Weekly Progress Report #13: ICC marathon

I exceeded the target this week, managing 32 hours.  I didn’t use my holiday training plan, but instead decided to take advantage of a bimonthly event on the Internet Chess Club, the ‘marathon’.  This is a 24-hour series of continuous tournaments, in several sections, of which I chose the 15-minute section (the longest time control).  I played in every round but one, when I missed the start of a new tournament due to an extended post-mortem with my opponent.  The rationale behind playing this event in preference to studying normally is that I hope the experience may help me to cope better with playing when very tired, such as on the first day of the British Rapidplay.

Playing chess almost continuously for 24 hours was an interesting experience, made more tiring by the fact that I used a lot of the time between rounds to analyse games from previous rounds.  My level fluctuated during the event, and I made a fair number of blunders, but I also had some good games, managing to beat a 2150+ twice and also achieving a winning position against a 2300 (which I later blew).  I finished strongly, winning the last tournament and coming third overall in terms of cumulative points scored over the course of the marathon.  I’d like to share my final game of the event:

I did a small amount of training during the rest of the week, so here’s the usual breakdown:

Monday: 30 minutes opening preparation

Tuesday: 3 hours local league game (Somerset league rather than Durham league, as I’m at home at the moment)

Wednesday: 20 minutes ICC TrainingBot

Thursday: 45 minutes studying Kasparov’s ‘My Great Predecessors, part 1’ – I’m in two minds about whether to play through the games in this quite quickly, as I’m just trying to get a general ‘grounding’ in the classics, or whether to study all the games in depth – thoughts welcome, 2 hours 40 minutes playing games at my local chess club

Friday: 20 minutes opening preparation, 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training + 5 minutes reviewing mistakes

Saturday: 10 minutes playing blitz games with GM derfel, 7 hours playing in the ICC marathon

Sunday: final 17 hours of the ICC marathon

This coming week will be disrupted as I’m travelling back up to Durham tomorrow, and will be spending some time helping my girlfriend collect river water samples for her dissertation.  I’ve been collecting canal water samples today in a very unusual way – more on that later!  Added to this I still have some of the excessive amount of uni work I was set over the holidays to do, so I’m moving back to the term-time 10 hour weekly schedule a week early.

12 thoughts on “Weekly Progress Report #13: ICC marathon

  1. How much time do you have set aside for MGPP1? I say do it as slowly as comfortable but don’t exceed any time limit. A couple weeks ago I read an opinion that studying positions is better than playing over games. However I think that was pertaining to below expert level players. Good luck with chess and water samples 🙂

    1. Do you mean a time limit as in a number of weeks of months to complete the book? I haven’t set a limit like that, but had planned to do at least an hour of middlegame study per day during the holidays, of which a third would be MGPP1. Unfortunately I’m now moving back to a term-time study plan, and I’ve not yet decided exactly how to allocate the time available. I’m thinking that reducing the number of sources might be a good idea, so that I can actually make reasonable progress, so 1 or 2 of MGP, Secret to Chess, and Reassess Your Chess is likely to be shelved for the time being.

  2. Hey Will,

    Fantastic week 🙂 to tell you the truth, I’m also going through MGP1 to familiarise myself with the classics. What I am doing is to go through the game fairly quickly (say, 15-20 mins per game) and I am playing out the variations on the board. But when I come across a position where Kasparov has given detailed analysis (detailed even by standards of the rest of the book), I close the book, give myself 20 minutes in that position to calculate. So its doubling up as a classics+calculation exercise; hopefully that will help…

    All the best with this week 🙂

  3. I have tried the following when studying annotated games:

    * Play over the game in “guess-the-mode” fashion pretty fast
    * Make some notes on each move where I didn’t find the game move
    * Play over the game reading the annotations while spending much more time on the moves I got wrong or didn’t understand.

  4. How long into the marathon was it before you started seeing 2 of everything?

    I assumed MGPP1 was mainly comprised of dot- the- dot pictures and smiley faces. I’d read Shirov’s Fire On Board instead. Quality book.

    1. About 10 minutes. 😉

      I take it you’re not a Kasparov fan then. It’s a good book; well-written and decent analysis, though at least some in the series have been criticised for inaccurate historical details.

  5. I find your ideas interesting and your chess-efforts inspiring! I would like to train with you…contact me at my e-mail if u like.
    Take care 🙂

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