Tuesday, December 23, 2014


“LET US BE IMPS”.  First I want shout out to blunderprone whom has shaken off some rust, picked up his resolve, and called us to Great Deeds. http://blunderprone.blogspot.com/

In the Olden days, They was the Great Knights errant! Doers of Great deeds of Tactical mastery.   But as their exploits are write in lore; and we seek further improvement… we ARE to be called to be ‘IMPS’. SO Lets us stoop to whatever metaphor it takes to get better at the royal game. LOL.

Indeed, the deeds of the knights errant are now, as they say.  “in the news”.  Blunderprone is pondering them AOX is mining salt (perhaps), and untold others are either planning at mastering thousands of puzzles are striving to explain why that might not be the best course.

As for me, I too am conducting a regimen of tactical puzzles;  but I hasten to add; that perhaps this effort might fall short of others.  I’m totally aware of the ability of the PC to create a more intense tactical challenge—but I think its important to balance out the effort.

Basically in a chess game; tactics is neither nothing or everything.  It is one factor among many.  Pattern recognition is a great asset; but in truth thought process is more likely to the critical skill. And having an methodical, patient mindset is one of the biggest hallmarks of a really strong chess player.   In that Light, then, the Blitz effort at chess tactics can be light and distracting.   

So I will continue on.  Right now I’m crunching an easy book.  Heisman’s big recommendation, “Bains Tactics for Students”.  Easy enough to be done without a solution key- I’ve noticed Room for improvement.   With typical times bouncing from 1 to 10 seconds; I’ll come to something harder, flounder a little and get weird ideas.   There’s just enough hints on the side of the puzzle (yeah, if you’re going to do bain right, you need to hide the variation on the left with your hand and use some self-discipline).

And that is my salt to the soul.   There’s no need to do zillions of puzzles a day.  If you get caught in slow or refuted puzzle- you need to stop think carefully about WHY you played it wrong. Maybe make a little remark in your study notebook (the STUDY notebook, every imp ought to have one IMHO).   Any ways that is my speal, I’ve nearly completed a pass through bain.  I vow to neither obsess nor ignore the knightly tactic deeds.

“A Lonely Road; Seeking CHESS Correspondence”

I need to make it clear, that I fought off this good advice for a ridiculously long time.  done ALL kinds of things BESIDES correspondence gaming; to allay people and myself that I am trying HARD enough to improve.  In the end I’ve failed- so In short, in for a penny, in for a pound.  I immersed in like A lot of correspondence games.  And let me tell you! How different it all is.

“the differences of Chess by the day from all other things….”  So you’ve worked REALLY hard to keep a memorized opening of Colle Zukertort, studied the likely opening traps and got most forks and discovered attacks down to 35 seconds (or less)!  Great!  BTW.  All that is now COMPLETELY irrelevant!   If there’s one thing (well three things) you don’t need to do in correspondence chess; it’s..

memorize openings
look for cheap tricks
instantly recognize tactics!

Well not that I had a big ole repertoire memorized, but tactic training was a big deal for me.  Of course I’m making it seem like tactics don’t apply- and of course they do.  But everything is a bit different in CC.

“… so why do it?”.  so look AT it this way!  If the Point of chess TACTIC training is to make unobvious sacrificial and maneuvering kinds of tactics very obvious and easy to see- (and it is I think if you do enough of them- and study how they REALLY work)…  What Else are you supposed to do  in a chess game....

Well, Positional Chess Right?  making sure your peices have activity and you are progressing towards a tangeable advantage.   THOSE are the things you need to obsess on in CC.   if you Don't obsess on them and fall into somekind of tactical disadvantage;  your opponent definitely has the time to work out your demise.

So in the end,  Chess correspondance is about the Thought process and about making a bad thought process better; by REALLY taking time to study out the moves.  


 I said I really fought the advice to play cc, then I  lamely blamed my reluctance on my supposedly great bitz skills of quick tactics, and opening repertoire.  That was a really silly copout.  Actually I’m really bad at blitz.  

But CC has its own unique challenges and one of the worse is RESPONSEABILITY.  In short, during the normal chess world, You’re free to play obsessively till 3am one morning then to bing Doctor episodes or whatever for the next several nights.  Blitz works in well on the binging; cuz you potentially can go through a lot of opponents with 5 minute games.

But in the world of CC- things are different!  Since moves take days, even if you’re ready to belt out several a night, you can’t count on your opponent to do the same.  But neither can you just tune out on chess for a few nights.  And that’s my (once secret) real reason why I held out on CC.

But here’s my last thought (on a long enough blog) about that.
I’m canning that excuse! 

Yes it will hurt the effort to catch walleyes in December and catfish in Auguest- bing watch doctor who, and look for messier objects in the spring (amateur astronomy).   But getting better at chess has become fairly important to me.  NOT merely improving a number-- but as the dude in blunderprone’s cool link says


“Do not worry about your chess strength. Forget about your opponents. Instead, make the mastery of chess your aim.”

I can’t say enough for that statement.  And I really think careful slow correspondence chess is a big part of that.  BTW to those that are interested.  I’m not ‘greatpatzer’ on chess.com.  but I am there.  It’s a good place to play correspondence chess (they call it turn-based chess).  I’m ‘joliepa’. 


  1. and to wit I say HUZZAH! ( or as an Imp, shall we have a different battle cry like "Ooomph!")

  2. BTW... Thanks again for waking me up. I'm on a roll.