Sunday, October 23, 2005

No more reports (for a while)

I am not going to be reporting for a while (atleast not about playing and training) since i am in the process of setting up a new chessviewer (my favourite one) for replayable games. Also, i really want to begin analyzing and annotating my current games database, which are only 37 yet! The reason i want to start doing this, is because i don't want the games to pile up again and not do anything with them, besides having them analyzed by fritz. That's what happened with my previous games database, which held about a 1000. Now i want to do the analyzing (and annotating) myself first, before having them analyzed with fritz (if at all), and ofcourse before they pile up again, not being able to keep up with the growth of the database (in terms of analyzing and annotating). And i feel analyzing and annotating games myself will teach me more about my game then having it analyzed by fritz. Cause to tell you the truth, fritz's analyzing taught me little, or nothing at all. Also, these analyzed and annotated games can be used with the new chessviewer. It handles variations (i believe). The viewer i'm using now does not. I can only show the variations through annotations. And annotated variations never did me any good to tell you the truth... It only made me very tired while trying to look them up in the game i was viewing. Also, i have to catch up on some movies i've downloaded. I never get around to watching them like this, but still filling up the HD. Oh, and maybe play some San Andreas as well :)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Play day report

Play day was f**ked. Besides playing my match games, i played 4 more on the web at uChess winning only 1. Thing's really got to me after that last match game. I'm not even going to show you those uChess games because they're too embarasing. Not even the 1 i won is worth mentioning (or worth showing for that matter). Why do i feel it was all f**ked? Because this was not me. Because this was not a matter of "win some lose some". I can handle losses quite well. Even if my opponents cheat. Just as long as i played a "game". But i can't handle what's going on right now. This is some kind of problem in my head. Somekind of loose screw. Somekind of... I better end this post because i am higly aggressive right now.

Man vs Machine (Anaconda 1.0) Match update

Do you ever have these days where (no matter how much you've studied) you can just hear an echo inside your head? When thing's are a total blank? Where (no matter how long you look at the board) you just can't make it out to be anything? Where you move but you don't know why? Well i do! And i'll get back to that after telling you that i won the match by 3 to 1. It happens to be my play day today, and i just finished my final match game (which is why i started asking all those questions). I played 2 match games of which the first was hours ago, and the second i just finished. I will start with the first game. I prepared myself to play in the usual matter, which is by going over some games in which my opening is used and look at some previous match games briefly. Sort of like firing up :)
Feeling i was in the mood to play some good games, i started of with the third match game. At move 6 (i was white) Anaconda gave me the idea i went out of book by taking quite a pause, which later turned out not to be the case. It threw me off guard, and i started feeling insecure about my game. It really shows in my play. I managed to win the game, but it left me feeling weird. Go here for a replay of the game. Moving on to the second and final match game, which was played hours later due to it being a strange day (in terms of playing time), and which is the reason for starting this post with all the questions. The game was a total screw up. As you can guess from the questions i asked. Here's the game. Now games like that can really get me down. I mean, i'm trying my utmost best to get better at chess. I am giving chess a HELLUVALOT of myself for quite some time now. Atleast long enough to rule out games like these. But why do they still happen? How can your head just be blank and not see anything while looking at the board? This is not the first time it happened to me you know? F**k!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Training day report

Finished unit 11 of tactics module 1, working on 12.

Not only the level of difficulty increases, but also the number of exercises does. I started out doing 60 per unit, which increased to 90, which increased to 135... Unit 12 holds 150. Ofcourse previously done exercises are included, and part repetition of this unit. The current problems presenting themselves, haven't changed since my last report. They still are 3 move mate problems. And they are taking me forever to solve. Atleast most of the last 15 positions did. They took me almost 2 hours to solve. At this rate it'll take me 400 years to finish PCT. Where does this go? Ofcourse i'm not expecting to do all easy stuff, but this is only unit 12 of 52 of the first tactics module. What will i be trying to solve at unit 52? And how long will it take me to finish? Will i be going over 1 problem per training day at unit 52? The prospect of that is not very appealing. Considering the unit will hold 150 exercises, and the level of difficulty will really be that high, that would mean it would take me 150 training days to finish. Not to mention the fact that there are 5 more modules. Can you imagine?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Replayable games

