Monday, April 25, 2005

CelticDeath's Take On the De La Mazaian 7 Circles Method

Blue Devil Knight has asked about what modified De La Mazian method I was following for his compilation. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to lay out exactly what I've been doing for him as well as anyone else that might find it interesting.

My selection of puzzles is Fred Reinfeld's 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. Going through the book, I've noticed that a lot of puzzles therein can also be found in CT-Art 3.0 which is what most of the other Knights Errant are using.

I've divided the book up into groups of chapters or themes. These groups tend to be about 120 or so problems long. The groups have been:

1. Pinning
2. Knight Forks
3. Double Attack
4. Discovered Attack/Discovered Check/Double Check
5. The Overworked Piece/Removing the Guard
6. Clearance/Interference
7. Queening Combinations/The Vulnerable First Rank/Queen Sacrifices
8. X-ray Attack/Surprise Moves/Defensive Combinations/Trapped Man/Zugzwang (current)
9. The Helpless King/The Weakened Castled Position

I have (or will have) gone through 7 mini-circles on each of these groups. Typically, with the first 4 circles I don't worry too much about solving time. I spend those circles trying to fully comprehend the solution and try for "busts" in the proposed solutions.* Then, I try for speed with circles 5-7.

Once I complete the mini-circles, I plan to do the entire book of 1001 problems as one big problem set. I will work the 7 circles on the whole book. Once I have accomplished this, with the 5th circle taking no longer than 4 days, the 6th taking no longer than 2 days, and the 7th occurring on 1 single day, then I will know that I have completed De La Maza's program and can go on to tackle strategy.

So, there you have it. This is CelticDeath's 7 Circle modification of De La Maza's plan.

*I have found a few where the solution does not quite work against the best defense, and I even found one improvement over a proposed solution (I think it was problem #645) that was verified by Fritz 8 as being a shorter win.


Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for posting that. An ambitious plan, to say the least! I think I may steal some of your ideas for my Circles :O

9:16 PM  
Blogger Nezha said...

About Pachman's modern chess strategy -

you said in one of your comments that youve memorized the contents of this book? Is this book really good? I was thinking of buying this book or "The Middlegame" by max euwe, and I can't decide. Maybe you can give me feedback tohelp me makeup my mind


1:37 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

How is your daughter? Is her arm healing well?

2:07 AM  
Blogger CelticDeath said...

Nezha, I really liked it. I would say that it gives a very good, but basic, grounding in positional play. I used that one mainly, because I had purchased it many years ago and hadn't ever read it, but also because it's still in print and has gotten good reader reviews on It's an inexpensive book worth many times the price.

Tempo, my daughter is doing well. She had her first cast taken off last Thursday. The doctor re-X-rayed her arm and showed that it is healing fine. He re-casted her arm, though, because he wanted the bone thickness to improve before completely freeing her arm. Two Tuesdays from now is when she'll get her cast off.

8:15 AM  

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