Sunday, April 08, 2007

It is Finally Done!

I didn’t realize just how large a burden Mr. Averbakh’s Endings: Essential Knowledge was for me. Last night, I finally finished it off, after a year or more, and it is DONE. At the very end, there were some really long variations in rook and pawn, and despite a week or two on ONE OR TWO DIAGRAMS, I just couldn’t see it deep enough, and had to get a board out. So there I was, in bed, unable to sleep at 6:10 am, with my little portable magnetic set after dawn with a little light on, moving the pieces, and there it is, what satisfaction. Of course, I went through 98% or more of the book using no board. Exhausting.

How do I know the DEGREE OF relief this is? By how rapidly I whipped out Euwe-Kramer’s Middlegame: Book One, Static Features--to begin reading it from scratch. Right then and there at six am!

Then today I started back on previously early efforts upon Reinfield’s 1001 Sacrifices and Combinations. Of course, it can be said that with CTS and CT-Art 3.0 all available-- with the prior almost absolutely daily, and the latter comes and goes in dribs and drabs (I find it VERY hard to do it without total focus, and do it with absolute calculation and NEVER guessing, 2100+ elo)—that I don’t need another tactical program. But my point is easily found. I need something to carry around—to my bed, at lunch, or at work on break, or during an auto oil change while waiting, or in the commode. Something peripatetic if you will.

Then I put Seirawan’s Winning Chess Endings out, next to these two, and of course, I already have much endgame basics under my belt, but believe in regular review of basics, and after Chernev, Pandolphini, Soltis (GM Secrets: Endings), then Averbakh, I need a cogent revisit albeit with much better exposition before moving onto my next four:

Secrets of Pawn Endings, by Mueller for practice in an essential part of chess--practice of absolute calculation; Shereshevsky’s Endgame Strategic for the most epic part of chess—deep long range planning in pawn structure and fundamental chess piece play in endings; further down this same major road: Soltis, Pawn Structure in Chess; and, why not? Fine’s Idea Behind the Chess Openings.

This aught to be enough, aside from correspondence play, bullets and rapids and annotating and reviewing my own games, as I do in all non-bullet games, every time.

Warmly, dk


Blogger wormwood said...

nice work, dk! the endgame always gets the better of me and I slip into 'a break'. I wish I could get through any complete brick of it, like a single book, but the effort always dies off at some point...

pretty much the same with ct-art. it's just so exhausting to do it only when in 100% focus, taking as long as you need, so you tend to end up 'taking breaks'. which always ends up being for a lot longer than you thought... and actually, I've been thinking that maybe I should relax the attitude a bit, so that I would get things done.

there's a thing which has been said about writing: "don't get it right, get it written." -the thing being that you'll never get anything completed if you obsess about getting it right.

well okay, maybe that doesn't fit chess as well as writing, chess being a lot about correctness. but maybe there still is an aspect to consider there. a compromise between learning efficiently and getting volume, the optimal mix that gives the best yield.

Mon Apr 09, 07:13:00 AM PDT  
Blogger likesforests said...

Congratulations! It's far easier to collect chess books than to study them deeply. Your progress in reading explains your progress in rating, which seems to be creeping towards Class A.

If you're still in an endgame mood, this position from Trajkovic-Vidmar, Ljubjana, 1953 is one I was studying yesterday. It has an elegant (but not too difficult) solution:

7R/8/1p5P/p1k5/P1P5/7r/4K3/8 w - - 0 1

Wormwood - "Don't get it right, get it written." That is very true in writing. Of course, in writing you get a chance to revise. Few of my chess opponents have allowed me to revise my moves! ;-)

Mon Apr 09, 09:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

i wish to comment further, at a better time, but briefly: thank you wormwood and likeForests for both of you well articulated and very engaging comments.

about CT-Art 3.0: others will say, do the circles fast, do one circle, like those persons who go to italy or japan, and see the whole country in six days, but in ten years cannot remember it save the trip to mcDonalds? then a second circle, even faster, but they do not even know the Lucenca position?

i can only speak for me: there is great merit in, as you both say, get it done, or achieve a balance between get it done right (but risk taking 'forever') versus getting it done fast (but risk not learning it 'well').

life has stages for all of us--stages of youth and exploration, of latter youth and getting established in gaining greater responsibilities and authority, and still midage where youve repeated all the mistakes and have a chance to not repeat them so fast and get to see younger men rushing buy?

i am 100% resolved on CT-
Art 3.0: if it takes me to December, if it happens THAT FAST, then i would be very happy with that. i intend to do one problem at a time, one or two a day, but stare at the screen, calculating ALL variations, exercising imagination or dream positions, as Aashagard or Silman calls them.

then i intend to do a second circle. such a method is slow, but, i can assure you, my calculating abilities, in long variations is radically improved and KEEPS IMPROVING.

