Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is Freedom Too Loose?

Freedom--which I must admit is not exactly my forte--feels slightly odd if not disorienting to me.

I enjoy discipline, enjoy planning, and like structure. It is often how I find comfort and earthly reassurance. After that last big push on my Big Classic GM Database through most of January, I was by that time hungering for freedom from the predetermined routine of set daily viewing of high level GM games, and was all too happy to escape the dicta of self imposed neurotically close to perfect 98% accuracy at CTS. The prior was tiring and the latter was stressful.

After so much study of the classics in concert with CTS, I was by that time thirsting for live play, and subsequently played blitz 3/8 every single day for the three weeks starting in late January to mid February--till that urge gave out too, with the onset of flu two weeks ago.

Unlike any of my prior gigantic efforts at either blitz or bullet, I recently managed NOT to have a big overdose. Instead of playing for hours and hours and hours at at time if not ALL night long (as I often did before), I managed to play daily, for 'but an' hour at at time, sometimes two, but never an imprudent three or four hours--as often occured before!

Thereafter I rapidly seized upon Ivan's (Getting to 2000)scrumptiously marvelous suggestion to take a look at Angelfire.com which set me into a whole new frame. I found myself eating heartily at the cornucopia of game collections at Gambitchess, and shortly thereafter found myself revisiting Ossimitz with aplomb, luxurating upon myriads of studies, most notably in extensive ending study. After getting the flu, I stopped ALL effort at CTS and as I said, immediately stopped all live blitz play.

I of course viewed all the games of Moreila-Linares while exploring and structuring the many game collection downloads, and make a lot of big discoveries or advances in annotation, and am now finally making ample use of ChessBase's 'copy to notation' feature--not of variations, but copy of entire high level games now. You go to 'reference' at ChessBase, and for example, can pull up all the historic games played in the subject variation or, much more germain to my study, all the recent high level games, sorted by ELO. So then before running fritz--often very deeply on a position--I look at many archtypal games in that postion, seeing the tendencies embedded there. Marvelous learning tool.

Buddhists: Form is emptyness, Emptyness is Form

I also made a 33,000 game file from careful sifting (out of 109,000 source games) on the Caro-Kann that I will use for reference, and also made a 13,893 game file on the Slav that I intend to use for reference (given it's kinship with the Caro, I aught to play it--but don't), made a 1,016 game file from various books on the Caro, started a Kings Indian Attack or Reti file, a French file, formed an English Opening file, and even have something on Donaldson's Strategic Opening Repertoire.

Its like walking into a new world. I have waited patiently before starting on openings, knowing that when I did so, would do so with vigor, methodically, and correctly. No half measures.

I am using the 1,001 Sacrifices and Combinations file, in parallel to resumed work with the Reinfeld book again. This is potent, because I never use a board, but do it all mentally, and sometimes cannot quite see the full win (but often can). The cbv file allows me to drill into the postion, and do so fully. It feels real good. I combined that with the other combination books into one big file, set up a strategy file (Kotov, Pachman, Euwe, etc.), set up an endgame file (Shereshevksy, Chernev, Seirawan, Averbakh, etc.) and am using this each night--too. I set up a basic openings file, a basic tactics file, and a classic miniatures file, and others too numerous to mention. I am not idle.

But this freedom of which I speak--which included neither recent live play or CTS--with no disciplined viewing of GM game daily, has felt really, really good, and I am bursting my box. It would not be far fetched to say that for weeks now, that I have been spending two to three hours per day at chessBase. It is endless, and I follow my fancy. It is time.

What else is there you ask! Lots. Lots more. I finally am slowly going through the cbv file of Seirawan’s Winning Chess Endings as a primer after of course years already among Chernev’s nice endgame book, Pandolfini's, Soltis marvelous Grandmaster Secrets: Endgames, then finally Averbakh’s Endings, Essential Knowledge…

Then after Seirawan, I will continue with Shereshevsky's cbv file (133 games, cf. Ossimitz), which I started last week, but after three days and nights on the first position (Capablanca-Reshevsky, Nottingham 1936), realized that I wanted to do WCE first.

Shereshevsky's book itself is NOT to be 'hurried' (cf. his adage: "Do not hurry!"), but chewed quite slowly and with great care… As it is, his note in this second game to the first line, which says that '3.f4 gxf4 4.exf4 d4! is a draw' is far, far from clear, and never mind the game, but on that alone or the exceptions to that, DAYS can be spent on those alone.

