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  • Glenn Julich

So my coach recommended that I start keeping statistics on my puzzle performance.  And he warned me in advance that the numbers will fluctuate wildly.  And he was right!  Yikes.

Here's what I do.  I have the puzzles open on part of my tablet screen and I use the program Counter by DaisyApps and have it open on the other half of the screen like this:

So I am keeping record by tapping whether I got a puzzle right or wrong.  Then I just plug the information into a spreadsheet and look at the percentages:

And it calculates a 5-day running average, which is about 54% right now.

So what have I learned?  I suck!  LOL  Kidding... I was prepared to see numbers like this.   But even though my numbers are low, I can already see some development in my thought processes during games.  It is minor, but it is there.

I also learned that when I'm not feeling well, my performance is abysmal.  I mean, look at that 25% day I had.  I was feeling pretty lousy and could tell my mind couldn't focus properly.  So I gave up that day; but still documented it.

So that's where I am.  I will continue to plug away and see what happens!

Today I was in the process of trying to review some common traps for beginners so I can (1) avoid them and (2) look for opportunities to use them against opponents.  I was watching a great video by GM Varuzhan Akobian which was geared for beginners and in it, he covered two simple traps that black can fall into when playing the Queen's Gambit Accepted opening.  I wanted to share there here and document them for my future review.

First, just reviewing the Queen's Gambit Accepted.  Very simply, once you are at this position, this opening is called the Queen's Gambit Accepted:

I learned that there is a common trap here that black can fall into allowing white to win either a rook or a knight.  On turn three, white plays e3, allowing the bishop to attack black's pawn at c4.  The trap comes when black brins up pawns to support that pawn.  Here is the trap that results in a captured rook:

The second trap that can happen is if black brings a pawn up to support b5 by playing c6.  This results in white capturing a knight:

So there you have it... two very simple, very easy traps to set and watch out for.

  • Glenn Julich

In some of the chess books and videos I've enjoyed recently, I've noted a common reference to finding your individual chess hero.  From what I gathered, this would be someone whose games resonate with you and inspire your own decisions on the board.

As I am just now getting more serious with my chess study, I don't really have a chess hero at this time.  I really haven't yet studied enough games by the masters to discover someone whose tactics really speak to me.

So I wanted to create a simple and short post tonight and ask: Do you have a chess hero?  If so, who?  And why?  I'd really enjoy reading which players inspire my readers. 

(And since I don't have one... feel free to nominate one!) 

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