April 21, 2006 at 8:37 am | Posted in Chess | 9 Comments

I know everyone does everything differently, but I just received my CT-Art 3.0 yesterday and I’ve got a few questions.

1. At the user creation screen, does inputting your ELO really matter?
2. Do most people use the “Grades by Difficulty” or Levels? If so, do you go Test mode or Practice?

I know they are probably simple questions . . .

Thanks in advance.



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  1. The ELO entry acts a as a base only. I created 7 user profiles each with the same base ELO. I do the tactics per levels of difficulty starting with 10. I jump right in to the test mode and set it to solve 10 at a time ( you can vary that up or down depending the amount of time you want to spend per sitting/session).

    Now, as for my approach to the circles, I tend to do it a little different than other Knights. MDLM method suggests going through all levels before moving to the next circle. I chose to do each level 7 times before moving to the next… but I also worked on my own time frame … not the 400 days of insanity… I am on about 600 days ( roughly 2 years) and am finally on the level 90 problems. I anticipate completing these in early May ( in time for the World open!).

    Best wishes! BP

  2. Hi – welcome to the knights!

    The elo level, and the subsequent updating of your score, is highly optimistic. CT Art reckons I’m about level 1900, when in fact I’m about 1250 ish on ICC.

    Most people do the grades by difficulty mode, and go up through the grades. So 10 first, then 20 etc. MDLM recommends going through them in difficulty order. And in test mode so you can see your stats.

  3. In a similar (but easier) program I’m using, ‘chess tactics for beginners’, I go through at first by theme, and then randomly “by difficulty”.

    I would definitely have to do the same with CT-Art which is a bit advanced for me.

  4. In other words, do what you think will help you get better at chess the fastest.

  5. 1.No,except it forces you to put something
    2.I use practice mode.Test gives you problems in the set in random sequence and i believe do not give as much hints as in practice modes.

    I used different user names on each circle Takchess1 to help keep track what I did on each circle.
    Here is something I found helpful after doing level 20 a number of times. On a problem I got wrong I would immediate use the back button and do it again. I also recorded the number and revisited it on it’s own. I would recommend doing this only after going thru the set a few times first.
    you might find it interesting to go thru Don’s archived blog as to his experience during this whole trek.
    Good luck!

  6. Lots and lots of help. A big THANK YOU to all.

    I’m leaning to the Test version of the Levels. My reasoning is that if I know I’m suppose to do a fork, then that’s what I look for. If, oth, I need to make the best move, I need to be able to figure that out whether it is a stalemate, checkmate, obliteration, etc.

    I’ll probably go through Level 10 and 20 in 12 days and see how I did. If it turns out I suck, then I’ll need to rethink my plan.

  7. There is one practical thing to consider with this question. The majority of knights stopped with CT-Art levels 40-60 (in fact, I cannot think of an exception). I wonder if they would have gone further if on a couple of early circles, they had gone through by theme, precisely because it makes things a little easier. Just something to think about before you get going: do you actually want to get through level 90 on all the circles, and could knowing the themes beforehand help you do that?

    There is one more, theoretical, reason it might help to know the themes. Meta-pattern recognition. That is, having the theme explicitly hang out there might build up the ability to recognize what themes apply to a given situation, even if you aren’t sure what the exact moves are in that plan. Kind of an “Oh, this looks like a clearance sacrifice type position. Let’s see if I can find one.” The explicit training with knowledge of the themes right there for you to see may help with this. Just an idea for which I have no data.

  8. You know it might be handy if you could get a list of CT-ART mistakes. It would most likely save you some extra frustration. I don’t know if anyone has started that, but I am starting one for TCT.

  9. I did 30 of the Level 10s last night and sucked. Sucked real bad. WTF? 😉

    So I took a look at PCT and their first level was more my speed. Time to rethink. Grrr.

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