Man de la Maza

Monday, February 07, 2005

Think fast

Dipped into Level 30 tonight. Not a whole heck of a lot of time to think things through. Given that problems sometimes go a few moves deep, I'm going to have to make a move at about 95 seconds whether I see something or not. I think I got into the habit of settling into a problem over the first minute. I'm thinking I'll have to revamp that to be more like 10 seconds. 150 seconds is not a lot of time.

127 days down, 28 to go
410 problems down, 628 to go in Circle Three
Level 10: 96%, 44 sec/prob
Level 20: 93%, 79 sec/prob
Level 30: 80%, 107 sec/prob


  • Hi, Don! I've found that, especially when I got to the level 40's and 50's, that it was becoming impossible to remember all the variations and patterns on the problems without me taking the time to fully understand them first. I've been stuck on level 50's since December because there are some that I just don't get (especially where the puzzle is taken from a Tal game). So, I'll continue working through them slowly until I know I understand them. Once that occurs, I'll feel free to drill on them quickly to ingrain the pattern into my head.

    By Blogger CelticDeath, at 8:29 AM  

  • Don,

    Just wondering why Celtic Death is listed under other chess improvement. Looks like his approach is close enough to MDLM to consider him knight. What do you think?


    By Blogger DG, at 9:57 AM  

  • Don,

    Sounds good to me. The more the merrier!


    By Blogger Pawn Sensei, at 10:27 AM  

  • I agree, but I usually wait until someone says they want to be listed with us because ... I dunno ... because I do. Celtic Death, whaddya think?

    By Blogger Don Q., at 11:12 AM  

  • By the way, I have found the same thing about Tal problems. This man's brain was clearly wired differently than anyone else's who has walked the planet. He must have been an absolute terror to play.

    By Blogger Don Q., at 11:15 AM  

  • I'd be proud to become a Knight Errant. Boylston has referred to me as the Dark Knight, and I will wear that descriptive proudly! Tonight, when I return from chess club, I will add links to the remaining round table of Knights Errant as well as Boylston.

    By Blogger CelticDeath, at 2:41 PM  

  • Don, Saw your post on ChessNinja. Tonight I finished through problem 1091 (almost finished with level 70) on pass 1. I don't know how you guys find time to do a blog *and* do problems. :-) I am using a modified schedule since the original MDLM plan was too easy up front, and killing me in the middle. So currently I have 12 problems a day for this week, then 10 a day for next week, and 12 on the final day.

    A couple more comments:
    - Obviously it is not for everyone. Time commitment aside, the wide range of tactical difficulty in CT-Art may be a bit much, and there may be other lower hanging fruit others may find more beneficial (such as improving their thinking process). But for me, it seems like I am a good candidate.
    - I looked at your revised 10 circle schedule. For me, I think having the hard problems (at least to level 70) as part of the plan. They really make me "stretch". At this level I never see the entire sequence, but I often see some of the key ideas in the position, and it is surprising how often I can guess the first move correctly trying to exploit the idea (even though I can't see exactly where things are going). It makes me realize that there many positions have tactical opportunities despite first impressions. Also, a number of the problems at this level are long forced sequences, which are good for improving calculation.

    Anyway, keep forging on! I am still going fairly strong so far (though admittedly I am two days behind, which I hope to make up later this week or this weekend at worst).

    RE: blogging on this topic, it is interesting to see others' experiences and thoughts as they go through the plan... Maybe that is worth recording for others...Hmmm....

    a.k.a. fussylizard on

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:02 PM  

  • Don, you inspired me to begin my own blog on chess improvement at
    Maybe you find something of interest here the coming days. Allthough I walked on a different road than De La Maza it's amazing to see how our approuches converge.
    I have a few years experience in chess improvement and made some interesting discoveries and stumbled into a lot of pitfalls which I like to share. Maybe it will help someone to improve and not to loose so much time as I did. I'm not experienced in blogging at all so can anyone tell me how I can put a link to your blog on my blog?

    By Blogger Temposchlucker, at 3:52 AM  

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