Saturday, March 22, 2008

Warm Up Complete

I just finished section 2 of TCT completing my warm up. The end of section 2 became difficult for me with a few of the test results as low as 38% accuracy rate. When I missed a tactic I would look at the solution 3 or 4 times to help burn it into my memory. I think that TCT is going to be difficult for me, so it is probably just what I need to improve.

My rating on ICC fluctuates between the high 1100s and low 1200s. Tactical exercises have already helped my gain between 100 and 200 rating points on ICC. There seems to be two major improvements in my play. Not hanging as many pieces and spotting more attacking opportunities.

I have noticed that after a few hours of tactics my head starts to feel different and I seem to have trouble focusing. If I try to work through this will my mental stamina increase or is it just a waste of time to keep solving problems?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Warm Up

Today I received my training material. I browsed Tasc Chess Tutor (TCT) for a while and decided that I would work through sections 1 and 2 before starting the circles. Section 3 talked about really knowing my mate in 1 before learning the mate in 2 stuff so a good warm up should get me ready. I do not think that I will count the warm up as part of my circles but towards the seventh circle I might drop section 1 because it looks real easy. I think that I will hold off on Theory and Practice of Chess Endings for now and ease my way into it later. My rating at ICC fluctuates between 1000 and 1100 so that will be my measuring stick for improvement.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

First Steps

After researching chess online I have come up with a plan of action to improve my chess play. My plan consists of 3 parts.

Part 1
Playing Chess
I plan on playing chess at the Internet Chess Club ICC. I have started a membership there under the name SilverKing. I will be trying to play mostly slow games to avoid mistakes. They have a rating system there so I can follow my progress.

Part 2
Chess Tactics
Most of the information that I read about chess improvement recommends practicing tactics. I have chosen a software program for my skill level to help me improve. Tasc Chess CD 2 has gotten lots of good reviews and I like the idea of not needing a chess board or a book.

Part 3

End Game
The Chessmaster program that I have stresses the study of the end game. I have chosen the software Theory and Practice of Chess Endings staying with the software instead of books theme.

Method of study
After reading up on chess and chess blogs I discovered a group of people called The Knights Errant. They believe that if you cycle through the same paterns over and over you can burn them into your memory. This sounds perfect for chess improvement. I am going to try this by doing my tactics and end game software 7 times going faster each time. My goal is to finish this by September 1st which will be my 26th birthday. Becoming better at chess is something I have wanted to do for a few years now so what better birthday present to give to myself.

First Chess Post

Welcome to my chess blog. I am planning on using this blog to keep track of my chess improvements, review chess material that I have purchased, and hopefully receive feedback on mistakes that I might be making. I consider myself to be a chess beginner even though I have known how to play since I was 5 years old. I have never been to a tournament or belonged to a chess club. I own Chessmaster for the playstation 2. My rating there is in the 900s. My only goal at this point is to get better at chess.