Friday, December 25, 2009

GP Tactics: Endgame Oversight

I will be publishing some of the tactical problems, labeled with the “GP Tactics” tag,  that were data-mined from my own games, as described in this previous post
A tactics set generated from your own games not only provides variety in difficulty level, but variety in motifs.  For example, many of the problems involved endgame positions.
For the position below. Black seems to be making progress on the queenside.  Analyze and evaluate 1…Nb4:

Solution after the fold

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Creating Tactics Problem Sets From Your Games Using ChessBase Products

I’ve played a lot of blitz online.  A LOT of blitz.  It seemed to me that if these games could be mined for tactical errors, they would make an ideal set of simple tactics problems for drills.  Manually mining them for gold, however, would take forever.  I routinely store and analyze my blitz games, but have been negligent in saving positions into databases for tactics or blunders (a project I started but didn’t keep up with).

One day I thought: what if I take Rybka and tell it to analyze the games to a depth of 5 ply?  That should roughly correspond to a Chernev and Reinfeld-ish “Seeing Three Moves Ahead” or simpler level of tactics, and should be fairly quick.   I was familiar with the ChessBase interfaces for Rybka and Fritz and new that it could automatically generate “Training Annotations”: when you load the game or position, it jumps to a position and opens a window prompting you for the correct move.  I decided to test this idea with my 800 most recent Blitz games (about 10% of my total games on record).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pardon the Mess...

{Edit: I'm pretty much done tinkering with the blog layout.  I still can't get one-click editing to work, but split posts do.  I've decided not to delete this post to maintain the comment thread.}

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shifting Focus

{Coincidentally, in an interesting example of parallel evolution, there seem to be many other bloggers that have recently taken self-improvement much more seriously as well. Check out Blunderprone's blog for more info on his ACIS (Adult Chess Improvement Seekers) movement.}

 For the last while I've been content to learn more about chess –endings, opening repertoire, reading some of the classic game collections such as Alekhine's NY 1924 and Nottingham 1936 tournament books, and Botvinnik's 100 Selected Games, etc. However, as I enter my 40th year of existence, I look at the sidebar of this blog ("hopes to become a B-class player before senility sets in") and the subtitle ("Do as I Say, Not As I Do") and have decided to do more of what I say.

For me, I identified the following areas as needing the most improvement: