Yusupov Challenge, week 1

I have completed week 1 of the Yusupov Challenge, doing four chapters rather than the usual six as it started partway through the week.  Finding time to do a chapter almost every day is going to be challenging at times, but that’s why it’s called a challenge!  I am doing a chapter every day after work, except when I have evening league matches, as I want to be fresh for the game.  In weeks where I have more than one evening match I will try to fit in the missed chapters at the weekend.

Book 1, Chapter 2

This is another chapter on mating patterns, and is a little tougher than the first chapter, but still not too difficult as all the patterns seen in the exercises are introduced beforehand.

Time spent: 65 minutes (30 reading, 25 solving, 10 marking and reviewing)

Score: 19/20

I dropped a point on 2-4, choosing 2. Rh4 rather than 2. Qh6 – the right idea, but unfortunately my move order allows a perpetual.

Book 1, Chapter 3

A chapter on basic opening principles.  The topics covered are rapid development and controlling the centre – concepts which every chess player is introduced to early on – so I was not expecting it to be too difficult, but in fact it was by far the most challenging chapter so far.  I was reading it on a train – not having a board to hand made following all the variations in the introduction difficult, and the screaming baby did not help particularly with the exercises.

Time spent:  2 hours 40 minutes (25 minutes reading, 1 hour 50 minutes solving, 25 minutes marking and reviewing)

Score: 22/31

I dropped points onn 3-2, 3-7, 3-10 and 3-12.

Book 1, Chapter 4

This chapter on basic pawn endings proved fairly straightforward to me, as I have studied pawn endings before (it’s the only chapter of Dvoretsky I’ve managed to (half-)complete).

Time spent: 50 minutes (15 reading, 30 solving, 5 marking)

Score: 22/22 🙂

Most of my solving time was spent on 4-5, which required a lot of calculation.

There’s still time to jump on board if anyone else wants to join the challenge (either at my rapid pace or at their own pace) – just post in the comments below and in the Quality Chess thread.

6 thoughts on “Yusupov Challenge, week 1

  1. How many moves were you able to follow without a board? I presume it gets easier to visualize the board as pieces come off. Correct? How many moves in general can you see without major distractions? Does improving/working on one’s visualization have any effect on results? If so,how much?

    Just so you know I don’t have any chess books. Keep up the good work young man 🙂

    1. It varies hugely depending on the nature of the position. Generally speaking, yes, I find positions with fewer pieces easier – I might be able to calculate a simple king + pawn vs pawn ending for 15-20 moves, for example. With middlegame positions it’s much more difficult, though – I am often struggling after 4-5, and prone to missing things. What exactly do you mean by working on visualisation?

  2. Hi Will, for 2017 I was curious how you are approaching opening study? Do you devote most of your time to your chosen repertoire or are you taking a wider approach?

    1. Hi Jason. Generally speaking I have always stuck to the same to the same openings, and I do not expect that approach to change hugely in 2017. A complete overhaul of my openings would be nice, but I don’t think it’s the most effective use of my chess study time. I will probably prepare a few small surprises for the British Championship in August, though.

    1. Welcome aboard, Dewi! Now I have the challenge of trying to catch up with you (I’m a full book behind at the moment). 🙂

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