Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CTS Art!

What is better than a lot of blitz or bullet, without study or review?

What is better than a lot of CTS alone, hour, after hour?

What is better than a lot of CT-Art 3.0 so that you hate it, and cannot wait to leave the chair, or get up from where you sit, or flip television channels between?

What is better than seven RHP games, some involving deep analysis of moves that take twenty two hours for four moves for ONE single game that is already won to you but wish it to be more beautiful architectonically?

What is better than reading Lev Alburt's Pocket Chess Training in bed, before sleeping each night for eight months, however briefly, at the commode, on the freeway in 'bumper to bumper' traffic, or in a hospital emergency ward waiting room?

What is better than Fritzing key positions at Moriela-Linares, when Morozevich is said to have put his king on the wrong square against Top-a-Love? Or when the prior missed the well earned mate of Aaronian with a clearance Queen sake on f8, then a elegant smothered mate with a pawn?

Not much is better than all that. But I have found something better for ME:

To do a little CT-Art but to do it VERY slowly, after work on my RHP game where I looked at pawn structures as early as move three, THEN to move onto some CTS, where I did 5f/61s=66 among my last two sessions at 1526 elo @ 92.5%.

My point is this: I can no longer afford to sit for hours at CTS. I cannot play 40 bullet in one night. I cannot bear to do CTA unless, as I did during round 7 of Linares yesterday, taking three hours on one move, albiet unconstantly, but between moves, alt tabbing back, and trying again, taking variation upon variation. And guess what? I see now what I never used to see, and at CTS I see myself able to calculate much better, and much more accurately. Let us now see, once I step up my energy and focus again, if I can finally attack my intermediate goal for bullet, so that I can then again move back to rapids or slow blitz.

Lastly, I can no longer go without sleep or overdo my activity in life. I am age 48.5. I counted customers today: 110 interactions today in five hours. And today was not that busy. That is 2500 in the next two weeks when I work fourteen of sixteen days, if we figure 200 in five hours on Sundays, etc. I asked Yasser once: "Don't you feel like you are down 100 elo when you play tired or late at night?" "No. NOT one hundred points, but three-hundred points! Yes, it makes a huge difference!"

He repeats to me that rest is the best thing for my chess improvement, of course, with the caviat that you have worked hard first, then, like a marathoner, or alpine climber, or Iron Man competitor in the triathelon, loaded on carbs!

So to added to balanced study without overemphasis on one facet now, I am resolved to not wear myself out so that, what I do, I do with all my juices flowing.

And to get better...

warmly, dk


Blogger Temposchlucker said...

I'm on the same track, using a few hours for one position (of Polgars middlegame brick). Not only solving the problem, but to look at all the ins and outs of the position. Why does it actually work? How can I recognize it easier in the future? Can I see all variants as one picture? Have I seen all possible defenses?

Tue Feb 27, 04:34:00 AM PST  
Blogger Chess Relearner said...

Can you identify "Polgar's middlegame brick?" This sounds rather interesting! Thanks!

Tue Feb 27, 06:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Chess middlegames
Laszlo Polgar
4158 problems in 77 categories
Hardcover: 900 pages
Publisher: Konemann (April 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3895086835
ISBN-13: 978-3895086830

Cover: see my site:

Tue Feb 27, 10:09:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

just as you 'have to walk before you can run', just as you must run 10k before the more ambituous marathon, just as you must do a mini iron man before the big full iron man in hawaii, so you must learn 500 key middlegame and positional ideas in clear format before trying something far larger, which can defeat a person.

no offence to my most esteemed and learned tempo, whos advise is always excellent. yes, that is a good idea. but better is Yefem Gelfers Positional Chess Handbook. Polgar trained three wonderful girls, but was he a GM?

recommended by jonothan tisdal in how to improve your chess now (too advanced for beginners), this book has 500 key positions, that can be carefully chewed on.

id rather burnish 500 major ideas into my brain than 4,200 ones. or do this first, IMHO:


no words can describe my estimation of this book.

the trainer of no less than three world junior champs, mark dvoretsy recommends, it is better to learn 40 key rook and pawn endings instead of 2,000 in shorter faster form.

learn fewer but deeper, and 'burn them into the circuitry of your brain', GM Seirawan.

Tue Feb 27, 06:48:00 PM PST  
Blogger Chess Relearner said...

I do have Gelfer's book as well as a very strange one called "GM RAM" which is along the same lines; 300 or so critical positions with zero explanation, not even an indication of which side is on move!

"The Brick" appears hard to find in North America; not available on Amazon or even on Bookfinder. I could try amazon.de but their overseas shipping rates lead to bankruptcy.

Tue Feb 27, 07:04:00 PM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

Don’t waste your time... more stuff, more choices, more learning, more alternatives. more validation?? "choose what you have and then you will be powerfull".

Don’t get distracted in the next acquisition. If you must acquire something, go get an area heater for downstairs, while you do CTS undistracted. Lowes and Home Depot don’t carry this time of year, but you can find them! I am certain!

If you must, in rank order:

Chernev, Practical Chess Endings, one year plus, no board, in head 300 positions. This follows Pandolphini quite well.

