Takchess Chess Improvement

A Novice chessplayer works to get better at chess using an improvement program based upon the methods of Michael de la Maza and the teachings of Dan Heisman

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Circles building muscle

Feeling some tactical muscle again. I tend to be very streaky was around my high at playchess of 1600 recently then went for a slide downward. Played a 1750 player last night at chessclub and was happy I could hold my own in the first quarter of the game against an opening I know nothing about. J'adoube will agree with me on this I think, you can play the French first 3-4 moves against anything and thats what I did.

Please note: Takchess does not condone the violence shown in this cartoon. It is provided for your entertainment purposes only. Do not try this at home.

To view another game which I played on the internet recently, cut and paste into PGN viewer on sidebar

(2950) R. (1708) - Takchess (1446) [C20]
Rated game, 20m + 6s Main Playing Hall, 31.03.2007
1.e4 e5 2.c3 Nf6 3.Bd3 Bc5 4.f4 d6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 a6 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Bc4 Nbd7 10.Rf1 Qe7 11.b4 Ba7 12.Ba3 0–0–0 13.b5 Bc5 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.Bxf7 Qxb5 16.Na3 Qb2 17.Ke2 Qxa3 18.Rab1 Rhf8 19.Rb3 Qxa2 20.Rxb7 Qxf7 21.Ra7 Qc4+ 22.Kd1 Nxe4 23.Qxf8 Nxf8 24.Rxf8 Nxc3+ 25.Kc1 Nb5+ 26.Kb2 Nxa7 27.Rxd8+ Kxd8 Rupi gibt auf (Lag: Av=0.31s, max=0.6s) 0–1
Monday - l20 CTart Circle 1 up to 300.

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Sicilian Game

Black to move in diagram.
Here is a game I recently played which contains some of the ideas I am now playing against the Sicilian. Cut and Paste game into viewer on my sidebar. The Silicide formula plays both Knights out as white and responding to blacks 4th move. I like playing this more that the Grand Prix or the Smith Morra Gambit.

(2944) Takchess (1396) - S. (1658) [B30]
Rated game, 40m + 0s Main Playing Hall, 30.03.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bb5 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.exd6 exd6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Nd5 0–0 9.Re1 Re8 10.d3 a6 11.Bc4 b5 12.Bb3 Na5 13.Rxe7 Rxe7 14.Bg5 f6 15.Nxe7+ Kh8 16.Nxc8 Rxc8 17.Bh4 c4 18.dxc4 bxc4 19.Ba4 Ne5 20.Qd5 Nxf3+ 21.Qxf3 Qb6 22.c3 Qxb2 23.Re1 Qb8 24.Bc2 Nc6 25.Bxf6 Rf8 26.Bxg7+ Kxg7 27.Qxc6 Qd8 28.Qe4 Qf6 29.Qxh7# (Lag: Av=0.26s, max=0.5s) 1–0
Friday now on -248 on Ct-art L20 circle 1
I plan to study Pin Motifs in depth, do some research from my books and update any observations on my blog .

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Another Variation on the Anastasia Mate theme

From Ct-art Problem 156. Does anyone have access to this game record? Not on my Fritz master database or chesslab.com.

Wednesday - Level 20 circle 1 to 174 . The problem level here feels very comfortable as I have done them many times before. Starting to get in the groove.

Monday, March 26, 2007

White to Move

This is a removal of the guard of the square which removes the guard who prevents the mate. Blacks choice is to lose the queen or the game.

Source: How to beat your dad at Chess

finished 6th circle of this book
7th 1-16

now on 79 of Ct-art
finished L10 1-110 circle 1
will repeat
tuesday morn did another L10 1-100 circle 2 scored 99% on to L20

I enjoyed j'adoube (see sidebar link) video on his blog annotating a game from the Art of Attack.

Also Heisman tactic book is coming out in Summer.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Anastasia's Mate

I have just started my sixth circle of the How to Beat your Dad in chess. The first chapter is the
Anastasia's mate which is pictured above. By repeating these mating patterns I am trying to burn them into my brain so that I can work toward setting them up from afar. Most of them of the mating patterns I recognize from Ct-art but I enjoy reading the discriptions and multiple examples of each.

One of my favorite active players, Magnus Carlsen played one here


This fellow practically castled into this mate!


Sunday 6th circle 1-34

Thursday, March 22, 2007

taking another run at it

I'm taking another run at Ct-art . did 1-26. Will do it by Minicircle and Levels. Since I did Level 10 and 20 before I won't do a full 7 circles on them. I will do these levels till I feel comfortable with them and move on.

Thursday: 4th circle of htbdc complete
Friday 5th circle 1-10 htbdc
Sat 5th circle 10-50 htbdc
Start 6th circle

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Just don't stand there, Sack something!