From now on you will be able to replay games mentioned (and previously mentioned), directly from here, in your browser window by visiting the corresponding links. I finally figured out up to a point how to, and have been working on making this possible. Unfortunatly i haven't figured out yet how to make the games replayable internal (through Blogger itself). The available replay is still an external source. A replayable game as a post is possible. I've seen it on another blog (and i'm refering to the one that used the ICC ChessViewer 2.1 reshaped to fit the post). I have yet to figure out how to (suggestions are welcome). Furthermore, the availability of replayable games, made my decision to end my games analysis blog final. It just wasn't going to work. Due to working on this yesterday and today, i did not get any training done and probably won't get any playing done either. So no reports on that.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Play day report (no quality games today)

Continued my man vs machine match. I am now in the lead by 2-0. I was expecting to lose because i was very tired again. I was having a very hard time calculating. I was getting into time trouble even. The Anaconda never took it's chances. My play was really bad. You can replay the game here. Besides my man vs machine game, i played 4 more games on uChess. Won 2, lost 2. The play was so wack i'm not even gonna discuss it any further. If i remember correctly, i once read somewhere that you shouldn't play when you're tired. Good advice! Unfortunatly being tired happens to me often.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Training day report (whatever happened to progress reports?)

In light of recent changes, meaning the distribution of days and naming the days i play on play days, i decided that the days i study on should also have a referal name :)
I named them training days (now that must have been really hard to come up with...). Anyway, with these changes i am putting an end to progress reports. Instead, i will be reporting in terms of training days. Speaking of which... Training is going very slow. I only managed to finish unit 9 and 10 and am currently working through unit 11, managing to squeeze in a few positions per training day.

The level of difficulty is also seemingly increasing. It is taking me a lot more time to complete a unit, as you can see in the window. I am starting to have difficulty solving positions within the default time limit. I find myself more and more crossing it. And to think i am only at unit 11 of 52 of tactics module 1 of 6... On the other hand, i did solve some positions pretty much with ease, of which i know i would not have been able to solve them before without atleast a hint. I do feel PCT improves my tactical ability. It is also showing in my games. Anyway, after doing 10 units, i feel it is safe to say that tactics module 1 is all about mate problems. Untill this far it is. I am now solving 3 move mate problems.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Play day report (no play today)

My play day got all screwed up. I was so freaking tired again while sitting behind the computer and staring at the screen, i decided to choose for the couch again. I hate it when that happens. I want to prevent missing days i spend on chess as much as possible. When i woke up after a few hours sleep, i wanted to play atleast one game, and decided to continue my man vs machine match against Anaconda. Please remind me which f**cking engine is loaded next time before i start playing, cause for some reason Abrok (which is another engine) loaded itself. Not being prepared to face a different engine (especially not Abrok) and the fact that it screws up my match process, i decided to give up on the game, which means i have to give up the following game as well to get the ongoing match process on the right track again. On top of that, when i loaded Anaconda and started a new game, i found out i forgot to set it's rating, which means i had to play it at full strength. I wasn't prepared for that either, so i gave up on that game and the following game as well. I wanted to prevent this from happening so much, as i wanted to keep track of the ChessBase's interface rated stats. The stats are screwed up now, since i had to deliberatly lose games, which causes me to lose rating points, which messes up the scoring percentage etc. etc.
I did get another title though... According to Fritz i am now officially an "ambitious chess player". How great.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Play day report

Played 3 quality games including the one from my man vs machine match. Won 2 lost 1. Here's a fragment of the game i lost. This is what i believe to be the decisive moment in the game.