Alburt, Pocket Chess Training Manual 300 positions. Also do this VERY slowly. One week per diagram if needed. Some are that hard. Some Endings.

Gelfer, Positional Chess Handbook 495, but also includes some endings.

CT-Art 3.0, take a year to do one circle. One diagram can take an hour done properly latter on, if needed. can you do some in ten minutes? yes, but further up in the circles NOTHING WILL BE OBVIOUS, THAT IS WHY THEY are LEVEL four or five, etc. if it seems obvious, it is probably wrong! some might take two hours, to find one single move. this will be better than one hundred brick 'flicks'.

Dvoretsky, Endgame Manual CD-Rom and/or Karsten-Mueller series on DVD. I prefer prior, since you must chew your own meat. latter is just more distraction.

Blokh, Combinational Motifs, a way to carry CT-Art to the toilet and in traffic or laying awaiting X-Ray results, as I did.

Dvoretsky, Endgame Manual book, same criteria as above.

What is the pattern? Pick two things and do them. Finish them. Then do another two. If you tire, drop it and move on BUT come back in four months (as I did with CT-Art in November, but now am incredibly verved to complete. But not rushing! Thirty done correctly is far better than 120 via click, click, click.

GM Ram is wonderful. But, again, it comes after all this. Don’t get too fancy.


Your friend, dk

blaise pascal, penses: "if human beings could simply sit in their rooms, many ills of the world would not exist. life is just distraction"

"life is chasing after wind"

or, "life is vanity", ecclesiastes, old testement.

Tue Feb 27, 10:24:00 PM PST  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Polgar trained three wonderful girls, but was he a GM?

The exercises stem from GM-games.

Wed Feb 28, 12:09:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

Thank you for your courtesy to respond. Hope all is well… I am trying to get my now close friend bob, 'Chess Relearner', and chipschap to stop at three hundred books and read three…

he is a great guy CLOSELY AND SLOWLY, we email daily now… and very smart in many life areas… I have advised him in his study and he takes—in time—much of the advice to heart which is most refreshing, so no loses on that front this corner.

Evidently does fairly high end programming, but, to be logical in chess study is not without human emotion…

Thank you for your comments and reflection… im back on CT-Art an hour every night now like clock work, and it is building inside me like a turbocharger, I can feel it. Now onto CTS, then, correspondence, look at hundred games in my opening to see tendencies at deep level. dk

Wed Feb 28, 12:21:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

let me put it in reverse:

what is the benefit of 4200 postions when 500 or 100 can take a year? i say, let us take a small set and sleep, eat, breath, touch them, carry them, make love to them, whisper to them, and, as homer said in the opening to The Odyessey:

"Sing Us of Muse, Oh Rosy Finger Dawn".

Let us dispose of those 500 or 200, or 100 ONLY AFTER they become too famiiliar. a polgar brick is too big for a 1100/1200/1300 elo?

we want dvoretsy but have not done pandolphini. we want everyman opening books when we cannot play a B vs N ending. we want CT-Art when we do not know a simple deflection or decoy sacrifice. we want sophistication and amplitude when we have not done the first 62 games of chernevs most instructive games of chess ever played. we want theory on isolani and bangorov squares or whatever it is called, but cannot do a simple outpost. no.

i analysized 11 of those games wihtout book notes in simple pgn, and it took me half a year. i have only another 51 to go.

we want 40,000 CTS or 20,000 cts or 70,000 but have not carefully done 1,000 cts (i dont mean you--you, after slowTempo did).

not 500 tartakower or nunns nco, but simple things first.

direct simple, and clear.

Wed Feb 28, 12:31:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

it works. an hour of CT-Art 3.0, sometimes two or three problems, but, tonight, managed four @ 2120 elo level Four.

then move onto CTS:
2f/38s= 040 tries @ 95.00%. thats
7f/99s= 106 tries @ 93.396% at 1521 elo.

then, guest what? now RHP Correspondence study for ONE game alone, where--after ONLY seven games i am already 1569 and, of course, headed right up to 1800--i will now quickly view a hundred or so GM games to see desired pawn structures here at move four when, my doubtlessly proven and battlehardened opponent has already deviated from the main line at move 4. ...Bxd2 in a Bogo Indian, so I am already feeling tingling warmth in my flesh, and a 'frisson' in my brain.

[French, from Old French fricons, pl. of fricon, a trembling, from Vulgar Latin *frīctiō, *frīctiōn-, from Latin frīgēre, to be cold.].

then, lastly, a late night in bed with messieus Alburt, position number 299, with two to go, sweet odes to Joy.

Wed Feb 28, 01:27:00 AM PST  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

what is the benefit of 4200 postions when 500 or 100 can take a year?

Probably I didn't make myself clear. My pace is 1 problem per 2 days or so. I don't mind about quantity anymore but about quality only.

Wed Feb 28, 06:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger Chess Relearner said...

My friend dk does seem to miss (at least in my case) the orthogonal nature of collecting chess books and doing chess study.

I have 360+ chess books because I enjoy collecting them; I relish the hunt for a rare item, and the satisfaction of obtaining a good book at a good price.

