July 2015 is when I started training harder to improve my chess. I search the internet, buy books, download apps and programs, and played a lot of chess. I also acquired 4 sets of boards already because I am a little picky about the piece design, weight, size and portability.
I only earn so much as a freelancer. So I cant afford expensive equipment, coaches and chess.com premium. Its a bit discouraging specially as after all I did for the first half year of training I cannot break 1700 in chess.com's Correspondence Chess. I made it a goal that if I reached 1800 in either correspondence or live chess at chess.com then I will join the Philippine federation.
In later months I still feel uncomfortable with my games. Occasionally being beaten by lower rated players. Making blunders and even losing a winning game! I am starting to think that my training is not right. Or am I just too old at 34.
What have I been doing before?
1. Play lots of Correspondence Chess.
2. Read a chapter about opening.
3. Read a chapter about middlegame.
4. Read a chapter about endgame.
5. Do tactics.
6. Play simultaneous 31 games.
7. Train to play blindfold chess.
This WAS my training routine for the first ten months on a weekly cycle. I felt I improved, but the games show otherwise. I gave up. I dont understand the books. I am not improving the way I wanted. Its not helping me get inspired.
Incidentally, I am watching an anime about boxing. the character used to be a bully victim who later on became a national champion. Hard work and right training is the key to his success. Then a brainwave. Maybe I should train like a boxer.
So I modified my training routine.
1. Do 5 tactics in the morning and 5 in the evening. (Jogging)
2. Read a chess lesson. (Mitts training)
3. Watch a chess video. (Sand bag punching)
4. Play few live chess. (Sparring)
5. Play blindfold. (Shadow boxing)
This is my training routine in July 2016. I do number 1 to 4 on a daily basis, like a boxer's training menu. While number 5 is just once a week. I seem to see improvements in my games. Later in August 2016 I added the following:
6. Simultaneous 10 game (Weekly)
7. Blindfold Private Message Chess (Currently have two on going)
8. Review master games (When I have spare time)
For training routine number 1 to 3 I used chess.com's premium privileged. How I got a premium is another story. I need to thank @thegreatpatzer for it. As my premium ended a few days ago I will still use the free features until I am able to renew. These can be availed for free from other sites, but chess.com has some appeal and getting the premium is helping the people who help you improve.
I am planning to add more routine in the future such as:
9. Blindfold Correspondence Chess (might be limiting it to just 10 games)
10. Join a weekly live chess.com tournament
11. Join ChessTV Live and challenge a GM in a bullet
Each training routine deserve a blog. Its not neat to have them all in one page anyway. But I need to mention that the one training routine that gave me a boost is blindfold chess. Its hard to gain but when you do its really great.
My training routine may not be the best, nor do I claim that its the best. One thing for sure, I am satisfied with the improvements I see in my recent games. I may not win every game, but when I lose I have no regrets, only a learning experience.