January 28, 2013

Weekly report #10

FIDE : 1416 (+0)
chess.com (correspondence) : 1840 (+22)
It's more than 100 points improvement on my CC rating. That's a small victory !
I hope my OTB rating will have the same increase, that would be a real victory.

"Build up your chess"
I re-read chapter 21.

"Sharpen your tactics!"    
I did puzzles 380 to 428.

Goals for next week
My life is little bit chaotic at the moment, so I won't set up any goals (I don't know if I will have much time to study chess).

January 21, 2013

Weekly Report #9

FIDE : 1416 (+0)
chess.com (correspondence) : 1818 (+7)

"Build up your chess"

Chapter 19 - Combinations involving promotion (18/20) - the 9th chapter on tactics. The answers to the test are easy to find because you know what to look for thanks to the chapter title. However this lesson is entertaining with beautiful and simple combinations such as :

The next diagram is from the test, this is the position I enjoyed solving the most.

Chapter 20 - Weak points (7/23) - This lesson deals with weak squares and weak pawns.
I scored less than the "pass mark" (which is 12), so I'll re-read the chapter tomorrow. My main problem here is that I'm not good at identifying exploitable weak points - in the test positions, I tried to attack the wrong "weakness".

"Sharpen your tactics!"

Problems 336 to 379

Goals for next week
1- Analyse Game 3 from the tournament
2- Continue "Sharpen your tactics!"

3- Re-reading chapter 20 and and working on chapter 21 from "Build up your chess" 

January 20, 2013

Game Analysis #3 : A Painful Loss

This is game #2 of the New Year's Tournament. I was White against a 1657-rated opponent.
After the opening, my opponent was under pressure, I let my advantage slip and my opponent offered a draw, I declined, pushed for the win and lost.

The lessons from this game are :
1. Being objective when assessing a position is critical.
    I could have saved half a point, if I based my decisions on the position that was in front of me instead of
    the past position.
2. I need to work on the endgame.
    If you have any suggestion on a book or website or anything that introduce the basic endgame principles,
    please tell me !

January 15, 2013

Weekly Report #8

 I needed a little break after the tournament, so I didn't do much this week.


FIDE : 1416 (+0)
chess.com (correspondence) : 1811 (+1)
After 2 months of study, my rating on chess.com is up 85 points !

"Build up your chess"

Chapter 18 - Forced variations (13/23) The second chapter about calculation. I struggled a little less than in the previous calculation chapter, but I still found it difficult.

"Sharpen your tactics!"
Problems 272 to 335

Goals for next week
1- Analyse Game 2 from the tournament
2- Continue "Sharpen your tactics!"
3- Chapter 19 and 20 from "Build up your chess" 

January 8, 2013

Weekly Report #7


FIDE : 1416 (-1)
chess.com (correspondence) : 1810 (+9)

Game 1 : 1099 vs me 0-1
Game 2 : me vs 1657 0-1 - my opponent offered a draw, I pushed for a win and lost
Game 3 : 2047 vs me 1-0
Game 4 : me vs 1703 1/2
Game 5 : 1595 vs me 1-0
Game 6 : me vs 1586 1-0
Game 7 : 1550 vs me 1-0
Except for the first game, I only played better-rated player, so I'm happy to finish with 2.5/7

Tactics training
I struggled a lot with "1001 deadly checkmates" - some of the solutions are 5 moves long and I can't calculate that far when all the moves are not forced. For the moment "1001 deadly checkmates" is a bit over my head, so I decided to tackle an easier book : "Sharpen your tactics!" by Anatoly Lein & Boris Archangelsky.
I did problems 1 to 271.

Goals for next week
1- Analyse Game 1
2- Studying chapter 18 "Forced variations" and chapter 19 "Combinations involving promotion" of "Build up your chess"
3- Continue the tactics training every day

December 31, 2012

Weekly Report #6


FIDE : 1417 (+0) - this one is about to change, as I'm going to an OTB tournament wednesday ( 7 rounds G90'+30'')
chess.com (correspondence) : 1801 (+20) - I can now brag I'm above 1800  

"Build up your chess"
Chapter 16 - Queen against pawn (20/29) I thought a Queen vs pawn ending was an easy win, but I'll need to re-read the chapter to fully master this type of ending.

Chapter 17 - Stalemate motifs (14/15) I'm an expert at stalemating my opponent when I should'nt, so most of the motifs were familiar to me.

"1001 deadly checkmates"
I did puzzles 335 to 423 : the problems are getting harder, I'm usually able to spot the idea but I can't see all the variations or the main continuation because I can't calculate very far.
If you have any idea on how to improve calculation, please tell me !!!

Goals for next week
1- Blunder check every move of every game of the tournament - I'm at the bottom of the rating list, so I probably won't be able to recover if I blunder.
2- Studying chapter 18 "Forced variations" of "Build up your chess" ( a lesson on calculation can't hurt )
3- Continue the tactics training every day

December 24, 2012

Weekly Report #5

chess.com rating variations (from week 1 to week 5)

FIDE : 1417 (+0)
chess.com (correspondence) : 1781 (+5) - 2 games lost because of horrible blunders. I need to (re)focus on the "blunder check" part of my thought process.

"Build up your chess"
Chapter 14 - Open files and outposts (11/20) explains how to exploit the open file (doubling rooks, outposts and controlling the entry square on the 7th or 8th rank).
The first example is a complete game between two amateurs where the mistakes and the way to exploit them are well-explained.
The second example is an extract of a game between Nimzowitsch and Capablanca, where Capablanca is in control of the open file but still have to prepare the invasion.

Chapter 15 - Combinations (12/22) is a lesson with 8 examples illustrating the use of active moves (checks, captures, threats).

"1001 deadly checkmates"
I did puzzles 215 to 334 with the new method (stopping after the 3rd mistake).

Goals for next week
1- Completing 2 more chapters of "Build up your chess"
2- Continue the tactics training every day
This week will be as busy as the last one, so I probably won't have time to annotate one of my games.