But even here, in what should be much simpler, I find lines in S’s book, that Fritz sees big improvements on that are suppose to be clear wins, but really aren’t, so this is not just 'click, click, click', but true investigation in depth. Then I read his book in bed AFTER much cbv work, just to reinforce the lines, with his comments.

Aronian: Rare Oddity, One hand for the clock and the other records the move!

So that is about it. I work with chessbase in Seirawan, I read his book in bed latter, work on the 1001 book, and even get to check some of the more difficult lines in chessBase. Again, I don't use a board, and in some cases although rarely, cannot see the line well enough, then go to cbv and/or Fritz to see it, and it works wonders over the little brain only in unfolding all the 'ins' and 'outs. I started back at CTS, but three wrong in 94 is piss poor, but I will recover it. :)

I somehow don't think that Mr. Polgar played any games with his girls, but was all business!

Do all of you know of Phaedrus? "And what is good, Phædrus, And what is not good... Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?" His blog is best of breed. He and I have established a major connection, and to say that he is a peer or more of temposchlucker's aught to get your dandruf up@!

In a comment at my blog, he handily and easily made a comment that he wished that he at a cbv (chessbase) file of the Polgar Middlegame book for his teaching and students, and this led to many exchanges that has led to a major project about to begin. He suggests that this will prove invaluable. I do not know if this is true, but what need I think? I trust this man, do not blink, do not look left or right, but follow him therein. Who knows what will come of this?? Wonder of wonders!

We need ten good chess blogger~students so that we can each render five hundred games and/or copy them from cbv, and pool our efforts. Listen to me. We don't want slave labor. But we need six more good ladies or men. We are happy to do this alone, if it just be us. But if you wish to participate, then please let us know. No one's ego is involved, we just want to execute. It is an evolving process. But we want quality and perfection, not ordinary slap dash ho hum fabrications. Quality, oh Phaedrus!

Our Efforts at Chess Blogger Go Round and Round the World Day and Night, a Beehive of Activity

Just a gentle reminder to new readers: there is more, but this isn't the best place to tell it all. So, in briefest outline: I applied to the City of Seattle for a 9-1-1 Police Dispatcher, or emergency dispatcher position, but didn't get it. If it were just to talk and be on the phone, this I can do well. But they wanted not just good typist, but "highly proficient typists". I scored high, and was on their shortlist among hundreds of applicants and they wanted me, but in the end, you also need to be able to type fast, and accurate, with your eyes closed in all ways. Let us salute all 9-1-1 operators. It is a very hard test! And if you are dieing or hurt, damn, you need someone fast, and good, and accurate. They were all very, very professional at Police Headquarters, and exceedingly have my utmost respect.

I have worked in tools now for 16 months, after years in flooring. As is well known, I work for a major competitor to Home Depot. I know 38,000 items on sight. Six years as a chess player in a big hardware store is a miracle employee. I remember all that I see, and know where it all goes. And if only Morgan Stanley could now see me training employees on a fork lift! Go to hell I say. Those bastards!

Like any language, it builds. In the beginning, you cannot speak, then the simple sentences, then more advanced words and constructs. Latter on, you can comprehend or express complex thoughts or sequences. It is humbling, for so many (usually but not always male) men come in with vast knowledge, and you must assist them.

First they ask if you have an XYZ and you not only have never seen it (3,400 items in my corral), but never even heard of it. The first time, if you are in error simply say "we don't have it" but then then minutes latter they politely put it in your face: "For the future, here it is, this is what a VIX-bit looks like'. Then the second time: "Do you guys have VIX-bits?" "Yes, but lets see if we can find it". The third time, it is yes, we have them, then you can find the bay. The forth time, a prompt yes, espre decor: "Yes we have them, and they are right __ __ here";! As you reach.

So the knowledge builds, and if you are like me, it builds and builds and you never forget, and in time, you not only know the other 34,600 items, but now 3,060 of many little 'wigets' in your area. Its just now those last 340 of them that I...

What is this world and Who are We??

