Chess blogs of (re)starting and improving players usually have (lack of) progress posts along a scale from "let's hear how much I rule..." to "... and now back to how much I suck". My last post may have been one of careful optimism, this one falls generously in the latter category, giving at least my chess blogging a balanced approach.
Besides CTS I did some exercises everyday, one day from Gillam's Simple Mates, the other day from his book on tactics. Today I found out that it's called Simple Chess Tactics for a good reason. Yes, the emphasis on "Simple" is mine.
A few months back I made it to Step 3 of the Stepsmethod, but got stuck in Chapter 10's exercises; those exercises deal with the material covered in Chapters 1 till 9. Yesterday I decided to give them another go, but to no avail. What was I to do next? Restarting Step 3 or while I was at it Step 1 seemed genuine options, I planned on going trough them from the start before or after Step 4 anyway.
The mailman however seemed to hand me an easy way out: It brought me Nunn's Learn Chess Tactics. While considering what to do in what order I would browse trough this books, with ease! Weren't the books of Gillam a piece of cake by now, this would be the same, but different.
After reading the the first chapter, on forks yesterday evening, I decided that I had an extra half hour, that would be more than enough to do all of Chapter 1's 46 exercises. Can you taste the hubris already?
A few exercises and the 46 were halved to only 23: Chapter 2 had only 27 exercises anyway, so it wasn't hard stepping down a bit. But after 23 exercises I was getting desperate, in about half those 23 exercises I either wasn't sure of my answer or couldn't come up with a single move altogether. And this is from the very first chapter in a book that states clearly that the only perquisite is to know the chess rules, and I am quite a bit above that.
I must however add on my behalf, that Chapter 1 covers more than plain and simple forks, it delves into sacrificial combinations and checks in preparation of the eventual fork as well.
Let's say it like this, especially for Chessloser, if Gillam's books are the prologue of tactics, than after finishing with Nunn I'll be wearing polka dots!
I'm not yet sure what to do next, I probably will give Nunn's LCT another go, if that fails I'll probably will restart the Steps: back to square one.
2 hours ago