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Still going strong September 25, 2007

Posted by dorigo in chess, internet, personal.

Thanks Carl, who pointed me to a site offering a very nice chess test, I can today brag about my understanding of the game. I took the test – a quite lengthy one, where you have to find the move you would play in 24 different chess positions, with two minutes to spend on each – and I did not really score that bad! Here is the result:

I am flattered… Of course. Because

  1. I am not a master, but a mere candidate master; 
  2. my rating is in the 2100-2150 range (2275 is the rating of a strong master, in fact).

However, I must say the test is very well done. And, the fact that I got a 10.5/12 on tactics and only 6/12 on positional play accurately pictures my style of play – I am indeed a tactical player-, although I must say that in these tests one is normally driven to finding the most brilliant shot, and thus of the two processors, the one most active in the solver’s brain is the tactical one.

I have not played any strong tournament in more than five years now… Maybe I should organize a comeback!


1. Carl Brannen - September 25, 2007

Well at least I can say that when I had the strong move pointed out to me, it was obvious in all but 2 cases. I found the 2 minute limit extremely tight.

In play with Fritz at G 60, I get about 1.5 minutes per move, but get to think on his time and keep track of the tactical situation that way. And I can’t type in the moves as quickly as I’d like, the notation has changed from what I learned years ago.

2. Tumbledried - September 26, 2007

Hmm… I tried to follow the link to the test you gave, and it came up with the following message:

“You are not authorized to view this page
You do not have permission to view this directory or page from the Internet address of your Web browser.” Apparently I’m a blacklisted IP address.

Probably my service provider’s fault. Or a firefox thing. From my previous experiences however, and supposing the test was in any ways accurate, I’d probably expect to score between 1400-1600.

But anyways – it seems like your skills have, if anything, sharpened with age Tommaso – you should totally organise a comeback to tournament chess! – the younger players won’t know what hit them =)

3. dorigo - September 26, 2007

Argh, Tumbledried… I do think you need to walk to a internet cafe in order to take the test. Apparently your IP has restrictions…

As for my skills, hmmm, yes and no. I think I have less stamina than 15 years ago, but maybe I understand chess a bit more now… It is not clear which helps the most.


4. dorigo - September 26, 2007

Carl, 2 minutes were little time for me too, especially since I had misunderstood the fact that it was not necessary to input all four best moves if one were sure of which was the best option.
However, I believe the time limit is a good way to discriminate between those who can feel the position quickly and those who can reckon with it if they have more time.


5. carlbrannen - September 26, 2007

Tommaso, I think the short time is appropriate for people who play speed chess. I know that to improve I need basically to get a lot more practice, or perhaps to drill. I’d like to do this, but it will have to wait until I retire, maybe soon.

6. Joachim Heuser - October 2, 2007

Got 17.0 points. However i got only 7.0 out of tactics, but 10.0 out of levers. I could bite my ass for missing the cross-bind in 14 completely – that’s why i am only a mediocre player – missing those tactical shots costs you more half or full points that finding good levers 🙂
I also liked the syle of the tests. I like the time constraint and i like that you can give multiple options. My only criticisms would be that one should be able to “continue” if one definetely knows the solution an that one should get penalized for unduly sacrificing material. I tend to give my material away without having calculated it through more freely in tests than in real games.


7. dorigo - October 2, 2007

Hi Joachim,

17 is a very good score! How does that compare to your actual rating ?

I concur, the time limit is a very good idea but one should be allowed to use the extra time for other positions. And I also concur about the penalization… Ideas for a better test!


8. Joachim - October 2, 2007

Hi Dorigo,

my FIDE-rating is a meager 2000 ELO. So i am a prime example that performing good in tests does not necessarily translate into good playing strength. Playing good moves all the time is quite different from finding 9/10 in a test, where you watch out for “Hmm, what am i supposed to find here…”.


9. carlbrannen - December 12, 2007


I bought myself a chess clock and have now been soundly beaten by a few of the local chess afficionados, and administered a few thrashings as well. No tournaments or ratings, but I’ve slowly improved to the point that I can now beat the truly bad computer chess program on the PostCardChess website. I’m sure it will provide you little resistance, if any.

My big problem continues to be failing to notice very obvious things, but that seems to be getting under control. It’s a matter of impulse control. One must remember to think BEFORE moving.

10. carlbrannen - January 5, 2008

Tommaso, one of the chess players at the local mall I play at was signing albums today. Yes, a rap artist is a fairly good player (he lost today mostly from not playing sufficiently aggressive in the face of his opponent’s poor development, I think.

11. dorigo - January 5, 2008

Hi Carl,

🙂 I should have a permanent chess page – this thread is getting old. Did he lose with you ? or whom was he playing ?


12. carlbrannen - January 20, 2008


I’ve never played him. He plays regularly on the public “big board”, which board is about 3 meters on a side, and there, he plays a game that wins about half the matches against the somewhat mediocre competition that shows up there.

We regularly chastise him for not talking about chess in his rap, but instead going on about guns and girls, drinking and drugs, knives and knaves, and other less interesting subjects.

Friday and Saturday nights are the big nights at the chess club, and last night was more busy than usual, probably due to the death of Bobby Fisher.

13. dorigo - January 21, 2008

Hi Carl,

I feel sorry because you remind me of the good times when I could spend my evenings at my own chess club… I do not do that anymore.


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