Monday, May 30, 2011

Shades of Saavedra

I have continued to play Guess the Move as I work through Colin Crouch's Modern Chess: Move by Move. In addition to guessing a move to play I list my candidate moves. I set up the pieces on a board, load up the game in Chessbase with it opened to the training tab, and play through the opening 10 or so moves. Then I start to come up with candidate moves, decide on a move to play, and then check it against what was played, sometimes scream in frustration, and then continue on to the next move.

Once I am done with the game, I tally up how many I got correct and enter the data into an excel spreadsheet to keep track of my progress over time to see if my % correct will improve. Once I am done with that, I then play through the game on the board again reading through Crouch's notes from the book, and then play through it a 3rd time from memory as much as possible, checking when I get stumped on a move.

My last 3 games I have had a 48% success rate, so there is definitely room for improvement. The latest game I played through was Svidler - Topalov, from Morelia/Linares 2006. The game is below. It has an interesting position come up where white sacrifices his rook to get a position similar to the Saavedra position, which in this case allows white to promote his pawn to a queen (the original Saavedra position required an underpromotion to a rook). I was happy that I saw the sequence 49.Re5 R:h4+ 50.Kg5 Rh5+ 51.K:g6 R:e5 52.f7 and chose 49.Re5 for my move.

One thing I have noticed in this training is that I have a tendency sometimes to not consider moves as candidates that I had considered as candidates on a previous move. That is something to work on, I should at least consider them again.

As far as other training goes, I am still doing my tactics training on I have slipped a few times and allowed myself to go way over my 10-20 problems a day limit. To the detriment of my rating on there. It usually happens when I am doing poorly, either because I am tired or just having an off day, but I get stubborn and don't want to end on a down note so I keep going. The end result being a 70 point rating drop that I then spend the next few days gaining back. I am hovering around 1800 right now. I have to remember that I should only be doing a small amount unless I am doing it for pure fun. If I am not having fun then just stop and pick it up the next day. Going on tilt doesn't help anything.

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