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Old 06-07-2015, 12:33 PM   #151
NL Loki
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

UPDATE: 6/6/2015 - 8/6/2015

Day 112 - 114

I only played 3/5 rounds and scored 2/3 with one win and two draws. The tournament allowed players to took two rounds off because the schedule was tiring (3 games in a day). I decided I won't play the final day since I'm not eligible for the prizes (unrated) and I'm not feeling the motivation to play.

The experience is quite horrible and shows how little I'm adjusted to OTB chess. The amount of sitting and stress is quite annoying to deal with. And I find it hard to play motivated when I'm playing against randoms (especially low rateds) and try to finish the game quickly (going for cheapos) and playing really fast (lol blitz) and finish the game. This was definitely not a good mindset to take in chess, and I decided that under these circumstances I shouldn't continue playing, so I decided to have a session with my coach instead (to review my play too).

The three players I play were around 1600-1700 FIDE but with lower national ratings (probably sandbagging for the prize money lolz). But I definitely didn't play optimally against them. Lose motivation to keep playing in better positions and offered draws instead.

The first game was I had a positional edge as black and we sort of just traded down to the endgame. And I kinda gave up and just made the draw. I had double bishops are probably could've played on. He was definitely a weaker player, and maybe I should've went for a more tactical and aggressive approach I missed 21. Rc8 and would've put alot of pressure on his pawns and probably win one at some point. I kinda just gave up there. Opponent seemed very happy with a draw, so I guess that's nice.

http://www.chessvideos.tv/chess-game....php?id=102109

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 dxe5 5.Nxe5 Nbd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.d4 e6 8.Bg5 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Be7 10.Be2 Qa5 11.Be3 Bc6 12.O-O O-O 13.Nd2 Rad8 14.Qf4 Nd5 15.Qg3 Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Bg5 17.f4 Be7 18.b4 Qd5 19.Nf3 Qe4 20.Qxe4 Bxe4 21.Rad1 Bf6 22.Ne5 1/2-1/2 *



Second game I was happy with, managed to grind my opponent down positionally after applying alot of pressure. He went for a sac and to try to get some counterplay. My endgame technique was abit sloppy and he managed to get into an opposite coloured bishop endgame but I had a neat trick to win the game.

http://www.chessvideos.tv/chess-game....php?id=102110

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 c5 5.O-O Nc6 6.Nc3 O-O 7.d4 d6 8.e3 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 cxd4 11.exd4 Qc8 12.Bg2 Nd7 13.Be3 Na5 14.b3 e5 15.Qd2 exd4 16.Bxd4 Ne5 17.f4 Nac6 18.fxe5 Nxd4 19.Qxd4 dxe5 20.Qe4 Qc5+ 21.Kh2 Rad8 22.Rad1 f5 23.Qxb7 Rxd1 24.Rxd1 e4 25.Qd5+ Qxd5 26.Nxd5 Kf7 27.Nf4 Ke7 28.h4 Be5 29.Kg1 Rc8 30.Kf2 Bd6 31.Nd5+ Ke6 32.Re1 Bc5+ 33.Kf1 Bd6 34.Rxe4+ fxe4 35.Bh3+ Ke5 36.Bxc8 Kd4 37.g4 Bg3 38.h5 Kd3 39.Kg2 Be5 40.Kf2 e3+ 41.Nxe3 Bd4 42.Kf3 Bxe3 43.b4 Bd2 44.c5 Bxb4 45.c6 Bd6 46.hxg6 hxg6 47.Bf5+ gxf5 48.g5 Kd4 49.g6 1-0

After 47. Bf5+!! gxf5, g- pawn moves up and his bishop can't stop one of the pawns from promoting...




I drew my third game with someone alot weaker. Third game was kinda horrible and I didn't really calculate. I played dragon and guy didn't really understand the position. He tried a kingside attack without the crucial bishop and it didn't work out. I ended up with a piece up for two pawn, and a bunch of pawns were hanging around. Bxc3 was kinda horrible (I was definitely winning before that). Now he has some compensation and my pieces are undeveloped and I have to play accurately to convert a win. The position was won for me but required alot of accuracy but I didn't have the motivation to grind him down in the endgame. I offered a draw and he quickly took it.

