I'm making rapid progress!

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I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Bilbo on May 29th 2009, 3:59 am

I'm really starting to feel the benefit of working through the first month module now. On Playchess for slow games I am now rated at 1758 which places me 1870 out of 6703! So well in the top third of all players on the site, and I only joined a chess club in September last year!

It's really starting to click into place now and I'm improving rapidly I feel.

I can't wait to for my local club summer tournament to start next week and then several congresses coming up to really try out these new strategies and ideas in real OTB rated play.

Is anybody else experiencing a noticable gain of chess strength over the board yet?

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 29th 2009, 9:07 am

Congrats, that's awesome!

It's hard for me to tell if I'm improving. One month is so short a time. There are a few ideas I've learned, though, that have popped up in real games.

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Bilbo on May 29th 2009, 9:28 am

I think there will be a brief period when the new ideas we have actually lead is to making more blunders because are thinking about level 3 type chess and will miss level 1 and 2 simple themes and tactics.

But gradually as we absorb the ideas a little bit I think we will all notice a ratings hike.

I'm really pleased about my new score on slow games (Now 1764) as in the past I was able to just touch 1700 but would then plummet down to below 1600 and and could rarely get above 1650.

Now I feel that I'm capable of maintaining around the 1700 mark so maybe a natural elo increase of about 50-80 points which is pretty sizeable based on just the first month alone.

If I could jump 50 elo points with every month that would be an increase of 550 elo points by course end which would make me around the 2000-2100 mark by the time I've completed the course.

I can dream......... Very Happy

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by hoopy on May 29th 2009, 1:41 pm

Interesting but positive results. BDK & I discussed on an earlier thread where it was a case of our rapid chess was getting much worse!! but too early to tell on slow chess.
My slow remains around 1820 ELo (1900 chessbase.com) I am finding however fewer extremes in my play -not enough wild combinations to beat guys much higher than me but fewer errors agianst players lower than me.
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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Bilbo on May 29th 2009, 3:16 pm

It sounds like you already a pretty acomplished player if you have a 1900 slow rating Hoopy so progress likely wont be fast.

I was struggling to keep above 1600 when I started the course so possibly I'm learning more new material from the course than you as you may be familiar with much of it already?

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 29th 2009, 3:33 pm

I have more to learn than anybody!!! bounce rabbit study

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Bilbo on May 29th 2009, 3:35 pm

I seem and hoopy are neck and neck on 49 posts, have to beat him to 50 Razz

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by hoopy on May 29th 2009, 3:37 pm

Bilbo wrote:It sounds like you already a pretty acomplished player if you have a 1900 slow rating Hoopy so progress likely wont be fast.

I was struggling to keep above 1600 when I started the course so possibly I'm learning more new material from the course than you as you may be familiar with much of it already?

To be fair I am still not at the same level I was at 15 yras old when I stopped playing!!. I surprisingly am learning a fair bit. My combinational play & endgames were not bad but I have lots to learn on strategy- & it certainly does not mean I cannot be beaten as "chess?" has shown me.
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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by hoopy on May 29th 2009, 3:39 pm

Bilbo wrote:I seem and hoopy are neck and neck on 49 posts, have to beat him to 50 Razz

You win!!. Check the time of the post. 1 minute before mine!!
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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by chesstiger on May 29th 2009, 5:30 pm

I think i improved a little after the first month. Thats more then i espected since i am already rated 1907 belgian elo and around 1850 playchess.com blitz (after only 6 games).

In the Antwerp commercial league my rating went from 2033 to 2047 (my all time best). All games i played before i started with the course so i cannot claim it's because of the course.

But i definetly learned something in month one, i can only hope i will do the same in the months to come. Question
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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Chess? on May 30th 2009, 2:09 pm

hoopy wrote:
Bilbo wrote:It sounds like you already a pretty acomplished player if you have a 1900 slow rating Hoopy so progress likely wont be fast.

I was struggling to keep above 1600 when I started the course so possibly I'm learning more new material from the course than you as you may be familiar with much of it already?

To be fair I am still not at the same level I was at 15 yras old when I stopped playing!!. I surprisingly am learning a fair bit. My combinational play & endgames were not bad but I have lots to learn on strategy- & it certainly does not mean I cannot be beaten as "chess?" has shown me.

You and me buddy, straight to the GM level! Rolling Eyes
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To quote the ICS website:

Post by Chess? on May 30th 2009, 2:13 pm

I don't expect to become a 2200+ player over the next 9 months. But I do think I can make it to a consistent 1800. This I would be happy with.

