Thursday, December 20, 2007

TPS Report #9

I reached the #1 most active solver by midnight of both December 18th and 19th, mostly by flying through problems in Blitz mode. After finishing my 2,521st problem on Chess Tempo, pulled my Standard rating up to 2080 (82.24% correct, 12th highest active Standard rating) and my Blitz rating up to 2500 (67.25% correct). In Standard mode, my best streak is now 39 consecutive correct with 48 of the last 50 correct (96%!).

I think the two versions of solving, Standard and Blitz, train two Components of Chess Capability (CCC) in Rolf Wetzell’s Chess Master At Any Age. Blitz revs up my Mental Clock Rate, while Standard forces me to accurately stress my Ability to Project Positions (APROP). If you haven’t tried Wetzell’s method, I would highly recommend it. Some of the recommendations seem quaint, like making hundreds of custom flashcards. I actually made about 75 flashcards using a program I wrote in C#.NET, but I haven’t used it lately.

I routinely run my time over five minutes on Standard just to get a problem right. I think this is important to improve my tolerance for frustration. It’s been all too easy to let my inner sloth take over, give up on a problem/study/position analysis, and go straight to the solution. Instead, I feel like I’m working my tenacity muscles. I guess Wetzell would equate this to On-line Toughness.

So there you have it. Chess Tempo trains you on three levels to improve your Mental Clock Rate, your Ability To Project Positions, and your On-line Toughness. Three-for-one training to kick your game into gear the Wetzell way.

Now if I could just find a few more extra hours to study my openings, master games, and endings, and play some slow chess, I could call my training program comprehensive.

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