09 June 2024

3100+ Puzzle Rating!

This morning, I reached a new peak puzzle rating of 3121 on chess.com. Nearly 18 months ago, I crossed 3000 for the first time (see "Working the Puzzles"). On May 24 and 25 this year, I hit new peaks of 3071 and 3079. Then in answer to Max Illingworth's question on Facebook, I publicized a goal of reaching 3100. Illingworth posted in his group, Adult Chess Improvers, "New week, new start. What's on your mind today?" I replied, "Hoping to get to 3100 chessdotcom puzzle rating. Hit a new peak of 3079 this morning."

After publicizing this goal, my rating fell more than 200 points in two sessions over the next four days. That's smaller than my 428 point drop from 2975 to 2547 last August, but it is still significant enough that I began to regret posting the goal. Still, I knew what to do: keep solving ten or more puzzles each day, being careful to calculate accurately. Persistence leads to success. Since 18 May, I have started each day with puzzles and mostly solved with a great deal of care.

This morning's session started with four correct of the first five and a rating of 3093. Then, this this puzzle.

White to move

I saw immediately a sequence that failed, then I reversed the first two moves. The process of calculation and then moving took me 33 seconds. My rating jumped 15 points to 3108. I missed the next puzzle, but then got two correct and stood at 3121. It might have been time to quit if not for my resolve to solve at least ten each day. I could not quit after nine.

The next puzzle dropped me 13 points, so I kept going, failing three more. Now at 3073, one point below the day's starting rating, I felt that I had to continue. I was able to quit after solving the next five.

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