My trainer told me - How to calculate (2)

My trainer told me - How to calculate (2)

Apr 7, 2016, 9:01 AM |

Let's have a short summary of the content so far.

  1. Decide if the position is tactical.
  2. If yes, then start with the checks.
  3. Continue with the captures.
  4. Search for direct threats after this.

My trainer (more than 15 years over 2600 Elo ond 6 years training the young Kramnik) told us that each IM and stronger has automated this search heuristic. Personally I don't believe in "each", but 95% percent is enough for me not to discuss this.

In my last tournament I had to detect to my shame, that even now at the 20xx level I forget too often to search for the checks and that I would become a better player if doing this search.

How to build a better habit seems to me the next question. In this subseries I'll report my first try and the results.

Being aware

The first step is being aware of the problem. Look at my performance curve in the tactics trainer here. The 25th of March was in the middle of the training seminar I heard again of this rule. I knew it before, no more remembering how many decennials ago I heard it first. See what happend after I remember myself each time I start the tactics trainer here.

The same trend with lower ratings could be inserted from

So knowing the problem and bring it to the consciousness gives a little help.

What more?

But that's not enough. Many chess players have reached a plateau on whatever level, tried to train and have been stuck. This happened to me too and leads to the first general problem: undermined self-confidence.

Having tried a change again and again without success leads many times to a wrong self-image. It's nonsense to say, that you can reach each goal. Even if this would be possible life is too short for this. You have to select one goal, one behaviour and take your time and accept that change doesn't come in a week or two.

The first step is detecting your disfunctional believes. Here are some:

  • The talent (genius, ...) is missing in my case. Harder: I'm too stupid to reach more.
  • I'm too old too learn better chess. Harder: Between myself and a dead is no difference in learning chess.
  • Even if I learn something I cannot use it in otb games. Harder: I tumble blindly over the board, as I'm not able to think then.

There are more. You can add your personal ones. The way to fight this is being aware of your skills in other areas. How did you manage to learn the rules? How did you learn reading? How comes you have made money? How comes you found a partner?

Everybody being able to read this so far has so many skills and abilities, that it is impossible to deny the idea further learning in your life.

So fix it: You can progress. You don't know how far. So there's nothing to blame. Success and failure belongs to the process.

A practical step

Being careful with yourself in the process of training means setting realistic goals. In my case this is 15 to 30 minutes five days a week spending time for building a new habit, this is looking for checks automatically and analyzing my failures and the limits of the method.

Try the following task from the tactics trainer I didn't solve correctly:

There are three checks. 1.Qxf5+ was excluded because of Nxf5 and there's nothing left for white.

To make it short I chose the wrong continuation because I didn't calculate exactly. I estimated moves or played hope chess, as Dan Heisman named it.


Last remark

As this is a little case study with myself I'll stop here. The start will be tomorrow. Saturday and Sunday is off for other purposes. I'll give a report if the method works. It is looking for each chess and collecting the mistakes spending 15-30 minutes 5 days per week for 45 days.