Monday, March 03, 2008

Chess is such a difficult game

There's so many pieces.

Well, I've been playing chess again. I took I am Coach's chess exam to get a good gauge of where I stood in terms of playing facility, and I'm apparently playing a little over 1600 these days
(respectable, but not particularly good). Honestly, though, the best advice I got as a result of this was that I should be doing 80% playing and 20% studying, but I simply don't have the time or will to get a good game in. It's easier to spend 20 minutes on the train reviewing. Which is fair enough, because 20 minutes is too fast to play a serious game. Blitz will only ruin you. The results indicated that I was quite good at "standard positions" (that is, the typical textbook endgame positions), calculation, and endgames, in that order, which is what you'd expect from somebody who sits reading endgame manuals and twirling through long variations on the train. However, I did rather dismally at strategy and the middlegame. Though I know the theory and have worked a bit on it, that really is the sort of thing that comes with practice, with actually sitting at the board for a few hours playing a game several times a month. Despite all my tactical practice and bouncing around on that problem site, my tactical score was also fairly shoddy. That may be from a couple months' worth of rust, however. Time will tell.

UPDATE: I think this really has been helpful, because it does really show me that my work yields results. I was working on endgames, particularly standard positions, and my results indicated that I am strong in those. There we go. Action does, in fact, lead to results.