Man de la Maza

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

70% or bust

I have 24 problems left in level 40, and I am tantalizingly close to 70%. If I can really rock and roll on the last 24, I think I can make it.

Funny how one gets hung up on intermediate goals but something has to keep you going through hour after hour of chess problem. Although I am a relatively calm person, I find myself swearing loudly at my laptop and gritting my teeth. I received the green face of death once last night and hit my clock so hard I thought I had broken it.

Thus went my Valentine's evening with the lovely Dulcinea. She's a patient woman, but at least I remembered to bring flowers.

Two general questions today:

1) I note that Fussy Lizzard appears to be going through the problems in order. This way he knows what tactical theme is the basis of the problem. I let CT Art randomly pick the problems in each level, so I never know what is coming next. What are other knights doing?

2) I have some graphs that I would like to post. Can anyone recommend a good sceen capture and graphics tool? I want something that a) captures screen data, b) will let me simplify an image so it has a smaller footprint, c) and is easy to use. Free would be nice as well.

135 days down, 20 to go
798 problems down, 241 to go in Circle Three
Level 10: 96%, 44 sec/prob
Level 20: 93%, 79 sec/prob
Level 30: 78%, 114 sec/prob
Level 40: 69%, 142 sec/prob


  • Do we have to call you "The 70% Dan" now? :)

    By Anonymous logis, at 7:12 AM  

  • ad 1. I always follow the given order. Because I think the essence lies in etching the same patterns over and over again in your brains.

    By Blogger Temposchlucker, at 1:55 PM  

  • I have been randomizing my group of 40 although I don't think it really has made much of a difference.

    I like the idea of mastering one theme, seeing it play out in ever more difficult positions. I bow to the more experienced Tempo, though, as ultimately this is all about etching in difficult patterns.

    By Blogger King of the Spill, at 7:22 PM  

  • I didn't even know you could solve them in a random order by level. The documentation for CT-Art is fairly useless. What settings do you use to get that? When I "log in" to CT-Art I choose "Grades by Difficulty" and "Practice".

    As for the actual order, I find that the "Conjunction of Combinational Motifs" theme is far more difficult than the other themes within a level. The "Lack of a king defense" theme can be pretty tough as well. So in some ways I like that the difficulty roughly builds within a level.


    By Blogger fussylizard, at 7:26 PM  

  • BTW I often use Snagit ( for image capturing. It is very easy to use. I think it is about $40. I'm sure there are some free tools out there, but I have just used Snagit for years. They have a free 30-day trial so you can try it out.

    And BTW- Congrats on the 70%! But note the comments Chris Kilgore left on my Feb. 14 entry re: not getting too hung up on the stats. I try not to, but when I get full credit on one of the Level 90 problems I get pretty excited. :-)


    By Blogger fussylizard, at 7:40 PM  

  • Hey Don,
    I also wanted to mention SnagIt, which a lot of people use in my office. It has a free download but the full-featured version costs $30. I've downloaded PaintShop Pro to use for screen cap and image manipulation. ( It's got a lot more features and the full version costs $100. I've got the full install if you'd like to "borrow" it (but don't tell Jasc). FYI.

    By Blogger Lord Lessismore, at 6:15 AM  

  • All last year I worked my tactics problems by difficulty. Now, I'm working them by theme. I think by working them by theme, I'll start recognizing meta patterns when I see a tactical position that will tell me "hey! Better look for a clearance move in this position first. Otherwise, there might be a double attack somewhere." Etc.

    By Blogger CelticDeath, at 11:10 AM  

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