Lastly, I remember all kinds of model numbers and item numbers, thousands of them or hundreds.... but now in tools, the DV13 by Hitachi, the Dewalt DW345, the BlackandDecker FS210... then the 13,000 rpm's, tpi or tooth per inch, torx bits T-15, T-25, T-30, T-40, 1.5mm allen wrenches, 14.4 volt, 9 amp heavy duty 1/2" chuck drills, metal cutting carbide blades, lithium-ion batteries, bi-metal sawsals blades, cup grinders, crescent wrenches, basin wrenches, pipe wrenches, open end box wrenches, come alongs, bunge chords, jumper cables, AC-Adapters, ntp air fittings, 150 psi compressors--90 psi, 4.8 SCFM paint sprayers, Bosch SDS shanks, 18 GA brad nailers, narrow crown staples, hook and loop sandpaper, random orbital sanders, 5" adhesive backed sandpaper, 20 oz claw hammers, wonderbars, 5.5 hp 5.0 gal Shop Vacs, 3/8" drive sockets, 7/16" 12 point deep socket sets, easy-outs large and small, planner blades, porcelan drill bits, drum sanders, double beveled compound miter saws, coping saws, bow saws, leather tool belt harnesses, knee pads, tool chests, caution tape, chalk, propane, MAPP gas, hammer drills, impact wrenches, #2 Phillips, magnetic bit holders, 8-32 threads, 8mm threads 1.25 threads per mm and 20 mm long screws, glazing points, hot air guns, glue sticks, pole sanders, wrecking bars, the 0.030 solder, then the 0.035 solder and on, and on, and on. After 16 months, it is all starting to come together rapidly for me... Look Mom, no drugs! A place to go five days a week and forget the horror of existence: "The Horror, the horror. The horror of ... existence", a river slowly wound up into Kurtz.

Kafka said that Alexander the Great simply did not conquer the world so as not to have to move the weight of his own body?

I turn 50 in October. My goal is finally this summer to be able to climb Mount McGregor, among the highest non-technical peak in the state. A day just to drive there, then a long water taxi... from 1598' to 8,123' or 6,525' of gain in one day (2,034 meters), the most strenuous possible in a day. 6.5k feet in eight miles is a killer. I planned this in 2001, but at the last minute canceled the trip to be in a wedding party, as solemnly requested by the grooms brother: "It would mean a real lot to him". Needless to say, he doesn't even talk to me any more, and now I must recover this dream...


Blogger takchess said...

Nice to see the constant of your blog and training as many are moving on to other things. The climb sounds a great goal.

I am wondering if within your game collection you can show me an example of a theme. Vukovic says that in attacking a King Fianchetto position a knights sacrifice on f5 is thematic. Do you know of examples of this? I have the one in the Art of Attack but am looking for others to study.

Keep plugging .

Fri Feb 29, 02:49:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

5,616 games in chessBase, here among 2,970,000 games, just saved for you. where do i send them to?

Fri Feb 29, 02:56:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

i can probably reduce it to 560 by taking the highest elo's, and the first 3 or 4% from early masters.

go to board set up, then put in ONLY f7, g6, h6, Bg7 and Nf5 and presto. You dont even need the Kings to find the postions, interesting test.

i had heard of this feature, for finding a unique structure, but didnt know how hard or easy it was to utilize.

i have been making ENORMOUS PROGRESS in my use of chessBase. it is endless knowledge, and if not knowledge, past basics, then the not small matter or how do you do well known things in chessBase, only do them better, bigger, faster, smarter, more effiently, the optimal way? wow.

Fri Feb 29, 03:03:00 AM PST  
Blogger transformation said...

done. 555 games rated 2500 elo and up, and all the old classics with this motif. was that fast enough for you? :)

Fri Feb 29, 03:30:00 AM PST  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

I play both the C-K and Slav... Though there are similarities in pawn structures, the differences tend to be in strategies.

I'd be interested in that collection you mentioned.

Fri Feb 29, 04:58:00 AM PST  
Blogger Phaedrus said...

Hi Transformation,

A treat for the mind and the eye this post.

And speaking of an example of a theme. Our project on Polgars middlegame book is all about themes. 77 themes and each of them with 54 exercises. although the sac on f5 isn't one of them.

Fri Feb 29, 09:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger takchess said...

Very very cool. if you would please send the 560 to takguy at gmail period business suffix.

I am looking forward to fooling around with them. I am enjoying the deep dive into the Art of attack which is triggering some interesting ideas.


Fri Feb 29, 02:36:00 PM PST  
Blogger takchess said...


Here are some of the results from working with your database you sent me.


Sat Mar 01, 12:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger Wahrheit said...

Dear Takchess, if you have access to Kmoch's Pawn Power in Chess the section on the "Benoni Knight Hop" might be just what you're looking for. I don't have the book in front of me but my memory of this is pretty clear.

Mon Mar 10, 10:00:00 AM PDT  
Blogger chessloser said...

that post had so much useful information in it, it will take at least a week for me to digest half of it. awesome...and good luck climbing the mountain, just one foot in front of the other..

Tue Mar 11, 12:41:00 PM PDT  

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