Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ordinary Chess Furtherance

The Frame:
Friends, I have been hard at work at chess improvement like the rest of you, but am impacted by an intensely motivated job search while of course also working a full time job, which affords scant leisure or opportunity to blog. As regular readers know, this is glaringly explicated at the last--recent post--so needs no elaboration here.

It is always wonderful to generate special posts, or to read such things, but sometimes we just have the furtherance of 'ordinary life', and such is the case here, ordinary chess:

The main ingredient of my chess for the last month has been the ongoing study of lots and lots of GM classic games, balanced by renewed vigor in daily effort at CTS, punctuated by the most exquisite pleasure in watching live chess at the highest level--late each night--at ICC in the incredably rich chess spectacle at Khanty-Mansikys.

How I procede here:
Not every day can make special chess--or 'it' would not be special. Sometimes we just grind it out day after day. This is not the stuff of either half hearted efforts or gigantic efforts--neither of those are implied in this use of terms here.

By this I mean the day after day of routine which, far be it for me to say is deadening, is rather, quite the contrary, alivening. For me, especially at times like 'these' (cf. again, last post under personalia: italics here further at this post)... at times like these, routine is a godsend. Normally I rather like routine, and in high demand times, I tend to be crawn even more deeply into routine: 'ordinary chess'--our subject in this post.

While I cannot quite say that I have insufficient time for blogging, no, to say such a thing is not quite accurate, for of what in this world do we not have time for that we love or want or care for? No. It is rather the deep energy in the guts which must be conserved for not quite the gigantic efforts of life, but the smaller burst of moments where we create our life in depth, and from the deepest wants of our hearts and souls from the longest lasting and, again, not to belabor the term, but truly seeking our DEEPEST wants and making the most important efforts...

Perhaps it can even be said that not only do have I the time, but also the energy to blog, but rather DO NOT FEEL FREE TO BLOG, when I might look back in a year and ask myself why I didn't try more in a job search, instead typing here in a free hour or two? There is the rub. I am not free.

So what I particularly feel, is that I need to harness energy for further job hunting, and recreation in life is not leisure, but true reCreation. We re-create. And to blog or post is, for me, to say to myself or give the unneeded negative message to myself that I have already 'succumbed'. In Direct Centering, the offshoot of EST, they have a saying: "eliminate the urge to succumb", as indicative of the half way point to higher self realization or higher integrative states of being...

My answer, since many posts are still percolating inside me, will be to post in parts, and so date each entry as I do here, in one bigger post, since what I must say is not acceptable by me FROM me in pieces among seperate posts... So, having said all that, back to chess:

CTS and Vitality:
What still amazes me, is how you can do another 5,000 tries at CTS (chess tactical server) and then it has--*for the moment!*--somehow gotten old, or in my case, become anything but 'fun' then you lay off it for 30 days, and when you come back and it is such a delectable and delightful pleasure!

Such a finding is not unique. But what is really, really unique is how many cycles of excess or rather satiation there I have gone through, and yet it still comes back, like an 'old love' or as we say in English, 'an old flame' [former lover who resurfaces :) ]. So many times have I taken three or four weeks off there completely only to have the thirst raise up inside me as strong as ever after at times a brief adjustment or reacquaintance--or as recently occured, a full on parabola upward of newfound robust accuity.

Jump at CTS
Thur_13Dec2007, Part I
I was startled to realize, last night, that whereas before my very carefully calculated requirement for minimal 94.9% long term--which resulted in a firm commitment to ALWAYS do 95.0% as the two day average of each --that is to say, a bad session doesn't have to be recovered that same day--was now insufficient! One in twenty wrong is like a 'dead cat bounce' and feels like an honest failure.

This (93.9% solution rate) was very carefully conceived 'thousands of tries back' inorder to attain 88% at 40k, 89% at 50k, and finally a true 90.00% at 60k (not rounded, as 89.5% is shown as 90, and 89.95% is also shown as 90.0%). Earlier, of course, it was that 80% was the goal, then 85%, 88%, then after a bit of effort there, in the tens of thousands, 90% became the mininum goal for all tries.

