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.


  1. About how long are you spending per day doing those 87 tactics? Curious because I'm trying to set up a training schedule for myself; right now I'm doing 50 tactics a day, this takes me 60-90 minutes.

    1. I timed myself tonight and it took 35 minutes to do 84 problems.

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  2. Hello, I just discovered this blog and it's great!
    I was wondering where are you from, because I see the site is "", so Romania?

    1. Blogspot automatically adds an appropriate TLD based on your location. I am from the USA.

  3. Thank you for the answer :)
    I have another question regarding John Bain's Chess Tactics for students. Do you the PGN for the exercises? Because I am using the book and it's very awkward to solve them with those comments and those tips. The PGN would be much easier.

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