http://www.chessvideos.tv/chess-game....php?id=102111

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.Qd2 h6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bc4 Nxe3 10.Qxe3 O-O 11.h4 Nc6 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.h5 e6 14.Rh3 d5 15.hxg6 dxc4 16.Rxh6 Qf6 17.gxf7+ Qxf7 18.Qg3 Qf4 19.Rg6 Qxg3 20.Rxg3 Kf7 21.O-O-O Bxc3 22.Rxc3 1/2-1/2




This tournament was abit of a wake up call, and shows that I still have alot of psychological flaws to deal with. My lack of motivation to fight on is also concerning and brings the confidence of my ability to question. My lack of discipline and not calculating accurately and just using intuition are also things I notice (lack of motivation and willpower). These things have to be addressed if I want any sort of progress in my game.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:39 AM   #152
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

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Originally Posted by NL Loki View Post
The experience is quite horrible and shows how little I'm adjusted to OTB chess. The amount of sitting and stress is quite annoying to deal with. And I find it hard to play motivated when I'm playing against randoms (especially low rateds) and try to finish the game quickly (going for cheapos) and playing really fast (lol blitz) and finish the game. This was definitely not a good mindset to take in chess, and I decided that under these circumstances I shouldn't continue playing, so I decided to have a session with my coach instead (to review my play too).
...
This tournament was abit of a wake up call, and shows that I still have alot of psychological flaws to deal with. My lack of motivation to fight on is also concerning and brings the confidence of my ability to question. My lack of discipline and not calculating accurately and just using intuition are also things I notice (lack of motivation and willpower). These things have to be addressed if I want any sort of progress in my game.
I think stopping playing in this tourney was one of the most dispiriting things I've read in your log, which has been pretty dispiriting to begin with as you continually take time off, don't work hard, and ignore the advice given to you.

You can't develop match toughness anywhere but in competition, and you barely play any OTB to begin with. I've known and played a lot of masters and FMs and higher - the one thing they all have is an absolute hunger to play. If you don't have that, I'd suggest finding a new goal.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:49 AM   #153
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

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I think stopping playing in this tourney was one of the most dispiriting things I've read in your log, which has been pretty dispiriting to begin with as you continually take time off, don't work hard, and ignore the advice given to you.

You can't develop match toughness anywhere but in competition, and you barely play any OTB to begin with. I've known and played a lot of masters and FMs and higher - the one thing they all have is an absolute hunger to play. If you don't have that, I'd suggest finding a new goal.
Note taken... This is entirely my fault and there's no excuse for it. I definitely am mentally weak and not in a good place in my life (struggling financially atm, with university workloads and jobs) to be taking such a challenge. This has definitely affected by my passion and hunger for success. My coach definitely mentioned I struggle with motivation and willingness to push the edges and go for a win.

I wouldn't say I "don't work hard" because I probably put more work then anyone here. I'm just honest enough to post about my off days. This effort has also been reflected in my results. I was probably 1400-1500 strength maybe one and a half years ago and about 1900 now (which is actually strong progress). People must understand that I'm not a PROFESSIONAL, and the amount of time effort/time I put is quite alot for someone with many other life commitments (I'm a 20 yrs old law student who has to grind poker for rent ffs), so saying I "don't work hard" is definitely abit out of line.

The thing is, most people who make progress logs usually post maybe once a month or once every few months, but I post almost on a daily and weekly basis. So while most people won't bother to mention days they take off (once again, I'm not a professional), I try to give an accurate image for what it's like for a recreational player to put effort in to a game despite being in a career point in his life.

Instead of being negative, and just flat out calling my thread "dispiriting" (feel free to unsub, if it's so hard for you to read), maybe shedding a light on how you study chess yourself in as much detail as I did(how about some real advice?). This goal doesn't have a deadline, maybe it takes me five, ten, twenty, thirty years to reach it, but that's okay. I never said this is something I'll get done by next year. Because despite the negativity in this thread by some disapproving readers, I HAVE made progress, and I HAVE won games using IDEAS I wouldn't have thought of before I worked on my game. And I HAVE improve rating wise (which is more than what alot of people could say).

**I'm taking a break from chess probably after mid July, not because I want to, but because I have to move overseas for a work commitment for a few months. I'll just post whenever I work on something interesting.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:54 AM   #154
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

The problem is that you're comparing yourself to people here instead of people who've achieved what you want to achieve, and that you set a goal of the moon instead of something realistic.

