Path To Chess Prosperity #16: Crossing 2100 Tactics

Path To Chess Prosperity #16: Crossing 2100 Tactics


OK... I know... probably not the biggest accomplishment in the world. But I had a good quality week study-wise, especially in tactics!

Last week, when I didn't really have a plan, I was moving back and forth, crunching a bunch of tactics, "wishfully thinking" I could raise my rating that way. I'm sorry, but that is not life. I was able to take things slowly this week, and the results were just about what I wanted! Without further ado, here is my "progress report" for this week. I hope you enjoy! 


As I stated in the previous paragraph, I took tactics relatively slowly, and it worked practically to perfection. Let's take a look at some numbers (and my feelings after each day!):

MONDAY-- 2059 to 2054 (-5 points) 6/10 (60% accuracy) 

TUESDAY-- 2054 to 2054 (0 points) 4/5 (80% accuracy) 

WEDNESDAY-- 2054 to 2068 (+14 points) 3/3 (100% accuracy) 

THURSDAY-- 2068 to 2091 (+23 points) 6/12 (50% accuracy) 

FRIDAY-- 2091 to 2109 (+18 points) 3/4 (75% accuracy) 

TOTAL-- 2059 to 2109 (+50 points) 22/34 (65% accuracy)

Monday was by far my worst day, though it was not a disaster by any means. I did not get in very many puzzles Tuesday and Wednesday, though the results were satisfying, and Thursday was by far the most interesting day because I gained 23 points, though I only solved 50% of the puzzles accurately! And I got in a couple of tactics today to try and cross the 2100 barrier, and I did just that! 

My only slight disappointment is that I was striving for 70% accuracy, and fell short. But otherwise, I thought this was the perfect week! If I can manage to gain 50 points every week for the next few weeks, I'm feeling pretty good about my chess! 



That's right! I failed to save the problems I got wrong and learn them! Part of chess is indeed playing and solving puzzles, but you will make a lot more progress if you learn from your mistakes! That's right... sometimes, life is simple! I will try to the best of my ability to get the tactics saved once I get them wrong! 

Anyways, as far as next week goes, I don't want to set too high expectations, though if I can match this week, I would consider that a win. 


I only got in three "new" endgames from the 100 Endgames book. I spent some time reviewing, and this chapter is about Rook vs. Pawn endgames, which may not seem that relevant at first, though it is a crucial one to know as these positions occur frequently (especially in time trouble!). I may end up saying this about every endgame (haha!), but I believe it is much important to know this endgame than to "move on". 

Here is an example:


White to move. Note: The arrow indicates the direction in which the Black pawn is moving. 

White draws if he is inside one of the highlighted squares. He would be too far away! But White does not reside on any of those squares, so White wins. It is critical that White's Rook defends the Queening square. White will march his King down, and when the pawn is on e2, Black will have to dispose of a tempo moving his King, in which White will have more time to move his King and round up the pawn. 

The reader is always welcome to set this up on a board and figure it out if he is still stuck. I just thought the position was interesting.


This was an interesting week as far as playing games (online and OTB) goes. I played a couple of online games (15|10 on The win felt good, and the loss was interesting, though frustrating. I didn't have time to add notes to the following games.

I also went to chess club Thursday night and played two games against club veteran John DeVries. He is roughly 1250 USCF (though has been as high as almost 1500 in his career). The time control was G/15 (no increment or delay), and I split the series 1-1. I do indeed provide brief notes on the games, though I have not analyzed it in depth yet.
We did tie the series 1-1, though we were not playing soccer!
The games were not perfect (or pretty for that matter!), though otherwise, as always, the experience was interesting. I know I didn't provide notes on the two online games, though feel free drop notes about the game if you want!
I think this concludes the sixteenth edition of my search for chess mastery! As always, feel free to leave a comment (or a follow!). 
Oh, one more thing.
I plan to not hit the tactics trainer button until Monday. As many of you may know, I used Chesstempo to train tactics and ditched that after a while once I realized I slightly enjoy tactics trainer more. The website has a "standard" mode where you can take as long as you want and receive full credit, though the puzzles are tricky. I decided to spend my weekend solving a puzzle from that site. I want this to be a challenge, so I discourage lots of early hints and request no one to spit out the answer. Little hints here and there are fine, though the purpose of this is for me to train my mind. Anyways, here is the puzzle I will be working through.
Any comments with moves will be deleted.
Have a good day!  I will see you soon! Until then...