Monday, February 26, 2007

Fallen Knight :-(

So I started to get behind in my schoolwork as a result of behind too obsessive-compulsive about the details of the tactical problems I was working through. My brain overloaded, I started to get depressed, and I had to drop the chess program :-(

I am doing a good job getting caught up in school, however, and once I am I will work tactical problems in my spare time. I'm going to save the Seven Circles for this summer. I think it would be best if I didn't blog anymore until I am done with the program, or at least with the first circle; then things will get interesting.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


The other night I had a flu-induced nightmare about chess. With a superior game, I moved my Queen where it could be captured, and my opponent simply took it. I made another move then immediately resigned in disgust, seizing the offending piece and hurling it against the wall, where it shattered.

On that note: I am nearly a month into my First Circle, not having missed a single day of training!

Some of the exercises, I have found, are meant to be "felt" positionally: you make a move or sequence of moves that sets you up for an attack, and at the end of the exercise your attack is clearly winning, though you have yet to either deliver checkmate or make any sort of material gain whatsoever. For example, consider the following position from a game by CTA's author, Maxim Blokh:

I believe this is exercise #910. The correct move is 1....b4!, opening up lines for an attack on White's king. Initially, the main thing to understand is that this move is NOT a sacrifice: although White has three pieces attacking that square to Black's two, the d5-knight will be removed on the next move. If that knight is the first to capture on b4, however, then 2....Nxe5 wins back the pawn.

Would everyone agree with my assessment of this kind of position, namely, that in some of the exercises you have to "feel" how good your resulting position will be, rather than know a concrete set of variations that lead to mate or win of material?