30 June 2013

Training Log: June 2013

Two distractions stifled my efforts to meet my training goals this past month. One is a blessing; the other is a curse. The time that I invested creating 94 tactics problems from the games of Gioachino Greco and Andre Philidor for my chess camp workbook reduced the time available for my own training. I value the privilege that I have to work with local youth on their chess skills. Over the long run, this work has helped improve my own play as well.

For several days after camp, which had been the peneultimate week of June, I fell prey to my chronic blitz addiction. I will neither admit the number of games played, nor the names of the several sites that held my interest. Suffice it to say that many hours were burned away, and there is little to show other than more object lessons in tactical errors than I will ever find occasion to use in teaching or training.

1. In 2013, I will solve correctly 300 tactics problems each month.

I correctly solved exactly 300 problems in June. More than 200 of these were solved in the past week, and more than 100 in the past two days. The calendar feature offered by Chess Tempo reveals both the frantic pace to finish the months goal as June waned, and the gross number of errors provoked by this push.

I have completed the first 254 problems in the Anthology of Chess Combinations, including all of the first sets of "instructive combinations with a mating attack". A significant number of the problems solved this month (90) were exercises in the Chess-Wise Pro iPad app. These problems, unfortunately, do not test calculation of move sequences. The first move of the combination is all that is required, or even possible to enter. I am thinking that on the third time through these 300 exercises, I might enter them  in a database so as to locate sources and verify solutions with an engine.

2. In 2013, I will study whole games and whole books.

I continued working my way through Max Euwe, The Development of Chess Style (1968). I also resumed work with Logical Chess: Move by Move. I also started my process of going through Michael Stean, Simple Chess (1968). With Logical Chess and Simple Chess, I study an unannotated version of each game before reading the notes in the book.

I went through a considerable number of games oriented toward my preparation for a match against Michael Cambareri for the city championship. Yesterday, Nikolay Bulakh defeated Michael in their Contenders Tournament game. As a consequence, I will be playing Nikolay for the title in two weeks.

3. In 2013, I will finish my Pawn Endgame Flash Card project.

Progress studying Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual did not go forward in June.

4. In 2013, I will lose fifteen pounds.

I may have gained weight in June.

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