Thursday, February 10, 2005

Will I be really improving?

As suggested by the man himself, a good litmus test for any chess study plan is to see how much your rating has improved (or keeps improving) since you've started on it. Let's see (somewhat like measuring once weight before going on a diet) where am I today.

As I'm currently playing on-line chess, I'd have to use the raiting I got on different sites. Though I'm playing in several chess by mail sites, I don't think my rating on any of them is very representative (basically because the slow convergence implied by having games which go on for weeks long). OTOH, I have a [horror] Yahoo! Chess rating of about 1340 (which won't mean anything for you unless you play there) which I found very accurate for my current strength (or lack of it thereof). Probably more familiar for any reader (ha - do you really think someone else is reading this?) would be my FICS raiting of 1383 (and descending) with an RD of 104.4. I also have there a Blitz rating (not that I fancy being beaten at it, but I'm not too proficient at using getgame, you see) of 1041 with an RD of 149.4, which is a proof of my problem on tactics awareness (more easily spotted on Blitz games).

Let's see where I stand six months from now. Now back to my exercises!

Starting out...

I've started yesterday to follow (as closely as my real life, which includes wife, kids a daytime job and the like, allows me) MDLM's plan (which I've learnt about on a forum, after which I went to read the publications). I already have some tactic exercises (with which I've been playing for a while). With respect to doing drills, I'm relying on using GNU-Chess, though I think is not the ideal tool for that. If I learn about something better, I would of course write about it here.

When studying the tactical exercises, I'm trying also to understand the abstract pattern which allows to use this or that tactic. I'm not really sure someone else would understand what I call "abstract pattern" nor if the approach would prove useful, but be sure I'll let you all of you know here (supposing there's something reading this, that is)..