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I'm serious about chess and really want to improve but I don't have much time to study due to school, homework and all that.
I'm only going to have 40 minutes a week day (except tuesday, because that's when I'm going to the chess club. but i might be able to study on tuesday when there's no tournament. i'm not interested in blitz playing and can't go every week anyways. i'm only playing in the long tournaments which don't happen every week), and maybe 2 hours a weekend day.
It doesn't seem like a lot, but will this be sufficient? Please help!
If we tell you that it isn't...then what?
Most players don't really study at all.
Read 1-2 pages of an endgame book. Do 15min of tactics. Review a critical middle-game position with an engine. You can accomplish a lot in 40min.
Furthermore, if you actually are "serious about chess and really want to improve," I would think you should be able to find more time than that.
My rating is 1567 and I'm 14 years old.
I want to achieve the rank of National Master when I'm an adult (doesn't matter what age).
Some coaching may help.
If you can't afford it, just study whatever you enjoy and make sure to play a lot of OTB long games.
Well, my rating was 1524 when I was 14 (and I made it). However, I studied several hours a day for several years to do so...and I too had "school, homework and all that."
The difference is that our family values studies a lot. I'm trying to get into a good university and my parents really want me to concentrate on my studies. The other thing is that I can't just do school, homework, chess, and violin (I play the violin.) I need to relax for a little and spend time with family, etc. And 40 minutes is what is most time friendly for that. Now remember this is only every weekday except fridays (and some tuesdays). I have friday, saturday, sunday for more like 1.5 - 2 hours.
I was thinking that maybe when I get older (in many years like when I pass college and am an adult), I can study more because the age that I reach the rank of 2200 is not relavant. Yes I do want to improve maybe a couple hundred rating points a year but at the same time, I'm not too concerned about how long it takes me to get there. The only downside to this is that I've heard that when you're not an adult, you learn the most and more quickly. Now I'm a pretty rapid learner. I pick up on things very easily and really, my chess growth so far has been pretty good. A few months ago when I first joined the chess club, I found myself missing very basic tactics and they estimated me to be 1200-1300. Now after my first tournament of four rounds, my rating is 1567(P4). Now of course this doesn't mean much, but I am a rapid improver (if that's even a word), and a rapid learner.
How do you know my family didn't "value studies" too?
I gained 100 points a year for a while. That was my standard improvement rate. I wouldn't count on much beyond that...unless of course you're some kind of genius or something.
But as I suggested, if you really want to get serious about the game, you'll make more time for yourself to study. Honestly though, I wouldn't recommend it particularly...unless maybe you get to be some sort of world-class member of the elite, there's really not much of a reward for it. At least if you get good at the violin you can maybe play in an orchestra somewhere.
Well can't I always get serious about it later. I would like to get serious about it but can't. My parents don't want me to get too serious about it. Yeah I can get probably 7-8 hours in a week. But not more than that. I have a pretty busy life. Not only do I have homework. Like I said, I do lots of other things. I play violin. I'm starting Taekwondo. Not only that, I'm going to have to stay after some days.
So I was wondering. Even though I'm a fast learner, 40 minutes/day might not be enough to make very rapid improvement. How much do you think I can improve per year 100-200 points/year? Also, when I get older and finish my studies, I can start devoting more time to the game. Can I improve more or will I not improve that rapidly since I will be full grown and adults don't learn as fast as teens or kids?
I'm in a fairly tight position to study chess any longer because like I said, I need to do other things and have time for family. And I also heard someone taking 5 AP classes senior year high school increasing from 1400-1800 that year. I've also heard that some people improve without much study. Just from playing. And I've heard of people going from 1100-1800 in a year. Is all this really possible.
First off, let's make sure that when we're talking about rating points, we mean real points--ie, USCF--not online stuff.
That said, I once knew someone who went from 1739 to 2150 in a single year. But that is a talent rare indeed. Everyone I ever knew (back in the days when I was still improving) seemed to think 100/year was a reasonable target.
Oh, and btw, whatever happened to that guy who gained 400/year? He soon gave up the game because there was no reasonable way to make a living at it.
40 minutes does seem an oddly specific time, as if you are on one of those Time Management programs.
But I would suggest that you consider an alternate schedule, instead dividing your 160 available weekly study minutes into two days of 90 minutes of work. Yes, that means you will have to find 20 minutes more a week than you planned. Perhaps you could poop only every other day.
And with that limited amount of study time, I would recommend it be divided evenly between going over master games and endgame work.
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