Thursday, December 14, 2006

Staying Relaxed During Effort!

[what follows is first a response to chessDogs nice comment on Sunday, Wed Dec 06, 06:48:00 PM PST, and then further building upon thoughts following his comment, within emails from and to 'bob'. I reproduce below with his permission:]

December 10, 2006 9:03 AM.

Hello David, I realize (from reading your blog and correspondence) that typing a reply would be quite painful at the moment, so of course none is
expected. I do hope you will be able to heal soon.

I am pleased to have broken into the top 100 on CTS in the percentage
correct category! Although I don't know if I will sustain it, today I
reached position 97. My rating, still low, is slowly coming up, a few
points at a time.

Of course, your percentage correct is only a decimal or so behind
mine, and your rating is 200 points higher. This means you are
solving more difficult problems more quickly, which means your
achievement completely dwarfs my own.

But we each work with what we have; I am pleased at least to be
improving in a noticeable manner.

I am playing in the North American Open at the end of the month.
Let's see if my tactical study translates into over-the-board success!

Best regards, Bob

Sunday, December 10, 2006 10:58 AM

Dear Bob, thank you. Briefly: this is not at all painful, but more needless ware and tear. Years and years as a knowledge-worker, to use the useful phrase of former Clinton Labor Secretary, Robert B. Reich which he elaborates in his book The Future of Success, years and years have worn down the fatty tissue around my right ulnar nerve. At this point, the least damage done the better, but it is already done. Surgery is likely in three weeks to decompress the nerve.

I sincerely believe that the intense work at from March to October combined with prior my rib contusion have pushed my arm over the edge, and years as an architect (1989-1990), then broker (easily 100,000 phone calls between 1993 and 2000) played no small part. Before this started, in mid-October, I realized that I needed to switch to my normal left hand (I'm a lefty; anyone surprised?) and did so, but still feel a LOT of stress in my right hand during tactics, so now am working at STAYING RELAXED DURING practice! The zen of tactics.

A few observations: I was ranked #160 to 165 for quite a while as transformation, as was likeforest also. He moved to 150 or 155 and I was 155/159. I'm pretty analytic, but still cannot understand how I'm suddenly in the low 100's THERE. There are more users. If anything, it tends to make holding a percentage (%) at a level result in a drop in rank, for %.

I was pretty much doing 89 to 93% each session, before a long hiatus, but am now back, but since that ID is now more focused on rating without totally abandoning %, my recent spate of 79 to 82% disconcerting.

This is NOT at al accidental, as, I don’t know if you know, but I went public that I am dogWaste, now ranked #16 at 94.5%. I could have easily kept it a secret but willingly started to discuss 'him', first with temposchlucker then at et al. Since I had done the first 1000 at 1500+ at 92%, and the next 1000 around 1480 at 94 to 95%, and this next 1000 around first 96% and now mostly 98/99%, most of the problems there were done 1470+. I do chessWaste first THEN when warmed up, go briefly to dktransform. I just did 143 correct straight then further 2/228=230 99.13% and currently 1348 elo. dktransform is 85.0% at 1550, and hit 1560/1565 in fits and starts, and aught to be 1570 soon enough.

It is tempting to try to migrate dktransform to a rank #99 and am fully aware of your wonderful accomplishment, and so wish to join you, but my real focus for some time has been dogWaste. I plan to reach chessdog at 95.7% then exceed.

Since tempo did 97.7% as slowTempo, yet did most of it 1320 to 1360 (I believe), and now many problems at 1295 to 1310, 1437 elo at 3,000 problems was quite bit harder at 94.2% but am now trying for 100% daily. It amazes me how you can try for 100% with fierce deep resolve, yet somehow somewhere get one wrong. My last few sessions were 1/50=51 and 1/55=56. At 98%, one more problem wrong and suddenly you are 97%. Two more wrong, then 96%. You only have to do 30 or 40 more, or 50 without mishap to somehow get back on pace! Errrr.

So chessWaste is my main focus now, so this allows dktransform to be more rating focused now. One thing, if you ever wish to compare more than just %, chess trophies and see the top 20 best solved problems and you get an idea of what each person faces. At 1560, now they are throwing me 1750 and 1650 problems. At 1335, they throw me lots of 1250 now. I if I went to 1297 like slowtempo, could easily make less mistakes despite efforts for 100% perfection.

I plan to rest my hands even more again, soon, so then re-embark upon ct-art and finish the last circle.

Thanks for writing. dk

Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 11:08 AM

David, You are most welcome to post it to the blog! Again, get well soon.
(I myself am fighting a frozen right shoulder; two months of physical
therapy has only given slight improvements and I'm told it takes a
year to return to full range of motion. But it is, really, a small
thing compared to yours.)

