Man de la Maza

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Level 90 and up

I entered the last last set of problems last night. The were hard but solvable. It helped that the first one I got was a variation of Damiano's mate, so I knew the basic pattern; I just had to figure out a few wrinkles. Nothing like calculating a 10 move mating sequence where you sacrifice 2 rooks, 2 bishops, and 2 knights to help your confidence. I was very tired though and glad I only had 8 problems to do.
Sancho claims that the Level 90 are easier. Let's hope he's right.

I'm one schedule to finish on December 29th. My plan is to take it a little easy and on December 31. After all, I've got Christmas and a vacation in Florida between now and then. No sense rushing.

Does anyone speak Dutch? Swedish?
I was googling yesterday and came across this site. I'm guessing Dutch because I know we have one reader, Bach Singer, from the Netherlands. Could be Swedish. My ignorance runneth over.

Some other interesting places where the blog turns up:
The Progressive Republic and The Austin Film Festival

Orange Knight
I suggest we send out a search party for Orange Knight. He caught a cold on December 4th and has not posted since. Must be a nasty cold.


  • Just out of curiosity, how much time do you devote to each problem? How much time did it take you to work out that 10 move mate you talked about?

    I'm doing the 7 circles program myself but not like MDLM suggests. I take as much time as I need per problem because I like figure it all out before I make the first move.

    P.S. I don't have an account here at, that's why I posted anonymously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:11 PM  

  • The language in question is Norwegian Don.
    He was just telling people to check out your blog.
    The press conference was a big hit. :)

    Oh BTW "LMAO" means Laughing My A** Off

    Keep that stuff coming you continue to make laugh, and others as well.

    By Blogger Sancho Pawnza, at 3:56 PM  

  • Dean Anonymous,

    The amount of time you devote to a problem changes with each time through. During the first circle, you should spend no more than 10 minutes on a problem. During the second, 5 minutes, etc. In the last circle, you spend a maximum of 30 seconds.

    The mate in 10 took me 2 minutes. This is the exception rather than the rule. As I said in the post, it was an extension of a famous mating pattern caled Damiano's mate ( I recognized the basic pattern almost immediately and then it was just a matter of checking that the bishop and knight sacrifices were forcing.

    Good luck on you quest. Keep us updated in the comments as to your progress or start as blog at It's free!

    By Blogger Don Q., at 6:07 AM  

  • Sancho,
    And how is it that you know Norwegian?

    Thanks on LMAO. Finally figured it out with a big hint from cubefarmer. Learning all kinds on knew lingo. Yesterday I came across "shizzolated" -- a process whereby English is translated into Snoop-doggy dog speak.

    By Blogger Don Q., at 6:10 AM  

  • So, what was the percentage of the level 50 problems that you were able to really solve within the 10 min. time limit? (or is it 5 min.?) 'Cause I think you're supposed to spend 5 min. trying to work out all the variations and another 5 min. to study the solution, right?

    Wow! 2 minutes? That was impressive!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 AM  

  • I would say that about half (probably a little more) of the Level 50 problems took me the full 10 minutes. You are correct; you are supposed to study the full solution in the 10 mintues -- a custom more honored in the breach than the observance.

    By Blogger Don Q., at 5:31 PM  

  • I got the impression while doing CT-ART that any problems above level 50 are too difficult to train one's basic tactical intuition. I've always tried to repeat the lower level problems until I knew them cold.

    Howard Goldowsky

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 AM  

  • One thing I wondered as I do my tactical exercises (I don't have the software you guys use, so I use the Wilson & Alberston books) is the amount of concentration it takes to find a 7-ply or longer tactic. This basically leaves me no time to think about any positional ideas (in most time controls you should at least be moving at a 2 min per move rate). Despite what Michael de la Maza says, everyone needs to know general principles of weak squares and minor pieces in addition to tactics and a long term plan. There is no guarantee that there will be a tactic in your current position, and there may not be one during your first 25 moves even. Do you guys think that grandmasters actually look for purely tactics (as in a separate thinking step) in their game? Or do they just naturally spot them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 PM  

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