Main module:

Your account will be updated every month for 1 year with new theoretical lessons (strategy & tactics), annotated games, exercises and problems with annotated solutions, complex endgames (in the last 6 months), annotated games played by world chess champions, tips and guides.
At the end of the program, you should already have acquired the necessary information for a 2200-2300 ELO rating strength
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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Bilbo on May 30th 2009, 4:25 pm

I actually completely agree with them regarding the amount of information we will have. It probably is equal to 2300 strength, especially in openings and middlegames. However its one thing having the information and another thing completely in being able to understand, absorb and apply all that information to our own games.

I mean any decent university will provide a student with enough information to pass with first class honours but not many students do.......

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by KasparovIsGod on June 18th 2009, 12:10 pm

What I feel weird is that they don't have diagnostic tests before the start of the program to check out where the prospective student is at on the 'chess spectrum' not just in terms of ratings but in terms of knowledge etc. Do you think that it would be a much better proposition?

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on June 18th 2009, 12:56 pm

I agree they need more measures, at least for psychological reasons. I think they expect people to play slow games, so the ratings should be a good indicator.

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Student Specific Gaps

Post by BobbyBlunder on June 18th 2009, 3:35 pm

KasparovIsGod wrote:What I feel weird is that they don't have diagnostic tests before the start of the program to check out where the prospective student is at on the 'chess spectrum' not just in terms of ratings but in terms of knowledge etc. Do you think that it would be a much better proposition?

This seems like a good point. I guess the ICS course as it stands is a sort of foundation course to ensure that everyone has been exposed to the basics (as Universities do in year 1). Perhaps after this we all need to find a coach and they can deliver more personal attention and identify areas that need work?

For the moment I feel that having done most the course that I am able to see mistakes in play that I could not see before. This seems to me that for a while I can effectively coach myself for a while.

What do people think? After this course do we seek a trainer, another course, or can we expect to grow on our won for a while as we absorb and apply this mountain of material ICS provide? scratch

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by chesstiger on June 18th 2009, 5:56 pm

I guess we formost must work on our bad points like maybe endgame, opening, tactics, ... . Offcourse the more finetuning of what we have learned in the ics course is also on the agenda.

Only if we find that we need more outside help to further improve or to step further onwards to chess kingdom one should hire a coach or trainer but one has to be sure that the person that one hires for ones coach or trainer has to be compatible with ourself.

But offcourse before a coach or trainer one has to be sure that one really knows what one has learned in the ics course and has implemented all into once thoughtproces.
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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Blue Devil Knight on June 19th 2009, 12:35 am

BobbyBlunder wrote:What do people think? After this course do we seek a trainer, another course, or can we expect to grow on our won for a while as we absorb and apply this mountain of material ICS provide? scratch

I look at this course simply as a supplement to slow games/postmortems with a coach. Best to do those while doing this course, not after, but after is good too. AT least at my low level, I need all the help I can get.

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Tournament experience following near completion of the course.

Post by BobbyBlunder on July 6th 2009, 5:08 pm

OK, I just completed my second tournament (after a year absence) and can now clearly see the course work changing my thought process at the board. Its pretty subconcious but I 'see' the evaluation differently now. In terms of rating I am about .5 off master level performance. In a Master/Expert section typically 4.5/6 will give you a master performance, 4 will be 2100 and 3.5 will be 2000 - something like that.

I have not quite finished the course and I have not really started the openings work so .5 is quite within reach.
I noticed that when I was playing experts and masters I never got an advantage out of the opening with White.

What was noticable was the degree of control I had in the game and clarity of the positional evaluation. When I used to beat 1700-1800 types the games were messy with chances for both sides and I ususally won because of my tactical superiority. Now it is different - I run the show, they don't get a look-in, their activity is shut down and the whole thing is at a different level.

Areas that I really notice is a) the quality of the pieces, b) coordination and c) the type of center. I used to be looking for premature tactical knock-outs and now I am happy to create a position with more active and better coordinated pieces. Also having been through the course I am happy to exchange on type of advantage for another instead of mindlessly pursuing one dimensional thinking. Finally I noticed how I look for weakness and create them - looking to weaken the opponents position and create disharmony, rather than always seeking to build up my own position. Also very aware of consequences.

