I may be moving just a tad bit too fast in my circles program. I'm not even finished with my first week in the Seven Circles and I've already completed 215 problems from CT-ART with a total accuracy percentage of 70%. I don't think this will help me improve since it is not a concrete way to improve and to drill things in one's mind. I may start over from scratch starting next week but we'll see how things go.
I went to my local club last night and disposed of a 1547 USCF player in a long game and two 1800+ players in blitz. I felt proud of myself that I am actually learning something from the circles program and I've barely just started. After my victories, a few of the gentlemen and myself got into discussion about tactics training and I showed them the de la Maza way. Some of the older and experienced players laughed and shunned it off; saying that it doesn't help your chess. "Only experience and intuition is the road to success" was their argument. I thought hard about it for several seconds and counterattacked with the fact that doing the seven circles builds experience and intuition MUCH faster than anything they've ever done. The experience comes from you seeing thousands of positions and the intuition comes from concrete pattern recognition, allowing you to spot wild tactics in almost any position. After presenting this to my fellow chess players, they were quick to agree. Looks like we may have some more Knights on the way!
Here is a key position from my game against the 1547 rated player:
sir nemo(unr.) vs. noname(1547)
Black's last move was Nd6-c4. At first glance this looks winning for Black but White has something nasty up his sleeve. What's White's next move?