Friday, May 25, 2007

Where am I going and why am I in this Hand Basket?

My game lately has been going to hell in a hand basket, at least I’m enjoying the ride. The past couple of weeks at the club I had been playing real sloppy. Revisiting my thought process, I found I hit that human wall of inconsistency. This past week for instance, I went through the opening rather unscathed and in book. My opponent even knew my opening and was compliant up until he knew what difficult line to throw at me.

Then my brain went on FICS… because I’m still indulging WAY too much on this scourge of my chess game. I saw a cheap shot, only did a cursory check of threats and let go of my piece. My opponent, taking more time, was able to see a double attack. I played the rest of the game in a slow spiral starting with a bishop down, then a rook and then, when I could not be a pain in the ass anymore… I resigned.

Last month, I was doing real well. I was focusing on thought process as I described here with much improvement in my ability to carry out a decent game. I thought I’d jump into FICS and practice more on the thought process in action. Since I’m finding that this game is one where we have to practice more than collecting more knowledge, I justified going to FICS as a healthy means to do such. Well, its not working, I am not practicing my thought process, rather I am looking for cheap shots and not doing “real” chess.

On the other hand, there is something appealing about it. Last year at the WO, I played in a side blitz tournament ( insanely after 11PM) and did poorly. So … more justification I suppose.. I look at the FICS-Blitz as a good way to practice blitz …which I realize I SUCK at. Also, relaxing after work without fear of losing my “real” rating… and only having my FICS rating affected is appealing.

Moderation… as in anything else, is the key. I need to get back to working on my thought process so I can be consistent at OTB events I attend. This is my goal this year. Its not a rating threshold like I had in the past, rather, I want to play more consistently. Not like I am doing currently or have done in the past. Why can I be so “ON” in one event, and the next one I go to, it’s like my brain has been replaced. Am I a chess schizophrenic? Well, I am human I suppose. We all have off days.

I send this Huzzah out to chessloser! He’s attending his first USCF tournament. May your brain be with you.

Have a good weekend all.



Blue Devil Knight said...

That's strange that FICS has that effect on you. Is it because you are playing blitz over at FICS, or are you that way even in slow games?

BlunderProne said...

I am doing mainly Blitz.

Part of the problem, because at home, I can't block out huge chunks of time to study ( recall.. I still have 4 teenagers left at home ...of 7 in total...maiking it a busy house). So if I play "standard" the best i can do is G15 or I risk time forfeits.

In G15, I peaked 1715... but since then slipped back down to 1670.

Blitz..I am in the 11's blah!

hisbestfriend said...

Seriously consider going fishing for 2 weeks before the WO. It worked for Josh, it will work for you.

Seriously, consider that your brain is some sort of computer, and the training your doing is programming. There are times that you just have to let the brain catch up by not giving it more info.

Often times, this kind of result (lower strength), is caused by conflicting information, that you may not even be conciously aware of. You need to let your brain rest, and figure this out. It actually takes time to do, it is a physical process.

At the end of the break, you will be stronger, and be able to take on much more training. Part of the rest is your brain allowing this to happen.

The common symptoms of such a need is, a lot of training, good results, followed by a sudden frustrating down turn. This can happen in many many brain sports. You will do better if you just take some time off, and let your brain do what it needs to do.

Unknown said...

Have you considered playing some slow "thinking" chess? I am now using webserver correspondence chess to play games where I have the time to think and force me to be disciplined about moves.

I started a blog on this here.

I hope to see you at MetroWest Chess Club soon :-)

Blue Devil Knight said...

Wow four teenagers. Who wouldn't be blunderprone?!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the huzzah. as for the chess schizo thing, i am struggling with that as well. we need to figure out how to "turn it on" at will...

Anonymous said...

Seven, and four are teens? You're lucky you can remember your middle name, let alone concentrate well enough to play chess!