Thereafter of course, after finally setting upon 95% as my requirement, it finally occured that even that did NOT present enough struggle for me! To get better at chess is to increase the 'amount of inner struggle' (to put it in the terminology of the 'Gurdjieff work').

Now I require at least 97% for ALL weekly averages, but this is really 97.5%--I will explain. 97% is one in thirty-three. But 97.5 is one in forty! Last night I only did 5f/65s=70 tries, so this means i need to do the next 130 a row correct tonight, to get back to the rate of 97.5. At 97% I'd need 97 in a row.

Whatever it is, this does two things: it maximizes my coefficient of effort upon 'low level real chess' on a timer; and it significantly shortens the horizon of what it will take or me to get to 90.00%. Allow me to explain, please:

I just hit 36,000 tries at CTS, which puts me #41 out of 2,568 users; my 1537 elo rating is #772 or in the 30.06th percentile, and 87.4% is 132nd or the 5.14th percentile. Combine all those, and very few in the top 200 (>84.8%) for accuracy have done what I have done there:

dogWaste, my most exact handle, is number four out of 200 in a calculated weighting combining 'tries', 'rating', and 'accuracy': 7,218 tries at 96.4%, and soon to be 97.00%.

dkTransform, my main handle, is number forty out of those same 200 in the same weighting. But among those top forty for overall performance, only 4 of those 40 are ahead of me by tries. That is to say, for those making sustained efforts at CTS out of thousands, only four of those users there have more effort and time there, and 48 by rating ahead of me. Combine it all, and few have done or are doing what I do there and, in time, this is converting into better timed chess, most notably tactics, which you all know I am not slow at by virtue of extensive bullet play and now demonstrated competency at.

Bottom line: I realize now that I do not want to do another 24,000 tries there. I really don't. And another 14,000 tries and not 24k, at 97% instead of 93.9% gets me to 90.0% faster and better. My hands--believe me, and I do mean my physical hands--don't need it. They already bother me. I take my internet chess and internet and software based chess training and blogging in parcels now. At age 49 my body is aging.

latter Thursday II
What a difference a fifteen minute nap after work makes!!

If the kind reader will allow me one last set of notes about the much belabored CTS which I know only a few persons in the world can appreciate (you know I am not kidding), I promise to get onto 'real chess content' in just a moments delay more:

One wrong at CTS in the last forty, and we are back in the discipline of 97.5%. But since I needed to do the next 97 in a row correct, to get back on track at my new required rate of 97.5% after my recent 36k micro-jubilee, I pocket the 33 tonight at par, and can only add the remaining 7. So to maintain 97.5%, now all I ONLY need are the next 90 in a row...

Whereas last year and before, 1500 elo of any kind at CTS was an attainment for me, then it was an attainment to maintain 1500 at 90% with some struggle but not GREAT STRUGGLE, now my attainment is to approach 100% as much as I can. Let no one say that this is a 'complete waste'. I have done the last 31f/579s= 610 tries at 94.91% between 1515 and 1540, and often at 1530... So, suffice to say, I am not the same chess player or student now. 43,328 tactics in CTS since March of 2006, not counting many guest sessions (I no longer do them), and 841 CT-Art the second time round, and 300 or so the first time round. Wew.

Classic GM Games:
Now matter how tired I may be, I ALWAYS view three classic GM games, every single day. And, of course, since I view five per day on a weekend, that is a run rate of 25 per week. This amounts to precisely 323 games visited since the 17th of July, with a few brief gaps and some periods of intense increase there.

This is, for those new to my posts, above and beyond the 941 games in my specifically crafted database, these are the games 942 to 1,735. I will be done by about April 1st, 2008, just in time for Lake Washington being frigid for a dip but certainly not impossible by me to 'jump in the lake', and, of course, 'gain loss trading summary' in excell for the United States Internal Revenue Service, aka IRS :).