I was black and it was my move. I played Qe5-f6. While i should have played the much (in my opinion) better move; Qe5-d5 and try to go for an exchange of Queens. With the actual move i created opportunities for my opponent which he carefully exploited. Anyway, the better move did not came to mind during the game. I do feel very much satisfied with my play day results though. Replay the discussed game here.

Man vs Machine (Anaconda 1.0) Match

Started another man vs machine match on my play day. This time against Anaconda 1.0 rated 1570 at it's lowest and 3000+ at full strength. Oops! Come to think of it, i forgot to play AnMon at full strength. Will do so after this match. It'll be 4 full strength games now, since i have to play Anaconda as well (4 meaning 1 as white and 1 as black against AnMon and 1 white 1 black against Anaconda). Anyway, i am leading the match by 1-0. It does play better then AnMon though (i think). Also, i decided from now on, to post all the game scores instead of only the best. So i am going to post the first game of this match right now, on my games analysis blog. For a replayable version of the game go here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Man vs Machine (AnMon 5.07) Match update

Believe it or not, but AnMon managed to save face by drawing me in our 4th and last game. I allready mentioned that i felt it was playing better as white, and it does. I wasn't playing very good myself though, due to having to deal with quite some disturbance during the game... Anyway, my rating dropped from 1811 to 1761. I got my first title though :)
According to Fritz i am now officially a "chess player" :)
I have posted the best two games on my games analysis blog. You can have a look if you're interested. It is only notation though. Replayable versions can be found here and here.
Next up; Anaconda 1.0

A picture of me

A while ago there was this party i was at. Even though most of the people who were there as well, know i hate having my picture taken, they managed to pull it of anyway. I decided to post it, since pictures of me are very rare. Also it helped that i actually kind of liked this one :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Play day report

I managed to play 5 quality games on my play day. Including 2 from my man vs machine match (more on that in another man vs machine update). The other games were played on uChess and Kurnik. I managed to win 3 1/2 out of 5 games total. I was playing a 15min winning game on Kurnik when my woman intervened. I was a pawn up in the endgame and doing comfortably timewise. Next thing you know i blunder away my dark squared Bishop against his and having virtually no time left. My concentration was completely gone. And it was such a quality (won) game :(
But what nicer interruption can you imagine :)
And there you go... That's how you can lose games as well. No matter how well you played. Anyway, this current distribution of study/play day's feels pretty good. My performance ain't bad either. Is this MDLM based training working? Too soon to tell. And you all know the saying; "You win some, you lose some".

Man vs Machine (AnMon 5.07) Match update

3-0... I guess i can safely say i won the match :)
Only one more game to go... AnMon's play is very weak. I guess the final result will be 4-0 :)
I got a rating from Fritz. My Fritz rating is 1811 as of now. Not that i think my Fritz rating is of any real value, cause it can drop just as fast as i've got it by playing some of these engines and Fritz itself. Only this time, man prevailed :) Will post best 2 games 1 white 1 black when i finished my fourth.

My goal (cause we all need a goal, right?) update

A while ago i mentioned something about my goal. The goal i mentioned is more of an ultimate goal. I need a specific goal. A goal that reflects this particular study phase. After some thinking (like if i'm not doing enough of that allready) i came up with the following goal, or should i say goals? My goal during the duration (and after finishing) this MDLM based study phase (which in my case is the Personal Chess Trainer) is to see a significant (positive) change to my Internet chess statistics. To be specific; i want to see significant rating changes (on the servers i am most active at ofcourse) and end up with atleast a 50% scoring percentage.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Man vs Machine (AnMon 5.07) Match update

I am in the lead by 2 full points after beating AnMon with black last night. Unfortunatly that was also all the chess i played on my play day. I was very tired when i sat down behind the computer and quickly gazed upon the couch, stood up again, went over to it and fell asleep on it. When i awoke i played the game. AnMon's play wasn't very impressive as black, but it seemed to be stronger as white. AnMon's only chances now are to turn this match into a draw. But to be honoust, i do not see that happening :)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Man vs Machine (AnMon 5.07)

