Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tactics improvement in 2 graphs

I've blogged previously about my long chess break from February to September and how it appears that break did me good.  I was messing around with some more Chess Tempo output and decided to graph my non-duplicate accuracy and average solve time by problem rating.

There definitely seems to be about a 3% accuracy increase and 5 second speed increase.

Maybe there is a case for taking regular long breaks with chess playing/training?  Recently I came up with the idea of breaking my chess into seasons, just like sports.

Off season: Do nothing (maybe light annotated games reading and some Bain level tactics)
Pre-season: Lots of new hard training (Yusupov, non-duplicate CT problems), lots of reading and LTC training games at ICC.
In-season: Lots of OTB, "maintenance" training only (just keeping up with repetitions?)

So how long should each phase be?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Still in the saddle

Nothing too earth shattering or important here, I just wanted to get in the habit of updating the blog regularly.  I decided I wanted to dive into my Chess Tempo stats a little more since I completed an entire calendar month of tactics on 10/31.

I ended up doing exactly 2,700 tactics for the month of October with 552 non-duplicates.  That represents the second most amount of tactics I've ever done in a month (December '14 with 2,743) and the third most amount of non-duplicates in a month.  Of course, it was much easier to do non-duplicates when I was first getting started.  Every day I have a several custom sets I go through.  I always do at least 20 problems from each set.  If the amount of scheduled problems is more than 20, I just do the scheduled problems.  If it's less than 20, I do new problems until I've done 20 in that set.

Instead of looking at my performance stats by custom set, I decided to break them down individually by the motif I was training.  This means I get the motif stats across any custom sets.  Since there can be a lot of overlap in tags, it's not uncommon for me to get lots of pins in my mate in 2 set, or distraction motifs in my "Decoys" set.

I broke the stats into 3 phases:

  1. Beginning (any problem I did up until 12-31-2014)
  2. Break (any problem I did up until 2-28-2015)
  3. Return (any problem I've done since 9-1-2015)
The percentages represent the % of problems I got correct in 15 seconds or less with that motif.  Since some of the motifs have such a small sample size, I decided not to include all of them.

CORE (1200-1600 rating)
Distraction 40.5% 38.6% 32.3%
Fork 42.7% 41.0% 42.9%
Pin 48.5% 45.5% 48.9%
DECOY (1200-1600 rating)
Attraction 53.3% 52.3% 54.8%
Clearance 48.7% 43.2% 49.4%
Coercion 42.0% 40.2% 44.7%
With the exception of the distraction motif, they all follow the same pattern.  
  1. Initial good stats at a time when I'm in the groove for tactical training.
  2. Significant dropoff right before I take a break from heavy training.
  3. Noticeable increase over my best performance even after a long break.
I also chose a motif that I've never specifically trained before, but consider it be important.

Discovered Attack 32.5% 29.3% 33.3%
It follows the same pattern as the other motifs.

What does it all mean?  Who knows.  I just hope I don't get burnt out again since these numbers seem promising.