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Status Reports - Status: Chess (2019 - September)

Rationale for this Project


Summary of Progress during July - September 2019
  1. I spent 40.25 hours in 19Q3 on this Project, or related work (275.25 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2018). That's 44.1% of the planned effort (78.2% YTD). Overall, 6% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 11% YTD) - as against 13.7% planned (12.5% YTD).
  2. I spent less than half of the time allocated, mainly because of the encroachment of Bridge, and also because Chess is harder work and less fun than Bridge.
  3. I played no gradable games in the last quarter, but played eight 10-minute games against weak human opponents – on Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/) – winning 5, drawing 12 and losing 2. My chess.com blitz rating thereby went up from a starter ELO 1200 to 13793.
  4. I received an ECF “F” rating of 151 in January 2019, based on 7 games played in 18Q4. This was rather flattering and resulted in my being selected for higher teams, or playing on higher boards, and the weaknesses in my game have been cruelly exposed by stronger opposition. That said, I’ve played pretty poorly against some weak opposition as well.
  5. My grade for the season ended up as an ECF “D” grade4 of 130, which is much less flattering, though maybe more accurate. The gradings were published at the end of July.
  6. I seem to have two main problems:-
    1. Firstly, my opening theory is non-existent, and this has resulted in cramped positions as black, or conceding quick equality as white.
    2. 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.
  7. There’s no quick fix to either of these.
    1. The first requires opening preparation. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t do this.
    2. 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 intend to try this out – using 10-minute games against human opponents – on Chess.com (https://www.chess.com/).
    3. I’ve purchased three books on general strategy and tactics for the club player – I just need to read them!
  8. I don’t divide my time as sensibly as I ought. While I do review my games – see5 my Consolidated Results – I’ve not spent much time on study or training, and I again spent quite a lot of time footling around on administrative matters.
  9. Progress (if any) in the current quarter can be obtained from the relevant section of my Summary Task List.

Chess (Total Hours = 40.25)
  1. Chess - Reading / Writing
  2. Chess - Admin (Total Hours = 12.5)
    • 19Q2 Status Reports (1.75 hours)
    • Billericay Chess Club: Communications, Admin, Grading, etc. (5 hours)
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Club Nights (3.75 hours)
    • Chess - Discussions with Chris (2 hours)
      → See "Chess - Admin" (12.5 hours)
  3. Chess - Play
    • Chess - Billericay Chess Club - Club Nights (7.5 hours)
      → See "Chess - Playing" (7.5 hours)
  4. Chess - Study (Total Hours = 5.75)
  5. Chess - Training (Total Hours = 12.75)
    • Chess - Chess Dot Com - 10-minute Games (2.25 hours)
    • Chess - Chess Dot Com - Review 10-minute Games (0.75 hours)
      → See "Chess - Chess dot Com" (3 hours)
    • Chess - YouTube Videos - Hutch: Chess with GM Tal Baron (9.75 hours)
      → See "Chess - Chess - YouTube Videos" (9.75 hours)

Plans for the Near Future:
Summary of Progress to Date (since October 2018)
  1. I have now produced statistics similar to those for Bridge, my Consolidated Results. Follow the PGN links for the actual games.
  2. Also, see what comes “free” with The ECF Grading Database (http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php).
  3. Enough of an indication of progress has been given above, though see also my Chess Page.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • By losing on time when K + Q + Q + … vs K + N!
Footnote 3:
  • An execrable ECF 91.
Footnote 4:
  • I’d expected it to be a “B” grade, but I didn’t play the required 30 games.
Footnote 5:
  • Setting this page up was a useful advance in 19Q2.
  • I also enabled the use of pgn4web Board Generator (http://pgn4web-board-generator.casaschi.net/board-generator.html).
Footnote 7:
  • I don't intend to renew my subscription when it expires shortly, as it's expensive, and I have access to chess news via Chess.com.
Footnote 8:
  • This used to say "full participation", but I've let the team captain know that my focus is now on Bridge, and that - while I'm willing to "fill a board" - I don't want to take the place of anyone more enthusiastic.


Note last updated: 10/10/2019 23:58:34



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  2. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019


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Timestamp: 02/11/2019 19:11:35. Comments to theo@theotodman.com.