I cannot tell you what a joy it was to get to the year 1980 from 1890, then 1930, what, after so much Paulsen, Morphy, Chigorin, even Euwe and Smyslov (all beloved but already seen so many of in my years!), to finally arrive at views of Karpov, then Polugaevsky, Portisch, and, le enfant terrible, WCC Garry Kasparov. This man is simply a magician. He throws all his pieces away, and you say to yourself:

'I know he wins by the games core in chessBase9, but OMG, how does he win this??' Please lord. But he does. So many games by him in 1984 are like this.

Very lastly on that subject, kind reader, please be reminded that I already spent two and one half years on the first 941 games slowly, at the much more circumspect rate of about one per day, chewing them with a lot more care--but I don't have another two years for this now. If I am bushed, if I am dead dog tired, no matter what, I still view my games, even if I have to be superficial. I view 'it' as better than not. My plan instead is first to view them quickly, then go back and do it again, but only more slowly, just like I did in the first trance of games as described.

And, of course, when I do run into the end of a deep tactical key position and CANNOT SEE THE WIN, I run my old fritz8, and sometimes delve very deeply, so its not all 'click, click, click'.

Who here has not watched these games?? I work till 11pm on the west coast in the USA, so two am games are perfect for me. I don't drink--ever--but if I did or *could* again, I'd pour a brew or glass of wine or whiskey for these and sit in wonder. Himmm?

What is such a joy, is that no matter the course, whether it be the now beloved Kamsky who once attended a year of medical school, only to leave after a year to attend Law School (can you imagine the territory of his brain?) after likely well founded rumors went round of beatings BY HIS FATHER for chess loses, was it? Who can begrudge him one red penny? Can you imagine what he has been through? In life. Tough mother.

And you NEVER EVER HEAR HIM COMPLAIN. Not one bad word of anyone. And he was once almost but a boy and now he is a real MAN.

Then similar for Shirov. On the doorstep to the WCC, murky details surrounded his aborted match with Kasparov, which never got off the ground, evidentally sold out by Kasparov, and betrayed badly, only to be left out in the cold and, of course, as happens, paid nothing for it? We who are not chess historians cannot accuse Kasparov, but what is true is that Shirov had more than proven himself, Kasparov didn't enable a match, and Kramnik got in latter, 'and the rest, as they say, is history'.

Who can deserve it more, also? We as chess fans have the rarest delight no matter what the outcome and even better than our shear pleasure is true justice delivered.

Saturday_15Dec2007 (my one normal weekend off per month, but due to some crazyness by my company, actually my first since October!), Part I
More on the World Cup
So many notes, but to give a proper portrait of my chess effort now, and I only feel half the way as yet....

I did get to see games one, two, and three substantially in the final of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk. In game two, Kasmky seemed to get his queen in some very odd if not dangerous corner at h5, surrounded by antagonistic forces after moving 17.Nf3, but the Houdini of chess did it again, finding 18.h4, and walking over the 'razors edge' managed to not only survive but, in fact, win.

Afer about twelve or fifteen moves, I copy the game from ICC to my chessBase9, and then run fritz and check for variations from my 2.98M megabase. I update this latter file weekly, from The Week in Chess, recently up to issue 683.

What is amazing is how very often these guy match fritz, so yea, they are the real deal.

More on GM game study
I still don't know who said it and cannot find the citation after searching, but I sure seemed to recall Kuhn in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, or Karl Popper using the term "ordinary science", but 'none the matter'.

In ordinary chess, it is like in athletics when you train and train, say in running or at the gym, and the legs are dead or stale and there is no spark, or the arms don't grip the barbell as firmly, but you do your routine anyway, and do it the next day, rest, then do it again...

I never miss now my daily reps in GM game review. And realize, when you add in the 371 games from the world cup, excepting the first round of 126 players (2 forfeited), there alone I have recently viewed at least 200 games. Recently down to the round of eight, then four, this means that I viewed these games slowly, often the first halfs live.

Euwe-Kramer's The Middlegame, Volume II
So after extensive bullet play*, amply blitz or rapid play, enormous CTS, and extensive GM classic game review, I did need to review strategy, planning, and pawn structure till such time as I can latter on get onto Soltis and Kmoch on pawn structures. I did finish volume I, and am now about 40% of the way through.

