Knight Keystor

A record of my journey of chess improvement.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Hi Everybody,

I've been playing chess since last June (2005) and studying/training since January (2006.) I recently came across the Knights Errant de la Maza and decided to join the community.

My primary method of training is the one recommended by Michael de la Maza in his book Rapid Chess Improvement. Using this method, I've finished the first two tactics modules of Personal Chess Trainer 2.0, all of Chess Tactics for Beginners, and all of Advanced Chess School. I usually go beyond the seven circles and continue repeating the problems until I can solve each one in 5-10 seconds or less. It generally takes 10-15 circles to achieve that. Also, once I've gone through about half the circles, I turn on the randomizing options in the Convekta programs (reverse colors, flip board, mirror board, etc.) for the other half. Basically, I want to make sure that I have the patterns down cold.

After completing a new module or program, I do a complete refresh of all tactics problems that I've done previously. So since I just finished Personal Chess Trainer Tactics Module-2 a couple of days ago, I went back through Module-1 (Unit 51) and I'm now going back through all of Chess Tactics for Beginners in random mode. I will then go once more through Advanced Chess School.

Between modules/programs, I spend a few weeks playing G/30 games on PlayChess in order to integrate what I've learned and let it sink in a bit. I'd like to play slower time controls, but I generally do my studying and playing during my lunch hour, so G/30 is all I have time for. I do play slower games at my local club on Mondays and Wednesdays.

As for openings, I use the Heisman recommendation of looking up the opening after each game and only adding one move per game to my personal repertoire. I use Chess Position Trainer 3.2 to keep track of and train my repertoire.

My final area of study is playing through master games. The method I use is to enter them into my Fritz 9 database complete with variations and color commentary. I find it much easier to play through them this way versus using a board. Jumping around between variations and doing "what if" type explorations is much less cumbersome. Thus far, I have entered and played through all the games from Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev, all the games from The ABC of Chess Openings (DVD) by Andrew Martin, and all the miniatures in the Advanced Chess School software. I am currently working through The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by Irving Chernev.

I've been playing online at PlayChess for about a year now (under the handle keystor.) My slow rating has gone from ~1400 to 1700 in that time...primarily through tactics study. My provisional OTB rating is under 1100, but I've only played 7 games in two tournaments...a swiss in January and a quad in April. I'm hoping to start attending tournaments more regularly after I get back from vacation in November.

I guess that about covers my training history...I look forward to continuing my journey of improvement as a member of the Knights!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings from an ex-Knight. I'll be adding all new Knights (including you) to my sidebar as soon as i'll update it. Feel free to add me to yours ;-)

I'll be following your posts as well from now on via Bloglines. Now how's that for a free tip ;-)

10/21/2006 3:18 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

Welcome aboard!

10/21/2006 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/21/2006 6:39 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Thanks Knights! I'll add you right now dutchdefence...thanks!

10/21/2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Welcome to the world of insane chess blogging.

10/22/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

Welcome. I play on Playchess as Takchess. hope to catch a game with you some time.
Jim Takchess

10/22/2006 5:12 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Thanks again for the welcomes everyone. Takchess: I'd love a game sometime...I'll keep an eye open for you.

10/23/2006 7:59 AM  
Blogger Pendrax said...

I'm slowly getting back into the chess-blogging world, so my welcom is a bit late...welcome none-the-less!

11/19/2006 7:42 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Not a problem pendrax...and thanks. Welcome back.

11/22/2006 1:10 PM  

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