11 March 2012

Training Log: Chess Skill Study Plan

Perhaps I will be able to maintain habitual logging of my training progress on a weekly basis. If so, this post shall be the inaugural effort. More than two months ago, I set out part of my study plan in "New Year's Resolutions." Seven weeks later, I noted my failure in "Accountability". Despite this failure, my initial rating goal for the year was achieved (with interest!) in my first event of 2012. My desire to do well in the 20th Dave Collyer Memorial motivated certain efforts. My astounding success taking second place drives me to redouble efforts to aim higher through more consistent, better focused training.

The past week has been difficult for chess training as I was suffering from a late-winter cold. I missed no work and was productive blogging. But, the discipline to sit at a table with a chess book or chess board proved beyond the level of motivation that I was able to muster. I focused reasonable efforts in some games against several computer adversaries. See my "Ohm Chess for iPad: Review," "Chess Pro V for iPad: Review," and "King Safety." The last of these may have been the most useful: battling unsuccessfully, and then after take-backs with success, against Rybka 4 from a position that Judit Polgar evaluated as having a decisive advantage. It is vital to develop the skill of gaining the full point from a technical win due to positional domination while a piece down.

This past week, I spent no time with Imagination in Chess nor Chess Training Pocket Book II. The Resolution for 2012 had been:
Spend thirty minutes once per week solving problems in Lev Alburt, Chess Training Pocket Book II and Paata Gaprindashvili, Imagination in Chess.
I spent no time with my pawn endgame flash card project, but did spend time reviewing some positions therein while teaching from my unexpected win in the last round of the Collyer. I explained the difference between these two zugzwang positions to some elementary students.

The player to move must lose a pawn, but still draws the game.
The player to move loses the game

Teaching the benefits of my training regimen is no substitute for following it.

I fell short of my goal of 50 tactics exercises this week, but did not closely track the total. Weekly reports on my progress may improve this tracking. Hence, my current tally in the Shredder iPad app's puzzles:
1331 puzzles: 10445/13310 points 78%
last 10 puzzles: 76/100 76%
This week some recent purchases arrived in the mail. I plan to incorporate Michael Stean, Simple Chess (1978) into my training. Chess Informants 107-112 also arrived. Among my initial use of these CDs, I easily found the breakthrough from this position, but faltered a bit in the resulting queen ending.

White to move

The past week was neither an abysmal failure nor a clear success.

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