life has its stages, and i will be fifty a year from this coming october, so i see life rushing by. sitting on the edge might force you to speed up, but, i have had a lifetime, AN ENTIRE LIFETIME of rushing, and i regret it. i have known maybe twenty women, but, how many of them do i really know? i have had many jobs, how many of those coworkers do i still know? i have played four thousand rapid games in five years, but how many of them have i actually looked at? every year, spring comes, and i tell myself i will look at the trees, walking slowly, like in Vipassina Meditation or the meditation of Thailand. but i do not, i have other things to do...

at a certain point, you have to pitch your tent and say, 'here i am'. i dont know the German, but didnt martin luther put that nail on the note on the cathedral door, at Wittenberg, and so declare the Reformation? 'ik mag...'

such a program as mine might be not fast enough for some, but with the parallel work on endings, annotating rapid games, and daily tactics, slower CT-Art 3.0 cannot but help, and one or two slow trips work muscles nearly equal to seven fast trips.

as i have always said:

"I do not wish to memorize tactics so much as to have the experience of calculating them".

thank you again wormwood and likeForests, among bob, bluedevil, and tempo, my most esteemed colleagues.


Mon Apr 09, 01:18:00 PM PDT  
Blogger wormwood said...

I fully agree on the taking slow part in life. too many people waste their years chasing for ghosts like money, career, social status and material things in general. only to find out they've wasted their life because the truth is, none of that matters in the end. it's the little things that matter. a nice cup of tea, friends, spending the night in a tent and other simple things like that. and the funny thing is, almost all of those things are free or at least very cheap.

like chess. a simple board game, practically free, but still able to fill a life and more.

and yeah, I'm sure you'll get the most out of ct-art doing it your way, if you just have the willpower to push yourself through. I've been off ct-art for over a month (again), and that's why I've decided to change my approach a little.

Mon Apr 09, 04:50:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

at CTS, new directions here:

last 1,875 tries =>1500 elo at 88.27%

last 0,560 tries around 1475 elo at 91.07%

of course, i am trying for 95% but, unless i slow down even more, that is to say exercise extra caution, then id be at 1400, etc.

dogWaste running around 99.8% for the last five hundred tries, very substantially accomplished >1300 elo at 96.2% and is very close to 96.3%, whereby after a little further break, i will push to 96.6%+.


i am greatly enjoying Euwe-Kramer, but, of course it is very slow without a board. needless to say, when i get stuck after about 11 moves or 22 ply, stuck in my vision, i go back and repaint the board in my mind. this morning, before work, i had the experience of trying again after a day or two ON ONE DIAGRAM, of being able to see the moves, and see attacks and pins and open files, and coordinated pieces in DEPTH that i could not see yesterday--that is to say, i could finally see 'it'. when i get to the end of the key lines, then i move onto the next discussion. i will read all two volumes in that same way.

will i miss content without a board? of course. but will i burn it into the cirutry of my brain, and get a good workout? indeed.

former U.S. womens ches champ Jenefer Shehade--"Chess Bitch"--once said in the interview of her at Silman's web site that reading one SINGLE CHESS book takes a long time, when you really read it. i totally agree.

i go to New Jersey in 3.5 weeks for a twelve day trip, principly to see my mother for mothers day, and when she will shortly thereafter turn 80, then see my father, as well.

last visit i did a LOT of CTS, but, this visit, dont wish to. it is one thing to launch CTS, hitting it hard in the thousands, as i did last spring, 10,000 in three months, but now i am simply maintaining.

my progress will come along other lines. i of course wish to keep if not built that skill, but, there is deminishing returns.

what do i need to do? yes, yes. you guessed it: CT-Art 3.0. but i want to get to 2150 there, and i can only do that with 70%+ accuracy. and, for that, i will need more juice, more amps, more volts, more foot-pounds, more, more, more...

lastly, since i have this trip, i fully plan to continue at RHP in my correspondence play, but dont wish to interupt play with vacation, even if i have secured a break at the site. so, bottom line: when i come back, i will try to do three games at GREAT DEPTH AS I DID my last game, beating a 1700+ with real flare, if i may say, in a flurish of highly focused lazer like brain energy--50 hours, on four moves that forced my win in the battle that followed, nearly to forty moves--see site for game.

warmly, dk

Tue Apr 10, 12:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

oh, i forgot to mention in the CTS figures: 8f/144s= last 152 tries at 94.74%, not bad for 1475!

Tue Apr 10, 12:59:00 AM PDT  
Blogger J'adoube said...