When I was in the progression from (say) 1700 to 2200, I wanted to play every tournament, replay every game I'd played, read books, all the time. I was a poor university student at the time as well. The most important things you can do to improve:

1) Study tactics
2) Study basic endgames
3) Play a lot of games
4) Annotate your own games without use of an engine
5) Play over master level well annotated games; when I say well annotated, I mean look for annotations that are long on words and short on variations.

My biggest opening study was reading the opening blurb of each opening in MCO-13; all I needed to know mostly was "what kind of opening is this, and what kind of game will come out of it". From there, by playing, each game I would just look and see "what was the first move out of book, and what was the book move". If you play enough, you'll build that opening repetoire.

I'd also say defining yourself as 1900 strength is optimistic based on the three games you posted.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:07 AM   #155
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Quote:
Because despite the negativity in this thread by some disapproving readers
I don't like this attitude. You admitted to failing in certain ways, and people stepped in and said "you're doing this or that very incorrectly" -- trying to help you -- and you're calling that "negativity"?

Also, 47. Bf5+ is a single-exclam move at best.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:23 AM   #156
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

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I don't like this attitude. You admitted to failing in certain ways, and people stepped in and said "you're doing this or that very incorrectly" -- trying to help you -- and you're calling that "negativity"?

Also, 47. Bf5+ is a single-exclam move at best.
Originally I intended this as a log to document my progress rather than it be some sort of discussion thread: A thinks this is good, B thinks this is good.

I'm well aware of my flaws, and I have a very good coach who tells me what I'm doing wrong and what I should be doing. It's natural for anyone to face challenges and things they have to overcome. I have no problem with with criticism, but alot of them aren't constructive, they are more along the lines of "You're doing this wrong, quit and find another hobbie" rather than "In my experience, if I'm having troubling being motivated for a tournament, I rethink this and this..." or "this is the way I usually go about this". I understand it's the internet and I guess I have to expect people not going easy on me. But yea, most people haven't really put in detail how they go about studying themself. E.g. their study schedule etc. etc. which I would've like, but rather something vague like: study some games of this guy, learn some themes. I guess thats why I made this thread, so It might be of some objective use.

Yea the Bf5 trick in hindsight was probably only one exclamation mark (I got excited after pressing once), but I did see this idea many moves ago, so 1.5 exclamation points? jks jks.

I learnt what I did wrong and probably should've persevered. Should of kept pushing for a win in my draw games (I was like winning ffs) and should've played the whole tournament through. I wasn't exactly playing bad or losing (I was even one of the top point leaders when I quitted), just issues with motivation (my coach joked that if I had drew a GM for my first game, I would've been pumped up for the rest of the tournament - which is probably true because I want to play dynamic chess against stronger player and try interesting ideas).

But Whatever, I don't want to dwell on this any longer. I'm making a new post on my study schedule for the month.

Last edited by NL Loki; 06-08-2015 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:39 PM   #157
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Study Schedule

I'm not gonna post for a while after this because I have alot to do and I don't want to spend too much time online. I have two course exams this month (the 23rd and 27th) and haven't started on them yet. Plus I want to prepare my chess this month, so I have to manage my time effectively. I didn't pick any law course this semester so uni workload will hopefully be manageable.

This is pretty much how everyday will look for the next few weeks

- try to wake up early

- walk down the street and get brunch

- do tactics: CT Art, Jacob Aagard's books, some calculation exercise

- do some work on my university addiction course, write notes on lecture till maybe about six

- work on openings, manage my time well and not get over fussy about the details: mainly learning sicilian lines (classical, accerated dragon if opponent doesn't play maroczy bind), lines against anti sicilians, classical slav, English, read some material on middlegame plans (2-3 hours), then start using internet to look for ideas, preparing against my friends (I think theres less point preparing against GMs, but better preparing against people I have a more practical chance against, I have alot of 2000+ friends, and I know their openings well)

- a few blitz games or get acquainted with those opening

- dinner

- some chess tempo tactics, and blitz tactics and chess tempo endgames exercise

- do some work on my psychology course, watch video lectures and take note

- reading up on some endgames on CT Art as well as some general strategy (till around 2am next day)

- sleep


rinse and repeat, would be a silver lining in this otherwise "dispiriting" career, if i can maintain this.

If I have trouble with this schedule I might alternate and spend one day on tactics and one day on endgames, instead of doing both each day... (depends on what I feel like that day)
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:49 PM   #158
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Chess will make you face your demons sometimes. It might just be that you have a lot of talent for blitz chess, but not long games.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:51 PM   #159
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

+1, i had to make a lot of sacrifices to play chess at a world class level, but i think that as long as you believe in yourself, you can accomplish absolutely anything. keep it up!
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:09 AM   #160
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Hi, guys. Just returned from a self ban (due to exams).

