100 Days Of…

I’ve been seeing these “100 Days” challenges being shared by George Takei on Facebook and Twitter.

Ones that I have watched included a guitarist who learned sweep picking, and a girl who did pushups.  At the end of the 100 days both were much more proficient at their chosen activity than they thought they would be.

So it got me thinking…what if I did a chess version of that? What would be the result?

I have decided to do a 100 Days of Tactics challenge.

Each day I will spend one hour on www.chesstempo.com and I will track my results and post them.  The idea is to see if extended focus truly helps increase proficiency.

I have used chesstempo off and on for several years though never very regularly.  I flit from this to that to this to that and, like everyone, I find myself more enamored of the sites/programs that tell me that I’m 2200 at tactics rather than 1600!

The thing about chesstempo though is that in order to increase your rating it seems like you must solve many more puzzles that you miss.  Many puzzles offer perhaps two or three points for a correct solution while subtracting perhaps twice that many for an incorrect solution.  (Please note that this is a generalization and that of course the strength of the puzzle factors in, etc.)

So I figure that this is a relatively simple way to work on tactics and see definitively what the results are.

Today I put in my first hour.  My initial rating after today is 1583.6.  We shall see how that changes as the days, weeks, and months pass.  My user name there is chriswainscott, so anyone is free to look at my progress vs what I post to keep me honest.

I’d like to encourage others to join me in this challenge!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

One thought on “100 Days Of…”

  1. A lot of us use chess.com Tactics Trainer. My current rating on Chess.com tactics trainer is 1960 and my high was 1987.

    Keep in mind that these ratings tend to be wildly inflated compared to people’s USCF ratings.

    For instance, many USCF “Experts” have Chess.com Tactics Trainer ratings of 2200 to 2550.

    I know of one kid who had a USCF rating of 1752 while having a Chess.com Tactics Trainer rating of over 2550.

    So, it gives a basis of comparison: A lot of USCF “Experts” have a chess.com Tactics Trainer rating of over 2500, while I can’t even crack 2000, so big surprise, I suck at tactics!!

    Personally, I don’t think it actually makes you better at tactics, it just gives you a good idea where you rate tactically compared to others.

    I think they started me out at just 1200, so of course I started going up rather quickly and easily until I got over 1750.

    Then I went up more slowly, but was closing in on 2000, but I just couldn’t get there.

    They are timed!! As makes sense, since most tactics can be figured out by even weak players if they are given enough time!

    So, in my case, I would get 4 out of 5 right, and see my rating stay the same or even go down, because if you take over 1 minute to get it right, you may only get 1 point, but tend to lose 8 points for ones you get wrong!!

    Again, I don’t think that if you are an adult who has played chess for years, you get better at it by simply doing it a lot.

    People talked me into doing these Tactics, so called training, insisting it would make be a better chess player, but my USCF rating actually went DOWN over 100 points while I was doing that stuff!!

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