By the way, a side note now that I think of it as you are a friend of
Yasser Seirawan. His books are THE BEST. Since I have wisely decided
(and I wrote my own blog entry about it) to start over assuming I know
nothing (not a bad assumption), his books are my constant guide. I am
using Winning Tactics, Winning Strategies, and Winning Endgames at the
moment, and will go on to Winning Combinations later.

Regards, Bob

Thursday 14Dec06

Dear Bob, I had many nice walks with Yasser here in Seattle before his move to Amsterdam, where he discussed the THOUSANDS of books he referenced, in order to make Winning Chess Combinations the best book possible. I believe that he wrestled a lot with himself, as to whether to make it a book on mating attacks alone, and when he wrote the book, it was already quite done in his head, and was more a matter of sitting down to manifest it.

When I furnished him with boxes purchased at my store, in order for him to move to Amsterdam, I got to visit his home and got to handle his Wijk aan Zee trophy, and the book of Botvinnik games, autographed to him by his highness himself. Talk about 'frission!'

Lastly, I am noticing when you look at a players trophies at, it furnishes the best picture, rather than percentage or tries, as to a players current strength. Recently dktransform has taken a big jump and STAYED AT 1550, so 19 out of 20 trophies are from the last week, most of them 1600 to 1700.

Thank you for writing, dk


Blogger chessdog said...

dear nemisee,
dude, i think you need to "code 66" your split ID philosophy. What good does it do to cherry pick easy problems just to get a high %. Your doing problems down at my level now, and as josh waitzkin says (on chessmaster 10) "growth comes at the point of resistance". I find your path to be completely uncontaminated by logic. I am convinced that there is a "sweet spot" somewhere in there between calculating very carefully yet still pushing hard so as to maintain a high enough rating to give you problems that will challenge your mind. pontificate on that and let me know what you think.

Cdog out

Mon Dec 18, 01:59:00 PM PST  
Blogger Chess Relearner said...

Comment from Bob to Chessdog:

My main goal is to solve the problems correctly, even if this takes time. Guessing at an answer and getting it right (or getting it wrong) teaches me nothing. Even if I have to take five minutes, I would rather get the problems right.

Of course, this means a lower rating and it means I am presented with easier problems. That's not so good. But hopefully, because the problems are easier, I need less time and eventually pick up points... and get harder problems.

Yes, one needs to be at the point of resistance. But (as I've written about in my own blog) most of us, especially myself, know less than we would like to believe that we know. The true point of resistance is lower than we would like to think.

When I learn the basics well enough to start bringing up my rating, that's soon enough. I would like to think I'm ready for harder problems and advanced work, but the CTS rating system is giving me the harsh dose of reality that is utterly necessary if I am to progress.

Tue Dec 19, 03:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger chessdog said...

bob's comments are valid and i agree with much of what he says, but he misses the point. let me throw this concept at everyone...lets say DK plays chess against a 6 year old girl for a year and wins every game easily and chessdog plays bobby fischer for a year and although i lose every game, i tried as hard as i could to be tenacious, creative and go down fighting all the way. so, DK's winning % is 100% and mine is 0%, but who has improved at chess more...if anyone has???

this is an experiment that i have often thought of putting into practice (playing only people rated higher than me) but i dont have the balls to do it. i play chess for the satisfaction i get from winning, without that i would quit in total disgust.

cdog out

Tue Dec 19, 04:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

thanks for all the spicy comments, chessDog and bob (aka as chess relearner) alike.

effective today, i am now scheduled for fairly serious surgery on my elbow in ten days, with much to consider before then, and lengthy recover provisions in the making...

i will thoughtfully respond to all here in the days ahead--either below, or at a subsequent post.

till then, best regards and good chess and all comments have been and are appreciated, dk

Tue Dec 19, 10:38:00 PM PST  
Blogger Chess Relearner said...

Chessdog, you make a good point about playing at the "right" level. Most of what I read says to play at a level about 200 points higher than your own rating. Lower than this is not enough challenge; higher than this is frustrating and not as helpful. At least, that's what I read and it makes sense to me.

The inherent problem in CTS is that the rating system is so heavily based on speed. If you fail a problem that is treated exactly the same as (generally) taking 20 seconds to solve it. So successfully solving many problems can still result in a very low rating.

Wed Dec 20, 05:17:00 PM PST  
Blogger chessdog said...

i am, as usual, most entertained by your most recent "chessdog" pic (dont think that i didnt notice) ...and if it were my move, i'm playing Qxa3.

Thu Dec 21, 05:00:00 PM PST  

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