Very wild game

[Event "Columbus Chess Club"]
[Site "Lewellyn"]
[Date "Jul 21, 2022"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Steve Salo"]
[Black "John Coffey"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 Ne4 3. Bf4 c5 4. Qd3 d5 5. dxc5 e6 6. b4 a5 7. c3 axb4 8. cxb4
b6 9. Bxb8 Ba6 10. b5 Bxc5 11. Bg3 Qf6 12. bxa6 Bxf2+ 13. Kd1 Bxg3 14. Qb5+ Kf8
15. hxg3 Qxf1+ 16. Kc2 Rc8+ 17. Kb2 Qc1+ 18. Kb3 Nc5+ 19. Kb4 Qb2#


Fwd: 'BREAKING: Carlsen Not To Defend World Title'

Just like people scrambled and bent over backward to get Bobby Fischer to play the world championship in 1972, we could see the same thing here.  More money for the winner might do it.

In 1972 I didn't even know how to play chess, but everybody was talking about the World Chess Championship.  However, people didn't know how crazy Bobby Fischer was.

Although Carlsen could be sincere in his desire to not defend his world championship title, it could also be a negotiation tactic.  I find myself not caring.  A Nepo vs. Ding Liren match would be fun to watch because it will not be a foregone conclusion.  If Carlsen loses the title then he may want it back later, which will make the next world championship match much more interesting.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


chess.com puzzle rating

It took me at least 90 minutes to only get a small increase in rating.  At this difficulty, I am spending up to several minutes on some puzzles.  

It is always frustrating when you think that you have found the answer, and then you find out that you are wrong,   According to chess.com, my success rate is 59%.


Chess.com Puzzles

A friend pointed out that people don't know that it takes 10,000 hours to become a chess master.  This is according to the rule that it takes 10,000 hours to master anything.  I suspect that for some people that it would take more than 10,000 hours and for other people less.  The younger people start, the easier it is to improve.  By my age, most people have given up trying to get better at chess, at least by any significant amount.  However, it is not in my nature to give up.  I still would like to be a chess master.

I feel that there is some benefit to the chess.com puzzles.  It is said that to improve that you need to get out of your comfort zone, and these problems definitely take me out of my comfort zone.  I am at least as likely to fail to find the solutions as I am to succeed, even after some serious calculation on my part.  Unlike the simple chess puzzles on my website, which are designed to build pattern recognition, the vast majority of these problems require at least a minute of calculation, if not more.  The longest I took on a single one was about seven minutes and I got it wrong.

These puzzles might be good training for tournament chess.  After I did a large number of them, I felt that my deep calculation skill had improved a little.  This is different from speed chess or simple problems where people usually go with their first impression.  My first impression frequently fails because most of these puzzles are way trickier than they first appear.

Four weeks ago today I was bragging that I got my chess.com puzzle rating up to 3003.  It was a significant milestone. These ratings don't match standard USCF ratings, because it is possible to get up to a rating of 65,540 which appears to be the maximum, and a handful of people have actually obtained this rating.  After reaching 3003, I tried to go higher and got to 3021, but then I went all the way down to 2878.  Today I spent three hours doing the puzzles, and after much difficulty, I got up to 3001. 

I'm quitting for now while I am ahead.  I keep a link to every problem that I have done, and the site allows you to go back and review them.  I have a total of 975 puzzles saved, of which 875 I have not yet reviewed.  My plan is to review all of them multiple times, and that will take many months.  Then I will see if I can raise my rating higher.

Always my goal is to take difficult tasks and make them easy or easier with practice.



Levy: "I Am Retiring From Chess"


John Coffey:  I play chess to have fun. I used to love tournaments, but at age 62, tournaments feel like too much work for no real benefit.


The Best Chess Players Over Time (Estimated By Accuracy)

The standings at the end seem relevant.  I had assumed that Bobby Fischer would be 2nd, but the video ranks him as fifth.  Fischer was significantly better than all his contemporaries.



How Judit Polgar Crushed Magnus Carlsen In 3 Minutes!

Advice on Tactics

I gave this advice to a couple of people in my chess club:

'Meaning no offense, but I noticed a few missed tactics in your game.

It isn't just a matter of tactical skill. No one at our level has the skill to see all tactics. What I have noticed is that Class A players usually have a "spidy sense" to know which positions could possibly have a tactic. They may not see the tactic right away, but they know that there could be a tactic in the position, so they analyze deeper. Usually this means that something is out of balance, like a exposed king, or a loose piece, or the position just doesn't feel right. This is when you know to give it a second look.

Developing this "spidy sense" can help you bring up your rapid game, possibly by a lot. '

Best wishes,

John Coffey