A lot of you have been giving me advice over the last posts and elsewhere. I have been wondering lately, have I done something with all these good intentions? Have I thought about them, acted accordingly?
Let's find out!
Chess Tactics Server
Chessloser, Chesstiger (aka Logis) and Polly keep hammering not to worry about rating, but about strength. My interpretation of Chess Strength at Chess Tactics Server is the success percentage, a score based only on how many exercises are solved correct. I think this is what they mean with Chess Strength. David K even suggests percentages to aim at, first he mentions 90%, later 80%.
I do think I'm getting better at this, my rating seems to be stabilising around 1150, but my success percentage is still climbing: The other day I broke the 70% barrier with, for me, an extremely good score of 90% (45/50 correct). I'm aiming to keep my average score per session above 80% and eventually get my percentage there.
Chesstiger suggests that I shouldn't forget about playing chess and joins Likesforests in saying that I need a stronger sparring partner.
I have played the friend from the dreaded endgame post again in August, -I wrote the game down, but cannot find it- and I lost. I think I should be playing him every now and then. I will probably keep playing against Jabba and should be able to win easier and easier or maybe he'll do some chess training himself.
Joining a club isn't a possibility now, I don't no yet what my schedule will me for the this year with work and school. Maybe I should play a bit on the Internet, but I want to play slow games and I've heard it's mostly fast time controls.
Chesstiger (and a lot of others) suggested Jeremy Silman's Silman's Endgame Course, Tommy G was enthusiastic about Lev Alburt's Just the Facts, but he's now appears to be converted to Silman's church.
I'm not sure when I should be looking for exclusive Endgame material, there is quite some endgame training in the Steps Method, so maybe after Step 3. On the Chessvideos.tv site there are endgame exercises to play against Crafty, that might be promising. Crafty also can be strengthened with Endgame Tables, but maybe it's time for a commercial chess program, because Crafty sometimes just stops annotating or the program crashes while playing over an endgame.
Chesstiger advised using Max Euwe's Amateur vs. Master as a game collection to work with.
I already own Chernev's Logical Chess: Move by Move, so I would rather not buy yet another book; I do have the tendency to buy more and more and yet even more books, who doesn't in the world of chess, so I should rather use what I have.
Training & Tactics
In addittion to the Steps Method I'm using the TASC cd2, mentioned by Chesstiger. It uses the same method, but has way more exercises.
Dan says on his site that Nunn's Learn Chess Tactics (I own this book and the title is about as deceiving as the adage "for Kids" on some chess books) is a good successor book to his Back to Basics: Tactics. On that same page he also suggests a circle like approach to a basic tactics book.
Likesforests says that Susan Polgar's Chess Tactics for Champions also is a good follow up to Heisman's book.
I already had the TASC cd 2 on my wish list and ordered it. It should arrive somewhere next week. I will use TASC side by side with the Steps Method and say out loud (or when around others mentally what tactic/motif is used. Instead of buying more tactics books (Heisman's is tempting me very much), I will go trough the books of Gillam a couple of times and of course I'll be active at CTS.
A big thank you
I'm sure I haven't named everyone who has given me advise, or helped me in another way, so thank you all of you out there, named and unnamed!
Questions that remain
1. When should one start specific Endgame training (i.e. Silman's book)?
2. Does it matter if I start with Chernev's book or Euwe's? Who knows anything about the difference in level?
3. What chess program would be most beneficial to me? I want it to be able to annotate as well. For some reason I like Chessmaster IX:The Grandmaster Edition, I haven't seen it.
Instant Update on Question 02:
Heisman gives this order of difficulty on his site (Those which I own are in bold type, hiddenleaf):
"Recommended Instructive Game Anthologies (in roughly ascending order of difficulty):
Logical Chess Move by Move - Chernev
(note: the non-anthology A First Book of Morphy by del Rosario can be read here!)
Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played - Chernev
Chess: The Art of Logical Thinking - Neil McDonald
The Art of Planning in Chess - Neil McDonald
Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur - Euwe and Meiden
50 Essential Chess Lessons - Giddins
Chess Success: Planning After the Opening - Neil McDonald
Winning Chess Brilliancies - Seirawan (after this book I would go to individual game collections)
Understanding Chess Move by Move - Nunn
Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces - Stohl
Zurich 1953 - Bronstein"
5 hours ago