Training Diary | Chess Cafe Puzzle Book 1 Tactics - Day 1 of 20
I am starting with the tactical book first. Of the four in this series, this is the one I had spent the most time on in the past (I've probably done the first two tests a couple of times over the last 5 years or so). Since there is a strong chance of half-remembering answers, it's a good idea simply to get those tests out of the way first while still in the "warm up" phase.
The book recommends to take 2 hours to solve each test. There are ten tests in all, with 16 problems per test. I have split that up - 1 hour on the chess clock to solve 8 problems. I will do the other half tomorrow. Yes, I have skipped over all of the introductory chapters - that's just what I decided to do. You may feel it best to go over all the examples first before heading into the tests - they are not simple!
GM Aagaard in his books has recommended you include your concentration effort per training session on a scale of 1-10. An interesting suggestion. For this first batch, I'll go with a 7 or 8 - I was fully invested in solving these, and there were no outside distractions - but the brain seemed very foggy at times...which was to be expected. Still, I scored much better than I had expected. I wasn't certain of a few answers (always the case when you "think" you "remember" a solution), and I used up the entirety of my allocated 60 minutes - but at the end of the day, I collected all 17 of the potential 17 points! Always a nice feeling. I'm sure solving these in the past helped a fair bit, but I did not straight up remember the answer to any of them except the first problem - it involved a real effort to hammer out the details. I'm satisfied.
OCTOBER 23, 2017
CHESS CAFE PUZZLE BOOK 1 - TACTICS
Test 1 First Half - 17/17 pts - 1 Hour
CHESS CAFE PUZZLE BOOK 1 - TACTICS OVERALL
10/23/2017 - 1 Hour - 17/17 pts
OVERALL TRAINING - 1 hour
For the readers who would like to practice their calculation skills a little bit, here is an offhand blitz game I played recently. Yes, Black is up rather a lot of material at the moment, but this is when you should be concentrating the most. Many a chess game has been lost by lack of attention in "won" positions. Anyway. See any tactical ideas?