It's been a while, but i just started playing a personal man vs machine match again. This time i am playing a winboard version of the AnMon (AnMon 5.07) engine through the Fritz interface. These matches i make up myself, consist out of 4 games each. Starting off against the engines lowest ratings, with timecontrols of 15 minutes and 15 seconds incremental time with each move. Afterwards i usually play a 5th casual game at full strength. AnMon is rated ELO 1570 at it's lowest, and ELO 3000+ at full strength. I am currently in the lead by 1 out of 4, but it is playing very weak. I have come across something about it's performance through Fritz (or ChessBase) interface. It was said it doesn't perform really well through it. Notation of the games, analysis and more, can be found here.

Progress report 3

After finding out the correct method of training with PCT and having gone over tac units 1 to 7 of the first module 6 times, i started all over again. The results in the image speak for themselves

As you can see, units 1 to 7 caused me little trouble because i allready went over them before 6 times. You immediatly see the change in Uni-08. It cost me about an hour to complete :)
Up to this point the module 1 tac units only showed mating paterns and at unit 8 they're allready starting to become difficult. Unit 8 had 135 positions including some reps of previous ones. Made about 5 errors in judgement. I don't think they're worth displaying :)
And if anyone wonders why i started all over, it is so i could give a correct display of the training history window.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Practice was good : )

I just played 3 quality live games on 3 different servers and i won all 3. Theory (as in tactics) makes me feel sharp. Even if they're currently only mating paterns.

How about practice?

Feeling unsatisfied with only a few games every now and then and feeling practice is atleast equally as important as theory, i decided to distribute my days as followed; Monday will be for study, Tuesday will be for play, Wednesday study, Thursday play, Friday study, Saturday play, Sunday study et cetera. A necessary choice of going about with the limited time (per day) i have to spend behind the computer. I can only spend like 2 to 3 hours per day behind the computer. My previous plan was about studying for atleast five consecutive days a week and try to fit a game in every now and then. Thus spending most time on theory and only little on practice. I felt it needed to be balanced. Hopefully i can go about it like this as continuesly as possible. And yes i am aware of the possibility of playing correspondence type chess. As a matter a fact i am allready very active on correspondence type servers. But i want to become more active on live servers as well, and play some quality games. Instead of a few, which due to limited time i have to rush through.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Personal Chess Trainer's recommended method

After reading the following (which can be found in PCT's helpfile's);

The number of studied exercises refers to the amount of exercises you have seen for the first time. And the learnt exercises, to the ones you have already studied 6 times, which is enough to memorize them.

I lead myself to believe that i should go over each and every unit of the Personal Chess Trainer 6 times, in order to having learnt them. So that's how i went about. Now, with the Personal Chess Trainer, you can also check your training history status, which tells you the number of studied exercises, as well as the number of learnt exercises. After going over tactics module 1, units 1 to 7 six times, the history window showed nothing except the studied exercises. I then decided to write them (the Personal Chess Trainer developers) an email, asking what the deal is. I guess it must have been my simple brain that i didn't get it, but here's how it works according to the developers (this is coppied from the email i got in return so don't pay attention to the spelling as they're Brazilian);

An exercise is considered Learnt after it has been studied at least 6
time through the training process. I mean, for example, an exercise appear in the Unit 1, after in the Unit 3, Unit 4, Unit 7, Unit 11 and Unit 15. After you see and solve it at this 6 times, the program will consider it Learnt.

To make a long story short (and if you are using or planning to use PCT), don't be going over units 6 times like i did. The program itself will have you repeating previous positions as you will encounter them again in each new unit. Just go over them once. That is what i am going to do from now on. Also, i can finally show you some of the results from a statisticians point of view, as the previous results were unusable. Also, fulfilling the task of finishing PCT seems a whole lot less gruesome all of a sudden :)