So, I'm back to working on my chess. I was getting alot of advice and it seems there is a consensus, that having Chessbase is quite important, for improvement or tournaments. So I decided to get it! Along with Mega-database 2015 which has around six million games. It's a very convenient tool that is helping me study chess at a much more efficient rate, allowing me to sort through games and opening theme very efficiently. I find it easier to use than something like SCID vs PC. It will also allow me to quickly prepare against people (already found alot of my friends' games!)




I reviewed some of the games I play along with my progress this year and It seems my progress has slowed down quite abit (interesting how I made alot of progress right before the start of this thread), but it's true I haven't played much and been mostly focused on theory. I'll work on playing more. First one is longer time controls, the other two is alot shorter in time control (I play those more for stress release and boredom, as well as quickly examining lines - definitely looking to take them more seriously and focus on improving).




I'll be working on my repertoire as per usual. Learning Sicilian themes, reading the books etc etc. and preparing for upcoming tournaments.

I'll also be taking a break from chess very soon. Mainly for work reasons and changing uni course workload, which is quite annoying. But I think it provides good chance for me to refresh and regain some positivity (last time I took a break, I made huge progress after coming back)
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:48 AM   #161
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Just dropped like 30 pts playing bullet + blitz... waste of time :P

Have to study for my repertoire, so... no more blitz or bullet until I'm done with my opening work.

Currently, reviewing Kramnik games in sicilian games, studying richter rauzer attack etc.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:04 AM   #162
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Richter-Rauzer is not a bad idea at all. Its current theoretical state is slightly dodgy, but nothing too serious and it's out of fashion so people won't be well prepared for it.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:24 AM   #163
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

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Richter-Rauzer is not a bad idea at all. Its current theoretical state is slightly dodgy, but nothing too serious and it's out of fashion so people won't be well prepared for it.
Exactly, it looks abit dodgy with my kingside getting hacked. But it seems no one will be prepared enough for it. I'm looking at some of the kingside castling lines with white playing f4 and black playing h6.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:07 AM   #164
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

OPENING PREPARATIONS

Almost done with building my opening repertoire.

Classicial Sicilian
- Richter Rauzer lines
- Sozin lines
- Beliavsky lines
- English Attack and lesser lines

Classical Slav
- Dutch variation
- Ne5 lines
- Geller Gambit and other fifth move alternatives
- Slow Slav
- Exchange Slav
- Other fourth move alternatives
- Slav against non d4 set ups

Working on the anti-sicilian lines soon and my English Repertoire. These few days would be quite busy.



I really can't stress how good video series are, especially on chessbase. Whether it's on opening, middlegame or endgame. Having a person talk about the theme in front of you sure makes the information easier to absorb then scrambling through old chess notations on your dusty books. I think the interactive nature of learning using engines and video technology definitely allowed many chess players to improve very fast. - Just some food for thought
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:14 PM   #165
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Interested to hear if you have good links on the classical Sicilian, anything in particular?
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:03 AM   #166
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

No video series in particular (maybe not trendy?). I mainly use Chess Explained the Classical Sicilian by Alex Yermolinsky, Starting Out: Classical Sicilian by Raetsky and Chetverik, had a session with an opening expert, and used mega database 2015 to find games and study. Though I hear Kramnik had good classical sicilian games, so you can study his game too (his birthday was like 2 days ago) .
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:20 PM   #167
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Plan for this week

Sort out my opening repertoire (Classical Sicilian, Anti-Sicilians, Classical Slav, Symmetrical English, English v 1... e5, English v other openings)

2 hrs tactics training

2 hrs endgame training (with Müller's chessbase video series)
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:05 PM   #168
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

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No video series in particular (maybe not trendy?). I mainly use Chess Explained the Classical Sicilian by Alex Yermolinsky, Starting Out: Classical Sicilian by Raetsky and Chetverik, had a session with an opening expert, and used mega database 2015 to find games and study. Though I hear Kramnik had good classical sicilian games, so you can study his game too (his birthday was like 2 days ago) .
Yeah I was hoping there was something more recent, or a video series. I have a book by Yrjola which is pretty good if even older than Yermolinsky. I should probably get the Yermolinsky book too.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:30 AM   #169
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Both books are highly outdated. You are better off by checking out games from Dubov and Miroshnichenko in the systems with an early Qb6.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:48 PM   #170
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

thanks for the suggestion, looks like an interesting alternative to getting smashed in 20 moves of preparation in the main line Rauzer
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:50 PM   #171
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

What methods have you been using for compiling and training your opening repertoire?

