Since I fell a few days behind over the last couple of weeks I am trying to make it up this weekend. I've had twelve problems a day for the last week, but now the number drops down to ten per day (whew!). I just finished problems 1118-1127 (all level 80 problems) with a 60% score. Not great, but I'm hanging in there. By the end of day Sunday I need to have finshed through 1167, so I plan to do 20 more problems today, and 20 tomorrow to get fully caught up. They are taking me about 10-12 minutes or so at this level, so it will take a while. Hopefully posting my goal here will motivate me to get them all done. If I get back on track I'll finish my first pass through CT-Art on Thursday, but I play chess with OJ on Thursdays so I may not finish up until Friday. Maybe then I'll take the weekend off and start pass number two on Monday.
Regarding statistics, I'm not planning on looking at my CT-Art Elo score until I am done. When I've used CT-Art in the past I was so worried about my rating that I would do really well and quit for a while, not wanting to miss a problem and drop. Obviously this is not a good mindset to be in, so I'm not even looking at it. Of course by now I'm used to missing a few points here and there...Ratings and Goals
Speaking of ratings, I'd be curious to hear from other folks what their chess improvement goals are. Since chess is rather open-ended from an improvement standpoint, where do you draw the line? Class A? Expert? Master? What? How much is enough?
It reminds me of a point in a juggling book I read years ago. The short of it is that it doesn't matter how many objects you can juggle (three, five, ten, whatever), people always want to see you juggle one more than you can. So learning to juggle more and more objects (which gets exponentially harder for each object added after four) is a never-ending path. Hmmm, sound familiar?
My current goal is to reach expert level. At that point I will see how things went and decide if I want to attempt to go further from there. I guess a lot of it depends on how much I am enjoying the game, and if more study will make it more rewarding. Of course I have quite a few other hobbies and interests (did I mention that I'm also trying to learn to play the guitar while I'm doing the MDLM plan?), so with limited time, I have to make tough choices. For now I'm spending most of my time on chess, but I can't do nothing but chess forever you know...
So where does your chess improvement path end?
PS: I stop juggling after four objects, though I hope someday to make the time to learn how to do five.Update at 10:15 p.m. local time
: Just finished 1128-1137 with a 50% score. You know the problems are hard when you get six penalties and still get a score of 45 points out of 80. There were a number of problems where I just had no idea on the next move. Usually I have a few reasonable moves in mind to try, but for many moves I was clueless. This is probably because I moved into the "Conjunction of combinational motifs" section which are usually the most difficult themes within a level. Typically at the start of a level I do pretty well where the major motif in a problem is relatively straightforward (opposition of pieces, a loose piece, etc.). But when there are four or five tactical elements that, in the exact position I am presented with, just happen to come together to allow some tactical shot, that's when problems are really difficult...
Given that it is already past 10, it's not looking good to finish ten more problems tonight. I'll probably do a few more and then sack it in. Nothing like a wild and crazy Saturday night with CT-Art...Update at 12:25 p.m. local time
: I made it! Just finished 1138 - 1147 (5 in level 80, and 5 in level 90+) with a 62% score. It took 1 hour, 40 minutes. I even got 100/100 on one, woohoo! If I can do 20 problems tomorrow I'll be completely caught up. Now that I am cross-eyed from doing too many problems on the computer, I should probably hit the sack...Update at 2:12 p.m. Sunday local time
: Just finished 1148-1157 (all level 90+). 64% score in 2 hours, 27 minutes. I'm going a little over the 10 minute per-problem limit, but that's okay. On the more difficult problems you will be bumbling along thinking you are okay on time, and then as if on cue the problem splits into four variations that you have to work out. And I hate to totally guess without thinking at all just to get through the problem. Also, I think CT-Art's total elapsed time includes time since you started, so quick breaks (getting some water, etc.) are included. So I'm not sure the total time is a good way to come to an average time per problem.
Ten more problems to do today to be caught up! It's a beautiful day out so I should probably do something outside instead of sitting bleary-eyed in front of the the computer all day... Update at 7:44 p.m. Sunday local time
: I'm all caught up! I will now bask in the glory of completeness...until tomorrow.
Problems: 1158-1167 (level 90+)
Time: 2.9 hours (lots of breaks)