Druss Blog

An account of my attempts to try and improve my chess.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Back at work, but even less progress

I've started work again, but have found myself with even less spare time. I'm working, or I'm looking after my daughter ... not much else.

I'm still playing my Kasparov Cosmos chess computer, but not solving any CT Art problems. I think I will have to take a bit of a rest from my tactical problem solving. Although I am having a lot of fun playing my chess computer. There is definitely a real difference trying to spot and create tactics in real games, as opposed to solving problems when you already know that there is a tactical shot in there somewhere.

Monday, November 21, 2005

No progress on CT Art

I'm still off on paternity leave looking after my daughter, which is turning into a full time job at the moment. I'm due to go back to work on Friday, when things might get more back to normal, but so far I haven't tried to solve a single CT Art problem since she has been born. It has been too difficult to get a large enough chunk of concentrated time to sit down and think about them ... I've been put off by other things.

However, I have been playing my chess computer a lot. It is a Kasparov Cosmos, which I bought a few years ago. I've lost a fair number of games, but actually started drawing some after a while. And then I beat it on level 2, which I've never done before, playing black. Still haven't beaten it with white yet though.

I'm a lot better at playing against it than I used to be. It used to just hammer me all the time. Tactical training has definitely worked in this regard - it is quite a tactical player. It will quite often charge out with its queen very early on, or play some speculative pawn gambit ... which makes me think I'm in the lead positionally ... but then it's got some cunning tactic up its sleeve. I used to fall foul of these all the time, but they are easier to spot now. I still don't see them all the time, and indeed more often than not it gets me with its tricksy moves, but I'm blocking it more than I was.

It is also interesting playing full games rather than solving isolated tactical problems. I am more aware of when tactical shots might be in the air, but playing a real game where they might not actually appear is certainly different from solving countless CT Art problems. CT Art can lead you down a dangerous path of thinking that there is always some cunning tactical sacrifice, if only you looked hard enough to find it.

Playing against a good tactical computer is good training as well ... one slip and it nails you.

Anyway. Normal CT Art training should be resumed soon ... although I'm thinking of going back and doing levels 10, 20 and 30 again ...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

thanks

Thanks for all the congratulations. Having to type this one handed with her in my other arm!

Having a kid makes me wonder ... how soon can you start them playing chess? I think I remember Karpov saying somewhere that he started when he was 4. I've got a nephew who is 4 and 3/4 ... should I try and start him off this Christmas? Any suggestions on the best way? I remember seeing some CD designed for kids somewhere.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Not a lot of progress in the last week

My daughter was born on Saturday, which was fantastic. But as a result I have played virtually no chess in the last week. I imagine it will be a few weeks before things get back to normal.

At the moment though it is very hard to concentrate on those tricky level 40 ones. My mind keeps getting distracted :)