Sunday, July 08, 2007


Thanks to Korsmonaut, I've been tagged. Rise and Shine, you're it.

What is your blogger name and URL?
RockyRook, with my "Circles" quest over at

How did you learn about the circles?
I don't remember exactly how I came accross de la Maza's book, but I know it was through the Chessville site and forum.

When did you learn about the circles?
Probably late 2002 or early part of 2003 ... I know it was shortly after the book came out and it was around the time I "found" on-line chess and FICS.

How long have you been going through the circles or how long did it take if you finished?
I received CT-ART 3.0 for Christmas in 2003 and I made a few feeble attempts in 2004. Then I went back to school to earn an MBA and that left little time for chess. Then in February 2006 I found Man de la Maza's blog and the Knight Errants. After that, I decided to try the program again. So I started again June 2006 determined to do 1039 problems, but recently decided to cut that to 500. I just finished yesterday.

How is your progress?
I spent a lot of time hammering the problems into my head. Although I've improved, I still have a long way to go.

Does working with the circles alone work for chess improvement, or is it more helpful to join the Knights?
I think joining the Knights is better. Having that quasi-accountability over my head helped me to keep at it as long as I did.

Are you a scholastic player?

Would you recommend the circles to a scholastic player?
Maybe ... if that is what the player needs to improve.

Do you use other training methods to supplement the circles?
While I was working on them, no. Now that I'm done, I plan to keep doing mini-circles while studying other parts of the game.

Any general comments about chess training or the circles?
It's tough at times, but you gotta do it if you want to improve.


  1. Major congratulations! Saw the announcement at BDK's of luck on your future development in chess.

    Also, I need to get your other blog on my links, so I'll do that.

    Rock on.

  2. Rocky Rook unfortunately I have to tell you that the article "the Expert mind" doesn't support your dessision on following de la maza's ideas on improving your "chess game" by working on solving tactical and strategic chess exersises by the contrary the article "the expert mind" explains to you how experts rely on an organized imformation retriving proccess/mechanism within their mind which they developed by continues and deep study of positions and strategies related to this positions which in fact are not random but by the contrary were and are part of big chunk being this more likely to be and organized retriving system related to the study of Opening repertoire, studying chess-Art program won provide you with that organized chunk of information related to familiar positions because what chess-Art does is take you to many random cases which don't relate one with the other being this that they relate in theme and patterns, but they are likely to get disorganized and difficult to retrive withing your brain no been this the case with studies related to openings you play more often, scientifics in not way will support that de la maza 's method is a succesful way to train since in mainly deal with spacial visual skills and not with an organized intellectual proccess like opening repertore study which seems to be the main reason why strong masters succed, I am a chess FM myself.....good luck

  3. Thanks for the comment deepnf3. But I don't recall linking "The Expert Mind" article I posted to de la Maza's training program. I posted "The Expert Mind" article because it pertains to chess, not because I wanted to compare it with the DLM program.

    Again, thank you for your comment!