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)
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)
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.