Man de la Maza

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

100 Days!

Well on the schedule anyway. It's actually been like 108 days on the calendar. Really never thought I'd make it this far, but it has kind of taken on a life of its own. Even after all this, I was ready to toss it in last night.

I had just started level 30, and it was not going well. I was scoring below the 75% mark I had achieved in Circle One. After all this work, I was doing no better! It was not at all comforting that I was approaching the problems in half the time. I don't want to spend 5 months to be as bad as I was at chess before, only 7 times faster. Very hard not to be discouraged, particularly when I have invested over 200 hours into this.

(Side note: 200 hours! Wow! The equivalent of 5 work weeks, and work weeks where you actually spend the whole day working and not screwing off making notes in blogs. That's a lot of time).

Two things helped me. First, I stopped trying to find the first move in the first 2 and a half minutes. A lot of times I felt obligated to move then so I could study the solution in the last 2.5 minutes. This worked fine with Circle One and 5 minutes, but it sucks for Circle 2. Now I don't look at the solution after 2.5 minutes unless I am completely stumped. I solved a lot of them in the 3-4 minute mark.

Second, I recalled that my first time through I redid erroneous problems thus making my solve rate a little higher. Even equalling my earlier mark is exceeding it.

In the second half of the problems last night I felt "in the groove" in a way I haven't since early December. The later probs in Circle One were so hard that it was hard to ever feel very accomplished. It was more trying to even understand it. The early problems for Circle Two weren't really requiring me to stretch, and I lowered myself to the occasion.

If I make it to the end of this, it will be because I don't lose site of the "keep on going" mentality. Have to just keep doin it and wait for whatever is going to happen to happen.

Welcome J'adoube
A warm welcome to the newest quester, J'adoube. After triathalons and martial arts endeavors, I think chess problems should be a breeze.

100 days down, 55 to go
460 problems down, 749 to go in Circle Two
Level 10: 97%
Level 20: 88%
Level 30: 76% (and rising)


  • Don't worry Don. I think hitting low spots are probably part of the program that Michael de la Maza forgot to mention while writing his book. It seems like every time
    I hit a rough spot it is usually followed a couple of days later with a breakthrough of sorts where I catch a small glimpse of something new. I just wish I could bottle those moments and pull them out when I need them most... like now during my current low spot.

    By Blogger Sancho Pawnza, at 4:57 PM  

  • Anyone who gets 97% on level 20 is not allowed to talk about low spots!! :->

    By Blogger Don Q., at 5:25 PM  

  • Thanks for the welcome. Keep at it. I think everyone will have these slumps. . .God knows I am. . .

    By Blogger Jim, at 8:30 PM  

  • Congrats Don! Remember, you aren't only doing it for yourself anymore. If any of us quit the rest of us lose some motivation too.

    By Blogger Pawn Sensei, at 10:46 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger job opportunitya, at 12:16 PM  

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