Saturday, February 02, 2008

Useful Observations

Here are some useful observations for those of you out there trying to complete the Seven Circles tactical training suggested by De La Maza. I not so much discovered these, but rather suffered in their absence.

Observation #1: Stay true to the number of puzzles you solve each day AND the amount of time you take to solve them.

For example, for the first 64 days, you are asked to solve 16 tactical puzzles each day with the puzzles getting more difficult as the days go by. Now 16 tactical puzzles can be completed in a matter of minutes if they are the garden variety 2-move mates and such. But as you get through your problem set and they become more difficult, you'll find that it takes longer and longer to truly solve the 16 puzzles. My advice is to not fret and have the answers handy to be disclosed to you. This is not *cheating* because, and remember this, you are training your tactical eye, and that is the entire purpose of these drills. It does you no good to sit and dwell over a puzzle for 5 minutes. Look up the answer and move on.

You essentially want to try and solve each puzzle in the same amount of time, no more. My advice is to give yourself at most 1 minute on each puzzle. That way, you'll be solving all of them for that day in under 20 minutes, then in about 30 minutes, then in about an hour, etc.

Observation #2: Play at least three blitz each day.

Blitz is essentially all tactics, for the most part. Play on a rated server like ICC or Playchess so your rating is tracked. Hopefully You'll begin to see improvement as you advance through the Seven Circles in your blitz play.

Good Training and Good Luck!