I am enjoying the How to Beat your Dad at Chess Book. Despite the title, it is a book that is appropriate for all ages over 10. It is a collection of tactics mostly of mating attacks on the castled king side and some on the uncastled king.

It is very much suitable to my style of play and thinking. Charge the castled King and let your opponent worry about defense. I think upon completing 7 circle of this little book I will become much stronger.

Here is a recent game against a 1780 playchess , I made most of these moves very naturally. I make 10 Bxe6 (see board )offering my Bishop for 3 pawns and making the king move with next to no calculation. It just felt like a good move. I see that I missed a free knight due to a pin earlier as well as some other miscues. Even with these warts, my having the initiative carried me through.

This is a fun way to play and I suggest that one should play in an attacking way that creates interesting postions even if it means playing a little over your head. Ratings be damn. 8)

Paste game into this viewer


Takchess (1592) -X (1785)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 a6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.Qe2 e6 8.Bg5 Be7 9.h4 Nbd7 10.Bxe6 0–0 11.Bf5 Ne5 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Rh3 Re8 14.Rg3 Bxf5 15.Nxf5 Ng6 16.h5 Nf4 17.Qg4 g5 18.Nd5 Qa5+ 19.c3 Nxd5 20.0–0–0 Nf4 21.Rxd6 Re6 22.Qxf4 Qxa2 23.Rxg5+ Bxg5 24.Qxg5+ Rg6 25.Ne7+ Kh8 26.Nxg6+ fxg6 27.hxg6 Qa1+ 28.Kc2 Qa4+ 29.Kd3 Qd1+ 30.Qd2 Qxd2+ 31.Kxd2 hxg6 32.Rxg6 Re8 33.Ke3 Kh7 34.Rg5 Kh6 35.f4 Rc8 36.g4 Rc4 37.Rh5+ Kg6 38.f5+ Kg7 39.g5 b5 40.f6+ Kg6 41.Rh6+ Kxg5 42.f7 Rc8 43.Rxa6 Rf8 44.Ra7 Kg6 45.Kd4 Rxf7 46.Rxf7 Kxf7 47.Kc5 Ke6 48.Kxb5 Ke5 49.Kc5 Kxe4 50.b4 Kd3 51.b5 Kxc3 52.b6 Kd3 53.b7 Ke4 54.b8Q Ke3 55.Qe5+ Kd3 56.Qd4+ Kc2 57.Kc4 Kc1 58.Kb3 Kb1 59.Qd1# (Lag: Av=0.30s, max=0.5s) 1–0
Wednesday -50 htbdc circle 3

Sunday, March 18, 2007

When will this end ?

I have been posting for a long time and you have probably wondered when the heck is Takchess going to complete the circles and put his name on the graduate list ? My definition of graduation for myself is doing the 7 circles on the entire CT-art and ending on my last circle with an above 97%. From what I see of fellow Knights who have done this Celtic Knight, J'adoube, PMD,Sancho, and The Man De la Maza, I believe I will be an 1800-1900 player on Playchess at that point.

So what exactly have I been doing since my first post in February 2005?
I have done
* entire 7 circles on simpler material such as Bains Chess Tactics for Students (recommended)
*level 10-20 of Ct-Art ( I think I did 14 circles on Level 20 arrgh).
*completed the entire CT-Art straight through once (exhausting)
*Flashcards drills from simple problems of Blokhs earlier book
*done extensive study of the Kings Gambit, Traxler CounterAttack, and to the lesser extent Two Knights and the Marshall Attack
*played far too many 20+6 games on playchess.com
*bought far too many chessbooks
*actually read some of them
*studied and improved a little on basic endgames
*experimented with antiSicilian and currently enjoy playing one based on 3 Nc3
*learn to play a passable defense to Queen pawn games
*studied some classic games

Much like a marathoner, I am currently building my base before running the marathon . 7 circles of Ct-Art is more of an Ultra-marathon to me ! I am doing circles on Chess Tactics for Beginners on the computer (uncertain if I will do 7 circle on this) and in some non computer time doing circles of the Flashcards and the book "How to Beat Your Dad at Chess" (recommended).

Yesterday, I did a complete circle on my Flashcards as well as 1/2 the How to beat your dad at chess book.
Sunday did circle 2 of Flashcards again now on 1171 ctfb
Monday finished circle 2 in htbdc
Tuesday did 1-29 of circle 3 of htbdc ( I really like this book)

Friday, March 16, 2007


Had a nice Queen Pawn game as black, while playing, it felt as good as any I have played. Some very sharp middlegame jockeying to attack and defend the king.
Of course I saying this before running it through cold logic of Fritz. In this position Black to play I played rook e8 which sacked my bishop.
Taking a closer look at the ending, this move was a mistake but fortunately for me my opponent blundered.

