The Chess Wanderer

"Les pions sont l´âme du jeu" Francois-André Philidor, 1749

Monday, May 23, 2005


Wow, didn't realize that my last post was a week ago. Thought I'd update everyone. Here it is, in list format for your convenience.

1. Losing, losing, losing. Been on a solid losing streak for the last two weeks. My rating dropped from around 1350 to about 1230. Last night's win broke that streak and brought my rating up to 1250. It's a slump. It'll pass.

2. Per Dan Heisman I created a "Hall of Shame" in Word and periodically update it when I make a major mistake. It's quite a fun concept and really helps to avoid repeating game losing blunders.

3. Per Robert Snyder I am in the process of creating an openings catalog. It's a great way to study openings and helps to keep all my opening study in one location. I've just about got it down to where I want it. With a few more touch ups I should be finished. As Snyder suggests, from there I'll just update it when I come across something new.

4. Learned how to use MCO 14. That book used to intimidate me but after borrowing it for a couple of weeks to build my catalog, and looking up openings from my tournament, I am much more comfortable with it. I am thinking about tracking down a hard cover edition if there is such a thing. Nice thing to have for the coffee table.

5. Working on inputting 50 checkmate patterns into Chessbase. Slow going but I really need this for my games right now. I miss too many opportunities and threats.

6. Finally, got a new analysis set (did I mention this in a previous post?). Neat little set with flat pieces and the optional wood pieces if someone wants to play. Cost more than my tournament set and bag but worth the price. I take it with me wherever I go and it's much much lighter than my old magnetic set from the 80's.

One thing I've neglected that I really feel bad about is my Chess Mentor. I'm at problem 500, which is over half way but I've been so tied up with the above stuff that I haven't gotten around to it. I barely have time for my daily 30 30 game. Once I complete my openings catalog I should have more time for the Mentor. I can't wait till it's done. I can then return MCO to the library. I'm getting tired of lugging that brick around with me.


At 5/23/2005 10:31 PM, Blogger harmless said...

that analysis set sounds cool! where'd you get it?

thanks, harmless

At 5/24/2005 4:05 AM, Blogger CelticDeath said...

I was wondering how Chess Mentor was working out for you. I've been considering revisiting some of the supplementary courses to see if I might benefit from them. The training in pawn endgames I got from the Comprehensive Course really came in handy in my recent win over a FICS 1941 player who didn't play the endgame properly.

At 5/24/2005 3:25 PM, Blogger fussylizard said...

The Chess Mentor endgame stuff was great (both the endgame material in the Comprehensive Chess Course and the Pawn Endgames course). I've not yet looked at the Convekta endgame offerings yet, so I don't yet know how they compare.

For tactics, I prefer CT-Art over Chess Mentor.

At 5/25/2005 12:00 AM, Blogger Pawnsensei said...


I got it from If you order one tell them I refered you. I think I get referal points or something.


I really like Chess Mentor. It's perfectly suited for my level. Instead of shoving variations down your throat it explains why it recommends moves. It is also more forgiving with alternate successful moves (purple boxes). What do you mean by supplementary courses?

BTW, how do you use it to get ready for tournaments? You don't use all 800 problems do you?


At 5/25/2005 4:12 AM, Blogger CelticDeath said...

The supplementary courses are add-ons you can buy separately that tackle some other areas of the game. You can find these at

I don't do the whole set, but I do choose the experienced + review option. That gives me nearly all of them, but eliminates the basic "learn how to play" problems. I try to finish that trimmed-down problem set before the tournament, but I don't sweat it if I don't completely finish. For my last tournament, I didn't even start using it to review until the night before the tournament, and I finished about 550 of the problems.

At 5/25/2005 8:21 AM, Blogger Pawnsensei said...


Awesome. Just curious but do you know how many times you have gone through the program like that?



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