Sunday, July 10, 2016

1900 and counting (games #45 & #46).

It's amazing how much time passes between blog posts.  A month after my 2-year anniversary post in April, I finished another tournament and broke 1900.  It's a bit strange to me that my new rating floor is 200 points higher than a rating I struggled to get away from a year ago.  I think the most amazing thing is I picked up 260 elo playing only ~30 rated games.   It's like I hit a switch and started playing much better chess.  I hope that switch stays on.

I haven't done any chess since then, which is about 2 months.  I had planned on taking a break in preparation for my summer chess schedule.  I can't help but feel like I didn't get done nearly as much study as I would've liked.  I still haven't done a tactics puzzle since December.  I did spend a couple of weeks on ChessGym with their Attackers and Defenders games.   30 minutes a day for 8-10 days got me 6th on both ranking lists.  It's a fun little diversion, but I doubt it has much value after that 10 days.

I might play in the Millionaire Chess Open this year, since they actually realized that no one wants to spend $1500 to enter a tournament on top of hotel and airfare to a desert in the middle of nowhere (Las Vegas).  This year's tournament is in Atlantic City, NJ.  The vast majority of active chess players are in the NYC-PA area and this location will be much more convenient.  I expect them to actually break 1,000 entrants this year and have a successful tournament.

With that in mind, I've picked out 5 weekend tournaments I want to play in between now and then, plus a one month rest period before the MCO.  I hope to play well enough to break 2000 by my last tournament which actually falls on the weekend of my birthday.  That would be a nice present to myself.  That would mean ~2.5 years to go from 1000 to 2000 rating.

And now for the last two games I played before my break.  Game #45 is typical of the type of success I see in the Queen's Gambit Modern Exchange.   I have a completely winning game by move 20.  I have enough experience in this line now that I see the ideas very quickly and don't waste a lot of time on the clock.  He made me work to get the full point, but there was only one point from there when I thought like I had made a hasty mistake, but it turns out I didn't.

Game #46 is another Carlsbad structure, this time in the Nimzo-Indian.  I've never played this line before.  I spent a couple of days back in early/mid April looking for a new system in the Rubinstein Nimzo, and decided to go with this setup since it seemed similar to how I play in the QGD.  But I hadn't looked at it since.  This game didn't really follow any of the model games I looked at past move 10 or so.  I was able to figure out some of the theory differences over the board and ended with a promising position.  After a couple of moves hesitating, I break open the kingside on move 16.  After what he probably thought were some harmless exchanges, he sees he's losing the exchange after my 22nd move.  I believe I saw this idea at least by move 17/18.  From there its mostly work to get the rest of my forces coordinated and bring home the win.  I ended up missing some easier wins on the way to making the 30 move time control, but still found ways to keep his position under pressure.


  1. Congratulations, SilentKnight. With all the hard work, you deserve it.

  2. I keep fingers crossed on you! You have worked hard and dedicate yourself to chess goal. Now it's the payment time! :). I hope you will explain us in an article (or maybe a few ones) how you finally achieved your goal. It will be really interesting to see what elements and processes were necesarry to obtain A-category level!

  3. Congralutations! I have one question: have you read other books of the yusupov colection?

  4. I am interested in your chess tournament activity. Let us know how you are doing and when is your birthday! :).

  5. Hello Silent Knight!

    Can you share the table with all the tactics you have solved so far? I am interesting at titles and numbers of puzzles in each volume (book).

    If you want to know what I am talking about - just look at my article on chess blog:

    I am in the process of solving 16K puzzles, but only from paper books (workbooks and manuals).

    Your sidebar with the titles studying at present (or recently studied) is a very nice idea! I implemeneted it at my blog, too!

  6. Hi Silentknight,
    I have been very encouraged seeing that you have made it so far in such a short time. I am trying to do similar, and I wanted to know if you ever played blindfold chess as training method?


    1. I've never played blindfold and I doubt I'd ever be interested in blindfold as a training method.