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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2017, 23:02 
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Is there a list of tournaments in the Northeast, btw? I'm a couple of hours south of you but I don't know of anything nearby.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2017, 00:41 
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kaesees wrote:
Is there a list of tournaments in the Northeast, btw? I'm a couple of hours south of you but I don't know of anything nearby.


If you are in CT - Westchester TTC in Pleasantville NY has monthly Open tournaments, which are an absolute must, in my opinion.

http://www.westchestertabletennis.com/index.asp

Hartford has a tournament here and there, and there is a small club in RI that does it 2-3 times a year. USATT site has list of upcoming tournaments, you can filter by region etc.:

http://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis/events

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 02:30 
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Went 1-3 in the league last night, but it was better than it looks purely by record.

Since my main setup is on vacation at Westchester, pulled out the one that was reasonably close: VKMO/Rasant/Dornenglanz II OX (it should make 'notfound123' happy ;) ).

Went in with an attitude of 'loop everything on FH, especially 3rd ball'. Worked really well in my first match against T, who is close to my level and was giving me trouble last few matches. This time it was a convincing 3:0 for me, after which he basically told me "what's got into you and where this new style has come from". Lost next two matches to 2100+ players, where they were much better at attacking my serves, so shoe was on another foot. Finally lost very close match to D in 5 (14:16 or something like that) - his SP on both sides was strange enough to knock me off balance.

So, the plan is to beef up FH especially on 3rd ball and get into habit of going for it. Might make my game a bit closer to Jian Li, perhaps. 8)

DG2 was different enough, not sure if I will stick with it for this period or may be will try P1-r with sponge over the weekend. VKMO was nice, and Rasant had a harder feeling and lower throw, but I think I adjusted quickly.

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Last edited by pgpg on 31 Aug 2017, 04:02, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 02:59 
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pgpg wrote:
[...]may be will try P1-r with sponge over the weekend. VKMO was nice, and Rasant had a harder feeling and lower throw, I think, but I think I adjusted quickly.


How different is the VKMO from your normal Defplay? I understand it's supposed to be somewhat faster and somewhat stiffer, but how does it compare in your hand?

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 03:47 
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If you decide to do P-1R in 0.5mm, it plays so different on the VKM vs. the Defplay. (I know you're talking about a VKMO)
Just want to drive home the point that P-1R in 0.5mm will feel super different. I didn't love it on the VKM, love it on the Defplay because of the flex. On the VKM, I'm all about the 1.0mm.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2017, 04:07 
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kaesees wrote:
pgpg wrote:
[...]may be will try P1-r with sponge over the weekend. VKMO was nice, and Rasant had a harder feeling and lower throw, I think, but I think I adjusted quickly.


How different is the VKMO from your normal Defplay? I understand it's supposed to be somewhat faster and somewhat stiffer, but how does it compare in your hand?


Faster and stiffer sounds about right. Both rubbers were different too, so hard to isolate. Handle/balance is a bit different, but nothing major, so I can probably play with either.

Equipment differences are usually dwarfed by our ability to adjust.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2017, 08:52 
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Was messing around with FH chopping at the club today and just for fun tried to follow on the advice everyone occasionally brings up: "Watch the ball". I think I somehow got into a habit of tracking the ball until it was a foot or so from hitting the paddle, and then just expecting that contact will be made.

Guess what, the moment I started to watch the ball almost until it gets to the paddle, suddenly my consistency went through the roof! I think I made 15-20 FH chops in a row and they somehow got deeper as well. Very weird... Or may be not - my right eye is not as good as left, so perhaps it was contributing to my problems there.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 02 Oct 2017, 10:00 
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Quick EJ update, together with a tournament report (local unsanctioned one).

So, I was more or less oscillating between VKMO ST + Rasant + DG2 OX (I thought it was original DG, but I was wrong :) ) - later replaced by P1-r in 1 mm sponge, VKM FL + Rasant + DG OX and VKM ST+Vs>401+Air UpUpUp 1mm. The last one is 'winning' right now :P. The way to describe it:

* BH feels muted and controlled. Slow but solid feeling, and easy to chop. Somehow LP pushes are easier.
* Pushing with Vs>401 is nasty, I got plenty of points with opponent putting balls into the net. I forgot how great it feels. FH chopping is really fun, and attacking is fine.

The tournament was very poorly run in the past, so I was seriously considering skipping it altogether. They got new tournament director, however, who knows his stuff, so gave it another chance (and it was run like a clock, no hiccups whatsoever). It was Ratings Central based, so add ~300 points to get approximate USATT equivalent. Signed up for U1800, U2000 and Open - a bit of a stretch, but top players were around 2300 USATT, so figured I'll get some matches in at least.

Seeding was more or less screwed up across the tournament - not enough RC events in the area, and some of the ratings are way out of whack. It did not help that the last RC tournament I attended a year ago did not even bother to submit results :@ , and I had a few good wins there. So, I'm ~1300 in RC, which is a bit on the low side, another guy who is a legit USATT 2000 is somehow only 1050 RC, and one of my club mates who is ~1830 USATT is for whatever reason 1850+ RC.

