added my thought process that went on at the time. This was very revealing and very insightful to why I suck.

The common theme I ran across was that I tend to play "rote" moves... whether I am black or white. A failure in the way I learned my openings. Memorization is a fatal flaw...especially if you can't remember. Instead of playing what the position demands, I make what I was considering a "normal" developing move. The problem being that my "normal" developing move is flawed and based entirely on a blank system called the London system. As white, I play this with a pretty good degree of success but I will get into my flaws in a bit as white. The MAJOR issue as black... I play moves that are more thematic if I had colors reversed.... except I am a tempo behind! It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Now call it laziness... feeble mindedness... or plain stupidity... the first step was seeing the problem ...over and over. This made an impression.

In the games where I played white, in getting an advantage like development, I turned over the intiative rather than exploit the advantage. Bah! I watched in several of my games how I had a developmental lead in the opening and clearly an opportunity to open up the position and exploit the advantage only to make a timid move or offer an opportunity for my opponent to "catch up" and in some cases hand over the initiative.

One other theme I seemed to run into is what I call "chasing ghosts". In my timidness, I would suspend my attack to respond to an opponents seemingly important threat. This ended up handing the game over on several instances. If I would have only realized that having the initiative gave me a better edge and that if my opponent did try to execute a counter threat... I had ample response time to meet it.

There were other sub themes that all stemmed from these concepts. But having them glare at me in the face, watching the train wrecks again... but understanding how and why ... was a bit soothing.

In my training for the next few weeks before the World open... I plan on sparring with fritz on key positions where I tend to play by rote and force myself to play the position. I plan to extract positions from actual games based on my opening repertoires. Also, I plan on finding positions where I have a positional advantage and play against fritz. Practice..Practice...Practice.