Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Chess (2020 - September)
(Text as at 04/10/2020 00:27:22)
(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)
As this project is substantially in abeyance, this report is mostly generated automatically, with minor textual additions at the end of each academic year.
Rationale for this Project
- For years I’d been thinking of returning to chess after a very long lay-off; effectively since my school days. Now, it seems, I’ve actually done so.
- For further information, see my Chess Page1.
- I have played – as and when selected – for the Billericay A & B Teams in the North Essex Chess League Divisions 1 & 4 and for the Billericay I Team in Southend & District Chess League, Division 1. Also, in the Billericay Chess Club Championship and any KO competitions Billericay may enter.
- After a decent start in 18Q4, my results have been rather poor, and I lost a bit of confidence towards the end of the 2018/19 season, drawing with – and in one case losing to – a string of weak players. Blunders!
- Last season, my results were terrible, and I had stopped playing even before the whole chess scene (at least “over the board”) went into lock-down mid-March 2020 on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
- My grade started off as a fairly respectable 151, but has since dropped to a disgraceful 128, lower than when I first played as a 14-year-old. The ECF have recently moved to monthly ELO ratings (ECF Monthly Rating Database).
- Here are my Consolidated Results. Follow the PGN links for the actual games.
Summary of Progress during July - September 2020
- I spent 17.25 hours in 20Q3 on this Project, or related work (62.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2019). That's 132.3% of the planned effort (43.4% YTD). Overall, 2.5% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 2.2% YTD) - as against 1.9% planned (4.8% YTD).
- Chess (Total Hours = 17.25)
- Chess - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 0.75)
- Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 10)
- Chess - Training (Total Hours = 6.5)
Summary of Progress during October 2019 – September 2020 (YTD Activity2)
- Chess (Total Hours = 62.25)
- Chess - Reading / Writing (Total Hours = 2)
- Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 33.5)
- Chess - Play (Total Hours = 12.75)
- Chess - Billericay Chess Club - NECL Match (3.25 hours)
- Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Southend League Match (9.5 hours)
→ See "Chess - Playing" (12.75 hours)
- Chess - Training (Total Hours = 14)
- I’ve been so fed up with the game I’ve put it on ice.
- I seem to have two main problems:-
- Firstly, my opening theory is non-existent, and this has resulted in cramped positions as black, or conceding quick equality as white.
- Secondly, in attempting to play in a more open manner than the stodgy and careful approach of my youth, I’ve left myself open to “tactics” that have resulted in the loss of a piece on many occasions. Sometimes these have arisen where I was routinely winning, and just failed to look at what my opponent was threatening.
- There’s no quick fix to either of these.
- The first requires opening preparation. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t do this.
- There ought to be a “quick fix” to the second, but “just concentrate” is easier said than done. It is said that blitz play sharpens your tactics, so I started to try this out – using 10-minute games against human opponents – on Chess.com – but have not continued. I need to!
- I’ve purchased three books on general strategy and tactics for the club player – I just need to read them!
- While (subject to the caveat above) I do review my games – see3 my Consolidated Results – I’ve not spent much time on study or training.
- Progress (if any) in the current quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List4.
Plans for the Near Future:
- I don’t want a repeat of the experience of my youth, so need to allocate a serious amount of effort to learn the theory of the game in order to play properly.
- Unfortunately, given a poor run of form, and because there’s no chess to be had over the board, I’ve reduced the allocation of time yet further to a measly 1 hour / week. Just to keep things ticking over for now while I decide what to do next.
- So, the following list is nonsense, but I can’t be bothered to waste time updating it:-
- Why Play Chess:
→ Seriously consider the issues raised by "Ramon y Cajal (Santiago) - On Chess".
→ Counter this with responsibiity to the local chess scene now I've made contact
- Chess Study:-
→ "Gufeld (Eduard) - The Sicilian for the Tournament Player",
→ "Hansen (Carsten) - The Full English Opening: Mastering the Fundamentals",
→ "Ris (Robert) - Crucial Chess Skills for the Club Player: Volume 1",
→ "Ris (Robert) - Crucial Chess Skills for the Club Player: Volume 2",
→ "Sadler (Matthew) & Regan (Natasha) - Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI",
→ "Speelman (Jon), Tisdall (Jon) & Wade (Bob) - Batsford Chess Endings",
→ "van der Sterren (Paul) - FCO - Fundamental Chess Openings", and
→ "Willemze (Thomas) - The Chess Toolbox: Practical Techniques Everyone Should Know".
- Chess Training:-
→ Chess.com (game analysis & occasional 10-minute game),
→ Investigate5 LiChess.org
→ "Chess - Chess - YouTube Videos",
→ Complete review of 2018/19 season's games,
→ Complete review of 2019/20 season's games.
- Club Play & Participation:
- Over-the-Boad Play: Participation6 if and when play resumes in Billericay Chess Club:-
→ Club Nights
→ NECL matches
→ Southend League matches
- Attend weekly Billericay Virtual Chess Club (using Discord)
Summary of Progress to Date (since October 2018)
- I have now produced statistics similar to those for Bridge7, my Consolidated Results. Follow the PGN links for the actual games.
- Also, see what comes “free” with The ECF Grading Database (though this has now been superseded by ECF Monthly Rating Database).
- Enough of an indication of progress has been given above, though see also my Chess Page8.
In-Page Footnotes:Footnote 2:
Footnote 3: Footnote 5:
- As this project is substantially inactive, I don’t update the text quarterly as for the active projects, but only at the end of the academic year.
- If there are hours in the Plan, the Quarterly and YTD figures appear against that plan and are “as at” the end of the last Quarter.
- The YTD Activity-list is to make the end-year task easier, and to give a clearer idea of what – if anything – has been going on in the interim.
- And consider migrating from Chess.com, though I renewed my membership at the end of August 2020, but downgraded from Diamond, costing about £80, to Gold, costing about £24.
- This used to say "full participation", but I've let the team captain know that my 'mind games' focus is Bridge, and that - while I'm willing to "fill a board" - I don't want to take the place of anyone more enthusiastic.
- In any case, there's now no 'over the board' chess to be had.
Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 30)
Summary of Note Links from this Page
To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.
Summary of Note Links to this Page
To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.
Text Colour Conventions
- Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020