Man de la Maza

Monday, December 06, 2004


Made it. Inspired by reaching four digts, I caught up over the weekend and completed my one-thousandth chess problem last night. I celebrated with the traditional Arrogant Bastard Ale and leftover pizza.

The weekend started off very rocky. Friday night, I completed my problems at a 34% solve rate. This was disheartening to say the least, but I was very tired and knew I could do better. Nonetheless, I did contemplate going back to tic-tac-toe (which I freakin' rock at). Saturday and Sunday were much better. I am now at the much more respectable 53% solve rate for the level 60's. Everytime I start a new level I seem to go through a small crisis in confidence. My solve rate always dips low and then recovers. Some of this is no doubt the result of learning and doing the problems better, but I think the lion's share can be attributed to psyching myself out. We'l see. Level 70 is only a few days away. Here are my stats for Circle One:

Level 10: 95%
Level 20: 85%
Level 30: 75%
Level 40: 65%
Level 50: 65%
Level 60: 53%

Elo Start-Finish
Level 10: 1525-1820
Level 20: 1820-2056
Level 30: 2056-2103
Level 40: 2103-2165
Level 50: 2165-2312
Level 60: 2312-2320

Welcome to Orange Knight. Glad to have a class A player in our midst. I am very curious to see how much benefit the program provides for a higher rated player.

71 days down, 84 to go
1000! probs down, 209 to go in Cirlce One


  • Dear Knight,

    I have been following your quest for some time with great interest. Congratulations on your progress and the new friends who have joined your quest! I'm following a similar route to yours, but taking a somewhat different approach. Inspired by the following webpage: Overlearning I'm using an "overlearning" approach to the tactics problems in CT-ART. After completing the level 10 exercises, I immediately repeated them before heading into the level 20 (where I am now.) After completing these, I'll start again at the beginning, doing the level 10 and 20 exercises again before heading to the level 30. I chose this approach over de la Maza's because I felt I needed to stress the basics more and that getting to the advanced exercises without having done so would not be productive. Different approach, same goals!

    I thought of an interesting point, though, about de la Maza's progress. In his book, he says that he played approximately 200 games at an average of 3 hours per game. This many slow games would be a great way to improve all by itself! Reading Dan Heisman's advice in the Novice Nook, he stresses the combination of memorizing tactics and playing lots of slow games. So, don't let your OTB game results discourage you! Its a necessary, but easy to overlook part of de la Maza's training program. Its actually a wonder he didn't stress that aspect more in his book!

    Keep up the good work!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 AM  

  • Paul,

    Checked out the site from your post. Very interesting. I would particularly like to hear how the author spent 9 years in college at Harvard. I would have liked to stay in college that long, but I feel certain my liver never would have made it.

    I wish I could play that many slow games. I can sneak 2 hours a day into my day, but weekend swisses are another matter. I play 2-3 rated games a month at chess club, and I hope to get in 3-4 swisses this year. I should be lucky to get in 30 games over the next 12 months. I love OTB tournament play but have never taken to Internet for serious play. That sure would make things easier.

    By Blogger Don Q., at 4:14 AM  

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