7 New Year's Chess Resolutions

7 New Year's Chess Resolutions

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
Dec 27, 2016, 12:00 AM |
21 | Fun & Trivia

Statistically, just eight percent of people achieve their New Year's resolutions. That doesn't seem so great, but if we all resolve to become grandmasters, maybe eight percent of us can make it. 

More realistically, New Year's resolutions are a great way to focus your chess studies for the upcoming year. We've got some ideas for you, but whatever you resolve, keep these things in mind.

  • Keep it simple. Your chances of sticking with a resolution are much greater if the resolution is a simple one.
  • Make it measurable. "What is measured is managed." Don't set resolutions that are hard to track.
  • Be positive. Don't give up if you miss a day. Celebrate the progress you've made, press reset, and start over.

With that in mind, here are some ideas to help you improve at chess in the new year.

1. Play in the Chess.com Isle of Man.

We love online chess, but standard chess in a serious tournament is an incomparable learning experience. Why not make 2017 the year you travel to a major tournament? We highly recommend the Chess.com Isle of Man. What could be better than a week packed with chess in a peaceful island setting?

If the Isle of Man isn't for you, there are many fine tournaments that might suit your schedule or budget better. Why not check out Gibraltar or the London Chess Classic?

2. Set a personal record on Tactics Trainer.

In real estate, it's location, location, location. In chess, it's tactics, tactics, tactics. There's no better goal than improving your tactical acuity.

Set an achievable but challenging new rating goal for yourself and work daily toward it. You can shore up your work spots by identifying them via our online statistics.. Then practice the themes you are weak at by going to Chess.com/tactics and selecting "Custom (Unrated)" and picking the themes you need to work on.

IM Danny Rensch demonstrates:

3. Finally learn the bishop-and-knight checkmate.

We all have that endgame that shames us. The one we should definitely know, but we have never really learned. Make 2017 the year you master it with Chess.com/drills and be confident that you can play it right in a game. Here are some of the most frequently misplayed endgames for you to master.

4. Complete your next Chess.com Study Plan.

It's been a long time coming, but we finally released advanced and master path study plans this year. They are packed with great study ideas for different levels. If you have already completed a series, move on to the next one. If not, why not start one?

5. Get a chess coach.

A good chess coach can help you identify your weaknesses and target your chess study to efficiently address those weaknesses. It can be hard to find a good coach, but the ones at Chess.com/coaches are some of the best.

6. Start a Chess.com blog or a stream.

The Internet is a great way for chess players to connect. By making content, be it writing or streaming videos or something else entirely, you benefit from feedback by other chess players.

It's also a tremendous learning experience. Making your chess experience public provides accountability and support, strengthening you as you plow through to new chess heights.

The chess world is just waiting for new content makers, and you don't need to be a grandmaster to be one. You can start a blog at Chess.com/blogs today.

Are you good with videos and being on camera? Start a stream and apply to be a Chess.com/streamers.

7. Best your friends on the Chess.com leaderboard.

Not only does the Chess.com leaderboard track the top players on the site, it also shows you how stack up to your friends. Why not give them a run for their money in 2017? A little friendly competition is a great motivator. Is your best friend named Magnus? OK then, maybe set a broader goal  Why not try to break into the top 10?

Setting a goal based on competition can be much stronger than a flat rating goal. Many strong chess players point to personal rivalries as pushing them to be their very best.

What are your chess New Year's resolutions? Post yours in the comments!

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