Just checking back in....

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Just checking back in....

Post by Bilbo on October 14th 2009, 5:17 pm

I've not logged on here for a while so thought it was about time to give an update on my progress.

We are a few weeks into the 2009/10 season here in the UK and this season so far is not nearly so fun as the last! With my first grade being 122 I just finished abover the beginner/patzer level known here as minor. I am officially an intermediate now but only barely.

Last season I played people who were mostly very poor or casual players and I won most of my games. This year I'm playing mostly players higher rated than me and so far have not adjusted well.

My grade is 122 and so far this season I've played 7 games, one an easy win against a low ranked player but the others all to higher rated, their grades being 129, 132, 137, 141, 158 and 166 respectively. Out of those I've drawn with the 129 and 137 but lost the other 4.

Next week I'm scheduled to play my reigning county champion, with a grade of 176, and have a league match where now I'm playing in the Second Division rather than the third, so will most likely be slightly overmatched again.

As improving at chess is important to me, and winning games is the ultimate proof of improving, it's disheartening me a little bit. I didn't think the leap would be this hard.

What's worse is that in three of the games I lost, even with computer analysis I don't really understand why I lost. Occaisionally I drop a pawn to a tactical shot but even in those games Rybka judges my opponent to be slightly better whereas in the game I felt I had much the better position, suggesting I'm not understanding something....

I took a break from ICS and chess study for a few weeks in the summer and started again a few weeks ago from the beginning. I have gone over the 1st month again and now will spend one more week quickly going over all of it once more and then begin Month 2 and hope that I start to improve my understanding.

I guess I'll have to suck it up and be prepared to lose a few more over the next few weeks, but hopefully I can plug the gaps in my knowledge and improve my game so as to come good in the latter half of the season.

I'll start posting on here more often again once I've started Month 2.

Hope the rest of you guys are still going strong Smile

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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by Blue Devil Knight on October 15th 2009, 12:28 pm

Great to see you back, and it is awesome you are playing better players now, that means you will really improve faster!

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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by hoopy on October 20th 2009, 10:09 am

Good to see you back but still hiding behind that English grading nobody understands! ( Only joking good to hear from you again).
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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by Blue Devil Knight on October 21st 2009, 11:49 am

I agree that English system is like telling me it is 25 degrees Celcius. I have no idea--does that mean it is hot out?

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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by Gil-galad on October 22nd 2009, 3:03 pm

Hi Guys;

A quick guide ECF to FIDE grading is;

ECF FIDE
100 1450
120 1610
140 1770
160 1930
180 2090
200 2250
220 2410
240 2570
260 2730

Hope that helps

Regards

Dave

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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by Blue Devil Knight on October 23rd 2009, 9:11 am

Time for you guys to switch to the metric system. Smile

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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by Bilbo on October 23rd 2009, 11:59 pm

Gil-Gilad is right, I think it's hard to translate exactly between systems but a 122 grade is somewhere around 1600.

I'm now playing most players rated 1700 and above and I'm finding the jump quite a large one.

Last year a fairly large majority of my opponents were rated below 1400 and I could get away with mistakes, or wasting tempo's ect that I just can't do against the level of player I'm facing now.

I'm not being blown out in games, in fact I should have won a couple and drawn a couple more. I find I tend to outplay almost anyone in the opening and early middlegame, and get generally excellent positions but the longer the game goes on the more I'm likely to go wrong.

A lot of these players probably havn't studied the game at all like I am now doing, so in opening knowledge and the strategic middle game ideas I've studied so far, I am already slightly superior to many I feel, but a year of chess playing experience, even with hard study can't yet compensate for the several decades of playing experience some of these guys have.

I feel like sometimes I actually know more than my opponent but they actually play better chess if that makes sense, a lot of my knowledge is theoretical and has not yet really become part of my practical understanding, whereas many of these guys don't have the theoretical learning but have grasped through many thousands of games experience which pieces best belong on which squares.

Anyway I feel optimistic of improving and getting it right over the course of the season.

I think another year's study and development, coupled with playing experience will give me a very solid base for my third competitive season next year.

In a funny way, despite losing, I'm loving the games and learning from my losses so it's all good.

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Re: Just checking back in....

Post by HangingKing on October 24th 2009, 10:59 pm

Due to your doing of tournaments, i decided myself to play some also on ICC (yes, i know, still online, but i find difficult to get time to do it OTB).

Well, i now understand your point of view regarding tournaments, because i find this very difficult at the beginning. I was not expecting to be so bad, scoring 0/5 or 1/5 in a 5 round swiss.

In fact, when i usually play games on ICC, i'm sometimes good, sometimes bad, and the average gives me my current rating.
But in a tournament you have to be there and efficient at the specific time the tourney begins and it's very different.
Moreover, the pairing system often assign very high rated opponents in first rounds.

However i have now completed 7 mini-tourneys, mainly blitz but longer ones were 4-5 rounds of 17 5 and 20 0 (5 rounds 20 0 is already 4h chess in a row !). I'm not sure to attend the weekly 40 0 or 60 0 monster...
But i can already notice that with more concentration and practicing this kind of event, i manage to play better chess.

Finally, i think i was lacking this, because in all the games i played before doing tournaments, it was casual play, i mean i was seeking only long term improvement, accepting doing mistakes and wrong positions in order to learn how to deal with them.
But the tournaments requires strong dedication to win, and attention, else you finish with a full big and humiliating zero !

I don't think that i will improve my score so much since there are 2200 players and more in the tourneys, and i can expect a 3/5 at maximum with good pairing, but i intend to defend myself at great expense for the opponents.

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