Woodpecker 10(0)1 - VI

Professor Yaffle

Woodpeckering my way through 1001 chess puzzles in 2021

Cycle Three of problem set one is now in the bag. A pleasing bump in accuracy and, whilst I again failed to halve my solving time it was at least another case of 'not far away'.

Numbers fans can find the precise figures at the foot of today's post. In the meantime, here are some thoughts on the difficulties of fitting Woodpeckering into regular working life.

Clock work - METROPOLIS

The Woodpecker Method is a lot of work. For anybody who has any non-chess responsibilities at all that means there’s going to be scheduling problems to solve if you’re going to make it work.

My main problem is the way I earn I living. I work shifts. Some days I start at 7am, some later in the morning and some times I begin in the afternoon and work late into the evening. Once a month I work the weekend - 10 hours each day - and every couple of months or so I work a run of night shifts.

Which can make it difficult to keep going with the very structured approach that the Woodpecker Method requires.

The start of my second cycle coincided with a weekend I was working. I probably should have delayed things a couple of days, but decided to press on as best I could.

If I’d looked ahead a bit further I might have chosen differently. As it turned out the end of the cycle arrived alongside some night shifts.

Even if you’ve never worked regularly at night several times in a row, it will probably not surprise you to learn that the days tend to go by in a blur. You do what you can to get as much as sleep as you can and there’s not much chance for anything else.

All of which goes to explain how I started cycle three at a point when, according to original schedule, I was more or less due to finish it. I've finished now, at least, but getting knocked off track has been more than a little frustrating.

I don’t have a solution to this. I doubt there is a magic bullet for anybody. Even if you don’t have a work pattern like mine you’ll have childcare, or perhaps parents who look require looking after, or a partner who would like to consider themselves - correctly - to be a higher priority than a mate in three.

No, there’s no real solution. But if you’re aware of the problem you can at least then plan for it. Then you just have do the best you can with the time/resources you have.


Set One:

Number of Puzzles: 277

Total Woodpeckering time: 43 hours 54 minutes

Cycle One: 277 puzzles at 82% accuracy in 22 hours 42 minutes

Cycle Two: 277 puzzles at 84% accuracy in 13 hours 19 minutes

Cycle Three: 277 puzzles at 92% accuracy in 7 hours 53 minutes

Cycle One Running Totals

Week One: 80 puzzles at 84% accuracy in 6 hours 21 minutes

Week Two: 109 puzzles at 81% accuracy in 11 hours 2 minutes

Week Three: 172 puzzles at 81% accuracy in 15 hours 51 minutes

Week Four: 277 puzzles at 82% accuracy in 22 hours 42 minutes

Cycle Two Running Totals

Week One:
111 puzzles at 89% accuracy in 3 hours 33 minutes.

Week Two: 277 puzzles at 84% accuracy in 13 hours 19 minutes.


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