Friday, June 24, 2011

Igor Khmelnitsky's Chess Exam in 1 day

So I decided to go through the exam yesterday, and set about creating an excel spreadsheet to keep track of the scores. I didn't initially plan to blaze right through the test, but after completing the spreadsheet I started in, and then kept working the problems. I just finished it about an hour ago. I imagine the best way to do it is work 1 or 2 problems a day until you are done. I don't know how much impact that would have had on my results.

Here is how it went:

last night:
Problems   1-10: 71%   2051
Problems 11-20: 65%   2077
Problems 21-30: 34%   1084
Problems 31-40: 67%   1871
Problems 41-50: 45%   1605
Problems 51-60: 60%   2101

this morning:
Problems 61-70: 43%   1582
Problems 71-80: 56%   1904
Problems 81-90: 32%   1409
Problems 91-100: 50% 1648

Overall: 52% 1647

The different categories sorted by rating:

Openings               2155
Defense                 1834
Standard Positions 1793
Endgame               1726
Tactics                  1711
Strategy                1647
Sacrifice                1616
Attack                   1616
Threats                  1592
Middlegame          1455
Counter-attack      1253
Calculation            1199

The book says more than looking at the ratings you should look at what they are relative to each other. Calculation was definitely a disappointment. Some of that could be attributed to the pace at which I did the test, but it is also a factor of my poor thought process. The openings score is funny. I never study openings, and I think the sample size is very small, like 6 positions, and they mostly have to do with recognizing tactics in the opening. So I don't put much stock in that category being highest. I think the main thing to take away from this is that I need to focus on calculation/visualization work, counter attacking, and middle games.

It would be great if he would continue to publish more of these type of exams. I know that there is the tactics based book, and the book about Fischer, but I am talking about exams that touch many different areas and assess where you need improvement.

Edit: Speaking of more tests, I just found out he has a new website.


  1. Hey Thanks for the link to his site!

    He has the Training exam up their for free if you register.

    I MAY even pay for a membership as well.

  2. Yeah, it looks like they are just starting it up so it will probably have some growing pains.

    If he really adds a lot of exercises to the site though it would be really nice. I like how he does them as 2 part problems where you usually have to give an evaluation of the position, and then select the best move. It is a bummer that I just did the chess exam test at home because it is on there. It is giving me those problems as part of the daily exercise set so I will have inflated numbers. But hey like the Russians love to say 'Repetition is the mother of learning'.

  3. There seem to be an error in the "calculation" evaluation. All people seem to have a extreme low calculation value in Chess Exam. After doing the "You vs Fischer"-Exam the "calculation" usually has a much higher value.
    But these puzzles are big fun