Man de la Maza

Friday, November 12, 2004

Charging back

The CT Art software keeps a graph of your progress and makes a rough estimate of your ELO based on your success. The ELO is useless, of course, absent a standard timing, but it is useful to track your own progress.

When I started the program, I entered an ELO of 1500 which I thought a resonable estimate given that my USCF ELO is in the mid 1500's. It rose steadily and quickly through the level 10 and 20 problems to just under 2000. In level 30, it rose to 2050 and then flattened out. I jumped above 2070 once and dipped back down. this reflected getting about 75%-80% of the problems right. My first few nights I was getting in the low to mid 60's, so this was improvement.

This Monday and Tuesday, I was a man posssesed. Monday was a very solid 80%+, and Tuesday I was over 90%. "I have finally broken through", I thought. My ELO shot up to the tantalizing number of 2097. Alas, the past two nights have been disappointing. More in the 66% range, and my ELO is no longer scaring the 2100 mark. Hard to know whether you are improving, having a run of easier problems, or just having a good day (or the opposite).

One thing I have noticed in the past week. I am solving a lot more problems at the 4 minute mark. It seems that before this week when I would try a problem, I would either get it within the first minute or not at all. I am solving some of the problems in minute 4 now. At least twice yesterday, I was ready to throw in the towel on a problem but decided to give it one more try since only 4 minutes had passed and then went on to solve it. This is very satisfying. Usually in that fourth minute I am thinking about why a great looking combination just doesn't quite work. One of my assumptions about move order or the like gives way and a slightly different theme emerges.

This is very satisfying. It feels very much like when you are at the golf course slicing them into the woods all day, and then you hit that towering 3 iron that lands on the green and rolls to 10 feet from the pin. I can enjoy a whole day of terrible golf if I get those one or two shots that are just about perfect.

48 days down, 107 to go
586 probs down, 623 to go in Circle 1


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