Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CJS Purdy had it spot on!

As simple as it may sound, CJS Purdy wrote that the double-attack is the key to chess. And I couldn't agree more! Maybe once someone is up to an 2000-2200 level, positional play becomes the main concern. But I think for any average chessplayer, mastering the double attack means mastering the fundamental tactic of the middle-game.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dismantled Shredder on 1400 Playing Strength

I must be having a flash of "chess vision" tonight, or Shredder is just generally playing weak chess, because I managed to beat Deep Shredder on 1200 Elo AND as we see here, Shredder resigned while I stomped him on 1400 Elo playing strength. This is very promising! Now, if I can manage to beat Shredder with the black pieces on 1400, then my new goal will be 1600. Just a remark, however, Shredder plays pretty weakly next to Fritz or Chessmaster when set down to lower playing strengths, comparatively. So, I haven't gotten my hopes up. I'm sure I'd still score a flat 1000 in a real tournament. Nevertheless, this is my personal best against the engine.

Beat Shredder on 1200

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stappenmethode (or how to get free training material)

I have chosen a study method, consisting of 5 steps, which has shown great success in Europe, namely, the Stappenmethode (Step Method). See the following link for a good summary of the various levels and what can be expected:

The Step Method in Chess

The coolest thing is, that this 5-step method was implemented as a software training program, namely, the TASC Chess Tutorial 2, and this CD is being given away for free by chesshouse.com. One must only pay the shipping, and this is how I obtained my version of the software. Yet again, the price is right! $3 shipping and a program that can take you from novice to 1800 ELO? Wow! Nicht schlecht Herr Specht! Now, it's just time to put in the "blood pouring from the brain" hard work.

TASC Chess Tutorial 2 CD (free copy)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

IQ and Chess Strength

Interesting article:

IQ and Chess Strength

So assuming that I have a dead even average IQ of 100, I could expect to attain roughly a 2200 ELO rating in Chess with dedicated training. This sounds about right, as I have read in many places, and from many authors, that this level is attaintable with hard work and practice alone and requires, "no special, predisposed chess intelligence".

Best of Free Chess

Everybody fire up a Windows XP Virtual Machine or put Windows 7 into compatability mode and check out the following website for the absolute best in freeware chess software. With a repertoire of absolutely free software (esp. Fritz 5.32 + Rybka.ctg opening book), there isn't much you can't do. The price is right!

Zarkon Fischer's Free Chess Programs

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Optimally Spaced Repetition Learning

One of the ideas I've been toying with in my head is writing a chess training software (see CT-ART 3) that not only utilizes the computer as a training tool for chess tactics, but also, that incorporates the idea of optimally spaced repetition learning (aka SuperMemo algorithm).

By defining a set of of question/answer type tactics problems along with an algorithm that models human memory, a more effective and optimal approach to learning the problem sets and retaining the content can be acheived.

I would like to use the SuperMemo-2 algorithm along with a proven and solved set of tactics problems and I would implement it in Java using Chesspresso.

This shall prove to be in interesting experiment in learning ;-).

Base Line Goal

Excerpt from Modern methods for training a chess player:

The very initial stage we call conditionally our 'base line'. The aim at this stage is to acquire a playing skill of approximately 2200 ELO. At this stage a chess player must have a successfully tested opening repertoire which includes 2 openings as White and 2 openings with the black pieces. The chess player must master tactics (60-70 per cent of a success rate solving problems of an intermediate difficulty), acquire a firm knowledge of the basics of chess strategy, ie. How a position's evaluation is developed and what are its components, familiarize with about 15-25 common plans from the chess classic examples, know typical chess endings: evaluation, plan of play and standard tactical methods for approximately 250 endgame positions. It is necessary to acquire the skills of working with a computer and with chess software.

Now, the plan is to develop a training schedule for reaching this "base line" goal. More to follow.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chess Typesetting with LaTeX

So, I've spent a good part of my night typesetting chess. Yes - a ridiculously wonderful waste of time and energy one might say. Alas! I have created a wonderful product of typesetting (non)-mastery - behold:

Springergabel Typesetting Test Layout

Friday, October 28, 2011

Welcome to Springergabel

I'm going to keep this post short, as I don't have too much time to get into many details. This blog's purpose is three-fold:

  1. Chart my progress and learning as an individual player.
  2. Serve as a resource to other chess players looking to improve their play.
  3. Provide a medium, through which guest editors of all levels can express their ideas, tips, and, most importantly, passion for the game of Chess.
Why the name Springergabel? First off, the name Zugzwang was already taken (damn)! Due to the fact that I live in Germany now (born in the States), I wanted a cool sounding German chess term for the site. The next best thing I could think of was Springergabel - translated as "knight-fork" - a very powerful chess tactic indeed! A fitting title, no?