Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tactics training status

Chessimo:  1,465 problems done
CTS:  290 problems done

So... yes, it's clear I'm just doing the bare minimum of CTS.  Chessimo is already mildly challenging to me at Tactics 1 - Unit 12.  I'd be ashamed to say that, except for the circular part where I'm doing this because I'm bad at tactics.  Lesson to whippersnappers:  don't get discouraged by being bad at things you're trying to learn how to do.  It saps your soul.

I continue to like Chessimo, and the convenience of having it on my iPhone.  The ads claim it "remembers [my] progress" but meh I must have done the first third of Unit 11 three times.  Either that's PC only or I'm missing something.  Obviously with multi-threading I should be able to step away and step back.  Maybe I just forget to do that.  But otherwise at 135 problems per unit, it's hard to carve out that chunk of time in a single sitting.

After today's single sitting, I promptly passed out.  I dreamed of tactics!  That's gotta be a rite of passage, yeah?

I grew covetous of ChessTempo.com today.  That likely will be a part of my future.  But I have so many tactical resources right now, more is just distracting.

I've been having fun working out my repertoire, which really deserves separate blog posts.  I've decided to temporarily ditch most of my gambits.  It's too stressful to go in as a novice down a pawn, when you have barely any idea how to attack and have promised yourself not to book up too much.  I do know how to develop and the outlines of many openings, so against fellow patzers, attacks should develop on their own.  A finer reading of many recommendations clarifies that you should add in gambits after your novice stage.  Ah, I missed that nuance.

I'm favoring transpositions and less common variations.  It's fun!  I keep going back to the Dutch/Bird lines.  I find it aesthetically pleasing, but I'm dutifully wary of the Bird being too positional or complicated.  Black is mostly done, which I'll discuss later.  On White I'm trying to figure out if I can get enough sharp transpositions from 1.f4.  I'm trying to work out if I can get a combination of Bird/Larsen, King's Gambit, Taylor-style Grand Prix, Austrian Attack, and whatever other f4 openings fit the bill. Standard Classical or Polar Bear to fill in the rest, which I worry is too maneuver-y for me right now, but in doses might be fine. I'd prefer not to learn the King's Gambit (Declination of From), but it sure would make sense.  I assume the Vienna is waaay too far of a transposition.  I want to position myself for e4-ish openings, because sharp is important, and I want a switch back to e4 gambits to be silky smooth.  Transpositions help avoid a lot of theory (well, technically they might just shift theory), and will let me focus on less than the full slate of the e4 catalog.

More on that later.  So this is how you sate the novice's stupid passion for openings when he's promised himself not to practice openings.

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