For those of us in 'the middle' of class or more, that is to say not 1200 or 1800, I cannot recommend more these two volumes. Truly, it is all there, all the riches of chess, just as Silman says in the recommended reading list in the back of HTRYC.

A note on Planning and Reinfelds Tactics books
I had gotten stuck at Reinfeld and stopped, but plan to resume effort there in the spring, when I am back to the lake on my days off when the sun is out. Besides the mass of GM game review, my keen focus on CTS takes the best of me in chess.

Remember my plan, the one in google docs posted here [xls. copy of chess study plan]? Well, the thing is, I don't just do these plans and throw them away. I look at them, review them, redo them. I have a new version or copy of it for my own use, and simply note to those only half way into planning that it is all well in good to make them, but the real rub is to ACTUALLY LOOK AT THEM, to go back and evaluate results, adjust the tasks, and increase or decrease as needed AND TO DOCUMENT THE CHANGE. Remember the term, 'hope chess'? Well, same here. We don't use 'hope planning', but 'real planning' :).

If I don't start back at Reinfeld in the spring, and wryly note that that is not in my plan that way but is my inclination, as I glance at it (now there is a new revision!), then will resume it in October.

late Saturday II
World Cup and Kamsky-Shirov
ICC is such a sweet place. 'GuessTheMove (c) shows up, and who is there, but Glenn Wilson Chess, of from here at blogger and of Houston. Kamsky is winning as white or has a very good advantage NOW in game four. A draw and it is over and he earns the right to challenge Topalov. The winner of that, gets to challenge the winner of Anand-Kramnik. Not small potatoes.

Kamsky as we speak is playing like a super-prog, and when this post comes up, it aught to already be over or old news by then...

And for the first time in his life, he hired a second, Emil Sutovsky of Israel, 2655 elo, but most important of all, a player of combative chess--sharp, aggressive, combinative and venturesome chess lines.

More CTS, briefly
Tonight at CTS I was cruising towards 100 in a row, when I got one wrong, then I was finishing for 1f/99s= 100 at 99% when I--yikes!--got one more wrong. So then it was three, then four... so why quit at 120 or 96.67%?? No. The discipline of 97.0% hits. Even at 130 tries or 96.92%, I hate great temptation to stop before I 'blew it all' but made myself grind it out: 4f/130= 134 tries at 97.014% and now I can sleep. :)

More on 'The Plan'
My plan after finishing Euwe-Kramer Volume II is to rapidly but carefully go through Seirawan's Winning Chess endgames, then Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy, both with a board.

CT-Art 3.0
Even with a carefully elaborated plan, my instinct tells me that I still CANNOT possibly even know when it will happen, but my plan was and still is to finish CT-Art by starting back in the spring. But if not then, the fall for sure. What is unclear is if I can stop at 40,000 at CTS at 88%, or push to 90% at 50,000 which is a large motivation. I know that I am better off to do CT-Art's conclusion first, AND do the remaining unit of CTS slowly, as it won't leave me.

The body
I have been on a gluten free and lactose free diet since September. And, as someone who takes a very, very deep acting homeopathic remedy every six weeks, zero coffee. This is not the place for holistic health advise and blogging, and only note in passing anyone try at some future time 'the elimination diet'. Thats diet as in nutritional discipline, not the diets of lossing weight. You will have more energy than you ever had. And it is a not alopathic way to resolve the stomach acid folks get as we get older, and develop allergies--that we are wholly unaware of but affect us!

Click, Click, Click
About those grandmaster games: like I said, it is fast, but it does sink in. At Khanty-Mansiysk or the FIDE World Cup or Grand Prix, again, I simply cannot tell you now often I am thinking a GM move, without fritz, after a deep think, and they make the move. Similarly, I view some Kasparov juggernaught of a game, and he is throwing away nearly all his material, and I am thinking: "he could sacrifice his Bishop or Knight at e6?" and he does.

Internet Chess Days Comming to an End
This is not the end, but coming. I have visions of sitting with my chess books or playing only standard games. Lets not discuss this in detail, but both hands bother me. Too many lines drawn as an architect, too manybuys and sells on Wall Street, too many dials (phone), too many chess tactics, too many blitz.