For study, I use just a very small number, and those mostly of the basic variety. I rigidly limit this sub- sub- subset of my collection because dk is right in implying that jumping around, finishing nothing, using books too advanced ... none of this is helpful.

But again, collecting and study are (for me) entirely different pursuits.

Thu Mar 01, 02:06:00 PM PST  
Blogger takchess said...

Interesting posts recently. I agree that rest as well as intense focus on important problems are important to improvement. I like chess learner have far too many chess books and enjoy acquiring them and at times even reading them 8). Finding one which one really connects with and concentrates on it solely and makes a part of oneself is a great pleasure. For Petrosian, it was My System. For me it was Euwes Chess Master vs Chess Amateur which I read daily for a half a year. I also enjoyed Masters of the Chessboard.

Fri Mar 02, 03:40:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

the new:

lately, i have only missed on day of CT-Art 3.0 in the last week, that day being yesterday.

afterwards, i migrate to CTS, and am 11f/137s= 148 at 1520.7 elo @ 92.6% since starting back after a solid uniterupted 14 day break from that study, also.

last night i finally finished Alburt's Pocket Chess Training, a very continuous effort since late June. now i also get to finish Averbakh's Endings, Essential Knowledge.

** Then, as far as books goes, it is a whole new mileau:

Fines, Idea Behind the Chess Openings, for essential catechism.

Seirawan, Winning Chess Endings, also basic before moving onto Endgame Strategy and Secrets of Pawn Endings, but review that cannot hurt at all.

Euwe-Kramer's The Middlegame, vol's I and II for READING.

Soltis, Pawn Structure follows all of these quite nicely.

is there more after that? of course, but better to do these slowly than ten more of less concentration.

i see my books as adumbrating software study and web hosted study both, rather than the latter supplementing the books!

** software and pc based learning:

CTS or chess.emrald.net: i was doing one or two hundred a day, but, now i simply touch base there. 40 a day as dkTransform.

CT-Art 3.0: i am loving this now. if it takes me an hour to do one, then so be it. my only problem is that i tend to do this late and after work, so on work days, i have more errors, but, still, i do not rush. one or two or three a day, no matter. it is quality only. a year or a month, to finish the first circle, whatever.

Bullet: soon i will have 39.99% wins, and am currently at 41.43%. talk about a highly personal if not idiosyncratic metric! but it works. challenge ++ elo players, and win now and again, and be humbled.

RHP: i am playing one single game. again, slow and singularity is the watch word. game eight is cannonical. i want to learn how to execute a higly efficient process of thought and review. hence one game. thereafter, i will play trances of games: games 9/10/11; 12/13/14; 15/16/17; and 18/19/20 to complete the provisional requirements. currently 1569 after those few games!

Sat Mar 03, 02:28:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this quote is apt to this posting.

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
Edmund Burke

Wed Sep 10, 08:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

@annon: when we are young, we must read voluminously.

but, mark my words, latter, to he or she who is truly alert and not only eaten a big meal, but as you say, verily, digested it completely, i feel that reading ends, and we move on to creating.

we are more source than seeker.

and when we do read, after all that, it is only with great purpose.

warmest, dk

Thu Sep 11, 12:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Paul Cage said...

Guys, i think you are missing the point. The point of a chess position is to not only calculate accurately but to calculate properly. If you try and calculate all the defenses you will be wasting valuable time and energy. Remember, the clock is a chess GOD. You must respect him. Spending 1 hour on a position isn't too good. Some tactics book recommend setting a set time for a single position no more than 20 minutes. IF you go over the alloted time then you can review the answer. You must not get used to sitting on the board and looking slowly because in tournaments you wont get that luxury.

Fri Jul 24, 07:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Paul Cage said...

you are at 1500 elo 96%, but i am at 2390 elo at 87%. which is better?

Fri Jul 24, 07:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Paul Cage said...

but lazlo polgar has 4200 position but not ideas, only 77 chapters

Fri Jul 24, 07:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

Paul, nice to see you. Thank you. You are right. My days at one position long term are not what they were two years ago.

Second, 2390 is way better. most impressive. thank you. but i am 2500 in business and reading others.
which is NOT to say you are not.

i am 2650 at knowing events at a distance, and feel it in my body. true. two days ago, at twitter, a guy found me from Norway, and begged me to follow him, so he could message me. odd? that morning before he wrote, i was thinking of him, and remembering my chess mentor, FM Charles Galofre, wrote me and asked if i knew this guy, who does math on US sports chess betting, and asked for a chess buddy. i wrote him in Feb saying i was happy to guide him (lower elo), but to my remorse, never wrote him back, when he kindly replied.

my cares in life are great. US economy is... so i think of him and resolve again to write him, and he writes me back. i dreamed the first 9-11 attack, but that was a one day performance rating of 2800. there are others. its a blessing, its a curse.

please dont tell me about polgar. my team has spent a year or two on the book, and not all has been said or found. i know it well.

but thank you anyway.

warmest, David Korn Seattle

Fri Jul 24, 08:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

paul, so you know i am not full of it, i am 1131 with women. my openings and endgames suck. middlegame ok. dk

Fri Jul 24, 08:23:00 PM PDT  

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