In summary. This course does provide an opportunity to think like a strong player. This stuff works. Its hard work, takes ages to go through material and a real effort is needed to apply it at the beginning. But ... This stuff works! The rating performance has yet to be realized, but the increase in the degree of control when playing U2000 (US Ratings) is very easy for me to see. That is a measurable result. Where I might have uneven games U2000 now they get rolled over. Nice!

Over 2000 opponents? I missed having good opening preparation. You clearly need it at that level. However in terms of 'seeing' at the board - I saw just as much as they did. If I had a tight opening rep, and good experience of typical positions arising from them, then 50%+ against masters and experts is going to happen.

Thats my story - I imagine others will experience improvement in different areas but I wanted to reassure those investing so much time that thier investment (in time and money) is worth it. I believed in the course at the beginning and as I near the end I can see proof of concept.

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by KasparovIsGod on July 8th 2009, 1:34 pm

My question is what rating did you have (and for how many yrs) before you took up the course. Sometimes it's said that people take a quantum leap (as opposed to a gradual increase) in the rating level after just such new info /training. The course is supposed to give us 2300 Fide level knowledge (2400 USCF). I am slightly sceptical of that. Of course anyone under 2000 would only gain from this course!

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by BobbyBlunder on July 8th 2009, 2:34 pm

OK to quantify this my rating last year when I started the course was around 2085 USCF down from a peak ten years before of USCF 2230+. I am not going to experience a quantum leap - for me this course is going to help me climb back to 2200 but this time as a stronger player.
My current current rating after two tournaments is about 2075 I think. So I have not played much yet, however I have no doubt that the quality of my play now is superior to my play ten years ago when I was a Master.
I would guage my playing strength is Master level or rather will be once I have completed the opening component.
I lost some points in the first tournament because I did not convert winning or very good positions to the full point. But the control was there. In the second tournment the control was there and I converted then to a win and gained rating points.

I don't know how I managed to get to 2200 before, I was relatively quite weak. I predict a rating climb.

I notice when analyzing openings now I find myself challanging the assessment and the moves. I didn't set out to do that it is happening naturally (as a result of the course work) and am developing my own new moves. I realize now that a lot of opening books and dvd's contain much that is poor. I might reveal some of that material later to prove it, but I will probably hold onto my own material. How about this for an edge - your own novelties where you have developed a new plan or new way of implementing an old plan that is not found in theory. This is an unexpected bonus. I am going to enjoy this!

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by AoxomoxoA on July 14th 2009, 6:40 pm

BobbyBlunder wrote:OK to quantify this my rating last year when I started the course was around 2085 USCF ...
My current current rating after two tournaments is about 2075 I think.

Your rating goes down, but your understanding of chess did increase. Good old de la Maza! I hope it will be the other way around with me ;-)

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by BobbyBlunder on July 17th 2009, 3:58 pm

It is probably worth pointing out that if you are changing your opening systems as well as everything else, then one would anticipate a decline in sporting performance for a while. If you throw in changes in the thinking process then ...

Very weak players are different - one can see how introduction to some ideas can be immediately beneficial to them in terms of sporting success - ie they win more games. If you are FIDE 2000 already the story is very different.

I would criticize the introduction to the course work as most students are not educated or helped to understand the high degree of probability of poor performance while doing the program. Of course some will take to it like a duck to water and can happily chart progress by rating points. In the long term rating points is a critical success factor. In the short term, rating performance is simply the wrong yardstick for the majority of students. They will assume the course work is not helpful, become frustrated and quit. Module 1 should have dealt with that.

For those of you that think all students should immediatelty experience the joy of constantly winning and securing tons of rating points simply because they have done a few modules, then you are simply wrong.

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by Bilbo on July 18th 2009, 5:55 pm

I agree with what you've said BobbyBlunder. In my case I feel like I'm improving constantly and my results are improving, but then I only started playing last September and so am only just getting out of the beginner phase.

I felt the ICS material wasn't foundational enough for me though hence my decision to use Yusupov's workbook first to really get the fundamentals nailed, then back onto the ICS course.

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Re: I'm making rapid progress!

Post by AoxomoxoA on July 18th 2009, 7:27 pm

Bilbo wrote: ... hence my decision to use Yusupov's workbook first ...

Yusupov is Teacher at Chesstigers Universit├Ąt (www.chesstigers.de) . They have seperate lessons for people with different ratings: http://www.chesstigers.de/download/UNI-Plan-2007.pdf, but its in german language. Yusupov is now printing the "expensive" internetlessons as "cheap" books ( 1/3 - 1/2 in price ).
Maybe the "Tigersprung" books will be translatet in english to?

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