Um. . .are you OCD by any chance? [grin]

Tue Apr 10, 09:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

*smiles* j'adoube.

indeed it is!

some call it obscession.
others might call it intense commitment.

tempo once said that my commitment rivaled yours... in one of his comments. what do you suppose he meant?????

i am highly trained as an architect. at an early age, even then, i was always asked to compute. i learned to add long series of fractions in my head, such as when i was an intern architect on NYC Police and Fire Station 13, across from the Russian Embassy. we couldnt get into one floor to measure 'as builts', because the FBI was across the street from 'them'--let us say--paying close attention. so by taking many black and white photos, i was able to count the number of bricks on the facade of this seven story old landmark building set for restoration with a spanking modern construct behind it. all very technical. thereby i was able to locate each window, and derive across hundred of bricks the average brick size--i.e. 2 11/16" etc.

i dimensioned the entire building--existing and new alike, and i did it fast and correctly. the partner in charge and lead architect asked me to.

then years latter i was project architect on a very intricate physics laboratory for the Olin Physics Laboratory, in Winston-Salem for Wake Forest University. I had to define every part across every inch...

then at Piper Jaffray, infront of forty persons, the instructor in Minneapolis, after a week of training, asked, can someone calcluate 500* 38 3/8" and there i was, the architect again, but it was stocks not bricks! without a blink, like in blitz, i said "$19,187 AND fifty cents" they all gasped. so now it is chess again... :)

tonight at CTS: in last three nights, 192 tries--11f/181s @ 94.27%, not bad for 1501.3 elo... how many do that at CTS??

Wed Apr 11, 12:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Impressive passion!

Since I am doing the problems in CTB sort of fast, I have found that I need to supplement it with training on deep analysis on my Euwe 'Masters vs Amateurs' book to maintain my ability to analyze.

Wed Apr 11, 09:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

i never really like Ken Wilber, being more than sure, in his many books, that he was nursing his ego more than transmitting true--authentic knowledge. mind you, the man is not all bad, and find the man more interesting than his work, such as his beer drinking, meditation daily at four am, all the books, and, wasnt it even--i didnt intend this, but it is Duke again--dropping out of Duke Med School to wash dishes, and ultimately Sex, Ecology, and Spirit, then A Brief History of Everything, which i made myself read, filled with much nonsense and inflated intense self aggrandizement, BUT, i am indebted to him for his horizontal and vertical grid, the inner and outter, the social versus person, etc. and, most of all, span versus depth is it. marvelous and many analogies to other whole systems, whether they be chessic, neurological, political, physic...

in nature we have this same dualism: male-female, winter-summer, and then snakes and bats triangulating prey by sensing heat or sound with nose or ears as the case may be...

and so as you well suggest:

in chess, we need fast and slow, and we really need them weekly.

we need rapid intuition on the clock and rapid sight of the board; and we need slower calculation, and comparing deeper lines, when we access many variables, in the non-linear way of chess beauty, holistically magical.

Wed Apr 11, 11:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

my very good friend 'bob' emailed me tonight, and among many other touchstones, we are CTS, blogger, and buddies on several other concerns. i reproduce his email below with appropriate ommissions, as allowed by him:

Hello David, ...yes, a bit preoccupied. I had an extremely poor CTS session last night, well below 90%, slipping back to 87.0 from 87.1 and rating under 1290. Played a game on ICC and lost to an ____ player due to of all things a mouse slip! How do you avoid those?

Is it all lack of sleep? We have been ...expensive but unfortunately necessary.

Best regards, Bob

Thank you Bob, and I know that this time is unique for you now, due to some exceptional personal things you are dealing with in a big way.

and since you are very senior to me, as a highly experienced professional computor person, of course, there is little that i can say about mouse slips that can benefit you, at least on the physical or mechanical or discipline side.

i can, however, comment spiritually and energetically, as far as chess and mouse slips goes.

we all have them. when it happens to me, i do indeed associate it far more with intense fatique than anything at all connected to lack of focus, concentration, or ill disciplined ways.

i recently willed myself to translate dogWaste's 96.3% rate at 1300 elo CTS to dkTransform's 90.0%+ required at 1500 elo CTS.

at first, it was demoralising. i fell from intermitent 1510-1520 all the way to 1472. terrible.

but, you know what? i found solidity there, and could do 95% from there on up, and so made it back to 1500 at 90, 93, and 95% variously.

dont worry about rating. worry about accuracy, that is to say in chess, not what Dan Heisman calls hopechess--as you know, extensively at the pieces and doing the calculations in your mind.

whether it be a mouseslip or misconcieved moves, it is the same, not seeing it all the way through.

so more rest, but better focus when you do your chess, even if it is lesser, in rating or intensity, but whatever you do, let it be right. and, if it cannot be right, let at least let it be fun again.

i have great faith in you, and let the rating fall, but find your floor over the board on the net, and at CTS, so that what you do, is correct at that level more consistently.

we incorporate our level, then, when we integrate content there, as you know better than me, in all your life study, so i gently say, integrate content till it is automatic, as they say, so that we can eventually drive a shift, smoking a cigarette, while sipping a coke, carrying on a conversation, but not unsafe to our passengers or very own self, of course.

if it takes less activity to make that activity higher grade, then so be it.

warmly, dk

Thu Apr 12, 01:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jusah said...

You have a good collection. I would recommend also books like "The inner game of chess" by A.Soltis and "Imagination in chess" by P.Gaprindashvili. The latter one has huge collection of mostly semi-hard chess problems from real games.

Tue Apr 17, 12:27:00 PM PDT  

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