cut and paste the game into this viewer


(2865) X (1817) - Takchess (1576) [D03]
Rated game, 20m + 6s Main Playing Hall, 16.03.2007
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 d5 4.Bg5 c5 5.e3 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Qa4 Be7 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.Bb5 0–0 10.0–0 Nb6 11.Qd1 Bd7 12.Bd3 c4 13.Bc2 Bg4 14.Nc3 Bh4 15.Bb1 f5 16.Qc2 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Qg5+ 18.Kh1 Qh6 19.f4 Rf6 20.Qe2 Rg6 21.Bxf5 Rf6 22.Bc2 Rd8 23.Qf3 Re8 24.Rg1 g5 25.Nxd5 Nxd5 26.Qxd5+ Kh8 27.Qd7 Ref8 28.Qh3 gxf4 29.Rg4 Bxf2 ' 30.Qxh6 Rxh6 31.exf4 Bxd4 32.f5 Re8 33.Rxd4 Re2 34.Rd8+ Kg7 35.Rg1+ Kf7 36.Bd1 Rexh2# (Lag: Av=0.41s, max=0.9s) 0–1
tactic update did 30 plus ctfb today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

note to self after 7 Kf1 Qh4

From Heisman DVD
(761) Iannaconne Andrew - Kirshner [C57]
Lee's house, Cupertino, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Kf1 Qh4 8.Qf3 Nd4 9.g3 Qh3+ 10.Qg2 Qf5+ 11.Kg1 Nf3+ 12.Kf1 Nh4+ 13.Kg1 Nxg2 14.Kxg2 Qf2+ 15.Kh3 d5+ 16.Kh4 Qf6+ 0–1

not 7 ....Rf8

Monday, March 12, 2007

Checking in

Did a complete circle of the book (the 50 deadly checkmates ) of How to Beat your Dad at chess. One does not need a chessboard due to many pictures that guide you through the tactics. Each tactic has 6-8 board views to guide you through each tactic. Great for the treadmill and places where it is hard to use a chessboard or computer. Still doing chess tactics for beginners as well.

Unsure if he a Knight or a friend of the Knight , Trans walks ,talks and solves like one so I placed him on my Knights sideboard. Rocky Rook is quietly chugging along with Ct-art, God bless him . But my favorite Knight is Komando Kitty , this picture perfectly captures how I feel after weeks of doing tactical chess training. Please scroll through the entire link to see him.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

All we are saying ....

Hi Everyone,

Doing continual tactical training attracts people with strong constitutions with strong beliefs and strong opinions strongly stated. Otherwise we would do a few tactical problems ,post once and let our blog die (as many have done).

There has been a tendency for Knights to talk to about things other than tactical training and the circles: openings, endgames, computer analysis, grandmasters, thought process which is all interesting. It is great fun to think about, discuss, argue and at times trash talk about these things.

I suggest to bloggers and those who leave comments. Lets not take ourselves too seriously. Lets try to be slow to give offense or take offense and not read too much into other peoples comments.

All I am saying is give Tactical Circle training a chance.
Update: now at circle 1 1220 ctfb
at 26 dcm at how to beat your dad at chess
game 4 in revisit to Logical chess move by move

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Enjoying Complexity

The above screenshots all come from the same game (note they are all Black on Move). They appear in the reverse position than they occurred in the game. I like to play an aggressive game as white where I am marching on a castled position. Giving up pieces where necessary and creating tension in the position till I rip open the kingside.
It seems that my Doppelganger Nehza is playing this same style on the other side of the world in Japan. As I look at his recent rating increases, I should mention with better success.
My play is often characterized by
1. Bishop pointed at f7
2 h pawn supporting a bishop on g file once black has castled.
3. Rook in the h file and major pieces at the ready
4. Delaying castling and if castling do it on the Queenside.
5. Pawn marching gaining tempos & space by threatening pieces
6. Reacting to threats with counter threats that position my pieces closer to the front
7. Forcing my opponents to play in cramped positions
8. My Opponent's Bishop is often on the kingside diagonal from the queen

Here is the game in its entirely. cut and paste the game into this link
My ending was not as crisp as I would of liked. I did let him off the hook a little but recovered in the end.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Be7 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 d6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bg5 0–0 8.h4 Ne5 9.Bb3 a6 10.f4 Neg4 11.Qe2 Re8 12.0–0–0 h6 13.e5 Nh7 14.e6 f6 15.Qxg4 fxg5 16.hxg5 Kh8 17.Nf5 Bxg5 18.Ne4 Bf6 19.Nxh6 gxh6 20.Rxh6 Qe7 21.Nxf6 Bxe6 22.Rxh7+ Qxh7 23.Bxe6 Qh6 24.Nxe8 Rxe8 25.Bb3 Re4 26.Qg8# (Lag: Av=0.32s, max=1.7s) 1–0
Also I am almost done the first circle of chess tactics for beginners.