U1800: I was a B seed in RR group which was reasonably accurate, above gripes notwithstanding ;). Finished 2:1, losing to A seed in 5 (totally winnable, but his BH was too good when it mattered), so missed SE round.

U2000: I was a C player( ha!), but finished 1st. Did have a tight match with a B seed, winning 3:1, but it was very close - he had trouble looping both chops and LP pushes. A player was very loop happy, but my chops were better, so much easier 3:0 win. In QF ran into my club mate 'C' (the one with humongous RC rating :D ) - was up 2:0 winning easily and then *something* changed, his off-the-bounce BH loops started landing and I was cooked in 5.

Open: I was a C player, with D seed being a no-show. I had a somewhat entertaining match against an A seed 'M', who is much better than me, but I did get 8-9 points per game in 0:3 loss. 'C' was a B seed, but this time I quickly lost in 3, not sure if it was because of exhaustion, or he actually figured me out by then. I think I gave him way too many points on his serve to my FH (known issue), and also messed up too much with trying to chop long backspin(?) serves to my BH, probably should've pushed them...

Overall, not too bad - not too many stupid mistakes and I liked chopping parts, with some nice rallies. So, good day of TT.

Have quite a few TT events coming up - will probably play a small local tournament in 2 weeks, then a trip to Westchester in 2 weeks, then a local unsanctioned teams 'tune up' tourney in early November, followed by actual Teams tourney in DC over Thanksgiving. Nice...

Edit: One thing I noticed today - I was standing too close to the table, especially against better opponents, so was unable to chop back my opponent's opening way too often. Taking a step back after serve receive would've been so much better...

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 03 Oct 2017, 13:23 
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Tournament results got posted on RatingsCentral and much to my surprise I lost a bunch of points, together with plenty of other players...

I guess that's what happens when you assign every unrated player initial RC rating of 700+-100, even to players with well-established USATT ratings in 2000-2100 range, just to give a couple of examples. Suddenly USATT adjustment procedure, however cumbersome and flawed, does not look so bad. :?:

Edit: they fixed the issue with initial rating assignment, so now it looks much more reasonable. Plus I gained ~70 points :rock:

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Last edited by pgpg on 04 Oct 2017, 13:15, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 01:45 
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How does the +- thing with RC work? Is it based on statistical error bands/95% confidence interval or something?

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 02:20 
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kaesees wrote:
How does the +- thing with RC work? Is it based on statistical error bands/95% confidence interval or something?


Algo description can be found on ratingscentral.com, I believe (RC creator has math PhD, so be warned ;) ):

http://www.ratingscentral.com/HowItWorks.php

Yes, it is supposed to reflect uncertainty in rating estimation and probably tries to set 95% confidence interval or similar, but I don't think it's doing a very good job lately in our area.

Assigning unrealistic priors for unrated players does not help. Not really an algo fault, more like human error, but end result is inaccurate ratings either way.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 18:04 
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Dude is linked to Boston TTC, but in all my times visiting Boston TTC, I never ran into him, but bless him, he has helped out the WORLD.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 08:05 
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Der_Echte wrote:
Dude is linked to Boston TTC, but in all my times visiting Boston TTC, I never ran into him, but bless him, he has helped out the WORLD.


In 4+ years I've been going there I only saw him (David Marcus, the dude who built Ratings Central with Sean O'Neill) a couple of times, when he was helping to run a tournament, never saw him play though. I think someone mentioned that he got injured or something, not sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2017, 11:38 
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Played a small tournament about an hour drive away. Signed up for U1850, U2100 and Open, and now think it was a bad idea, 3 events in a day that it. Not a spring chicken anymore, and playing too many matches takes its toll. Want to try a more reasonable approach in 2 weeks at Westchester, only 2 events per day, instead of typical 3...

Went 2:1 in my U2100 RR group, losing to 'S', who plays the same game as me, but a bit more defensively. Struggled to beat other two players as well, despite them being nominally rated below me. Almost blew 2:0 lead against 'B' seed, but fortunately prevailed in 5. Did OK in QF, but in SF ran into 'R', who I played before a couple of times - the guy runs around the court and brings everything back. Could not outlast him.

Finished second in U1850 (yay, a medal, my first trophy in ~6 months!), but I was a #1 seed, so kind of underperformed. Lucked out in QF against 'S' to get my revenge, but that was as close as it gets: was down 0:2 and 1:7 in the 3rd, and then basically said 'f*&^ it!' and played like it did not matter. Won in 5th 12:10 or so, coming back again. Got outplayed in the final by 'R', the same guy who stopped me in U2100 SF.

Open was, well, as one would expect. 'A' seed in my RR group was ~2600, so I lost at 3,3,4 and thought I at least earned some of these points. Much closer game against ~2000 'B' player, but still 0:3, and then an easy win against 'D' seed, who gave me some unexpected trouble in U2100 RR.

So, exhausted as I've ever been. Need to be smarter about too many events in a single day...

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 18 Oct 2017, 15:02 
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The life of a TT Warrior.

Help Leo get on a team at DC, there is no way I can spend $1000 this year after the 3rd property tax bill hit me like a B#@#* Slap in da face. Can't do teams this year or lead one.

However, I can make the US Open, I will be kinda in the area (near a certain GARAGE) the week prior, so it won't be so expensive to do that tourney.

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