Chess Position Trainer? Chessbase? I'm just generally curious. My own method is to get everything into CPT, however, I only have parts of all of my openings in there. I find it's hard to do at home and now that the tournament I was prepping for is over, I am back to looking at more interesting things than just opening lines.

However, I suspect getting my repertoire in there is ideal so I can just spend a few minutes most days training on it. Which I can't really do effectively with only parts of a repertoire available for training.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #172
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

GREAT NEWS!!! TOURNAMENT SUCCESS

It's official! I'm now a CM (Candidate Master) !!

So sorry guys for not updating. I've been busy preparing for and playing a tough international tournament with alot of titled players and top veterans.

FINALLY, the first silver lining in this otherwise depressing thread of struggle and inconsistency in my chess training career. I managed to achieve a good score and held my own and play through the WHOLE tournament without withdrawing :P Furthermore I even scored enough points to gain the title of Candidate Master (CM).

Being a titled chess player is feels so great after I've been working towards this goal for quite a while. It was also a huge motivational plus for me, as I was struggling to keep up the passion and was thinking of quitting for a while and taking a break, mainly due to my perceived lack of progress, and the negative feedback from this thread. Now I feel more motivated than ever!

This tournament was a big international event, and I decide if I'm going to give it my all, with a nothing to lose mentality. I don't care if my opponent was a 2400+ or whatever, I just go out there with a attitude to play the best moves I can find and not care about the result.

As I had suspected, opening preparation was hugely important. I spent alot of hours before each round preparing for my opponent. Looking through their repertoires and lines, then trying to find exploitative ideas or move order tricks.

ChessBase with the Mega Database is a must use tool for any chess player aspiring to play professionally or at least competitively. You rarely find any 2100+ players that don't use the ChessBase software. It helped me greatly with my learning and organization of my lines. I would probably even recommend it to an average tournament player around 1700, because it is such a useful tool and organizes everything very efficiently, which makes learning easier.

Overall, I would say I played decently and happy with my performance. I got into alot of tough position in alot of side lines but defended well and manage to push for advantages. Disappointingly, alot of the high level preps that I did with the Classical Sicilian Richter Rauzer lines, the Classical Slav lines, and Marin's Grandmaster Repertoire on the English Opening were not ultilised, as alot of my opponent's had detailed side preps and move order tricks to get out of lines that I understood. I met the e3 lines against slav a few times, and 1. c4 e5 lines (which I spent time on earlier in this thread!) Nevertheless, these theoretical knowledge will be useful for me in future tournaments. No doubt if I was about to use my main lines to full potential I might have gotten better results and even pushed for a FM title.

So this was my first FIDE rated tournament ever (LOL) and it's also the first proper tournament I've played (apart from the other one I withdraw after like 3 games), and I'm getting a title as well as a rather high starting elo (need to confirm first). This makes my goal of getting to 2300 and getting to FIDE Master level more realistic and doable, as it's closer to the goal and won't take me a billion tournaments to grind up my rating. Most traditional CM is around the 2200 standard, and I would definitely say I'm not there yet. But I'm more motivated and I feel like my goal is in sight.

This was quite a lucky start to my tournament career and I'm quite happy with what I achieved. I'm however aiming for better in the future, especially regarding understanding my lines better and improving my theoretical understanding of positions. I think some GM said that theoretical understanding is critical and don't even play a tournament until you are 2100, this is probably abit extreme, but is some food for thought.

I'll go more into detail of my tournament later (It was a grueling 7 day experience) and go through some of my games in detail in later posts.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:49 AM   #173
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Wow, awesome result! Congratulations!!!
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:03 PM   #174
The Yugoslavian
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Sweet! Excited to hear about actual results and see some of the games.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:38 AM   #175
Shandrax
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Re: Road to FIDE master title (FM): Improvement and Motivational Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Yugoslavian View Post
What methods have you been using for compiling and training your opening repertoire?
Simple solution: Get the HIARCS-Opening Book!

It's a full tree over everything and some lines even go 30+ moves deep. This will answer all your questions and even those that you haven't thought of yet.

Anand likes it too...
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