It is very unclear if it is the hands, my upper back and neck have bothered me off and on for a long time, and my holistic doc told me that while the surgery I had might be needed (it was, now I can at least start my car by turning the key or open bottles with my right hand), but that the 'problem is further up', and a lot points that way.

Since I just had a long thing with neurologists and Physiatrists on my concusions 1.5 years ago, this is not exactly my favorite subject, but older chess players who work at PC's be forwarned, please! All these parts interact, and it is no longer one thing but systemic.

So the standard play Mr Jon Jacobs is so ardent on [see his very striking comment at blunderprone's recent post, here:] and blue devil knight perhaps will come not by choice but by necessity.

And as such, this may mean briefer posts with the signals to back off... but suffice to say, at age 49 I can still do a full split with my legs like a gymnast, so its not like I'm totally falling apart or out of shape or something, but I'm getting older, and defects or physical probslems do start to evolve....

Classic GM Chess Game Databases
My pace of viewing is fast, but I do plan to view game 942 to 1735 twice as my plan, so faster is ok.

Kamsky's Opening Prep
His openings, might not always be his best (I cannot see this of course, but this is what 'they say'), but that he can play his way out of most situations at this level with perhhaps not half the prep or book of these other guys (only perhaps!) is indicative of his true strength.

Thats all Folks
Yikes. Warm Regards, David


Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...


" I sure seemed to recall Kuhn in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, or Karl Popper using the term "ordinary science", but 'none the matter'."

He used the term 'normal science' to refer to intra-paradigm work, when people are working on problems set by the dominant paradigm.

Here is a description of Kuhn's life and views for those who don't know what I'm talking about (at a site that is generally the best for finding accurate and readable summaries of philosophical ideas: Wikipedia on steroids).

Sun Dec 16, 06:12:00 PM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

blue devil knight
thank you. somehow when i wrote those lines, i immediately envisioned you, and not at all surprised that youd know this, as you are the big guy in science here.

i thought to myself, 'BDK will know this one!' very nice reference provided by you. it would appear--from a variety of angles--that you have a preturnatural attraction to california?

its just too bad that after writing this post, i cannot have a glass of napa valley pinot noir like most folks could :)

Mon Dec 17, 12:58:00 AM PST  
Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

late Saturday II
World Cup and Kamsky-Shirov
ICC is such a sweet place. 'GuessTheMove (c) shows up, and who is there, but Glenn Wilson Chess, of from here at blogger and of Houston.

I saw you there too! I sent you a tell and never noticed a response and figured my tell got lost in all of the noise. Or, you responded when I was away from the keyboard.

But that was not late Saturday. It was early Sunday. At least for me. 4 am Houston time, I think.

Mon Dec 17, 08:12:00 AM PST  
Blogger Liquid Egg Product said...

Holy crap. Thank goodness for the "Show Original Post" link; else I would have responded in parts as you wrote in parts.

If people have no time to relax and at least enjoy at little bit their desires, they become less and less efficient. So don't worry about taking the time to blog. I appreciate having so much to read during, I mean, during lunch hour...

Blogging takes so long for you b/c you always write substantial, lengthy posts. Now, if you went my route, and did short and silly posts, things would be a lot easier ;)

My mother is on a gluten-free diet as well...she finds that she often gets sick after eating gluten, and has recommended it to me. While there are too many foods with gluten that I like, it seems diet has some effect on how I feel. As with your chess planning, I need to get as organized: record what I eat, exercises, sleep amount and how I feel the next day.

Wed Dec 19, 07:46:00 AM PST  
Blogger Polly said...

Wow, for someone who doesn't have time to blog that was quite a mouthful. Lots of excellent stuff there.

Job hunting is draining, and is probably more deflating then getting crushed in chess. I can recall my last job search where rejection letters, and unreturned phone calls would just whip me mentally. I kept having to tell myself not to take it personally. Just because I'm not the right person for a particular job, it doesn't mean I'm a bad person. Sometimes it's hard to belive that about oneself.

Wed Dec 19, 02:06:00 PM PST  

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