Road to Improvement #1
This is my first blog post. I want to document my progress as I work toward improving at chess. I have set a lifetime goal of some day becoming a National Master (NM). But for now have set my current goal to getting ready to play in my first tournament and not getting completely embarrassed. I think a good benchmark for that would be about 1500 rating on chess.com but I think I will just know when I am ready.
I have been working on my chess game pretty aggressively the last 2 months or so. I my initial training plan was to do 50 tactics per day and I have stuck by that for the most part. When I started in February my tactics rating was an abysmal 818. Currently I am sitting at 1168 but I have been as high as 1300. My last two tactics sessions weren't very good so I think I am really somewhere around the 1200-1250 range. I tend to work though the tactics too fast and should probably slow down. Some people have told me 50 a day is way too many but I think that at my low level I should drill the basic tactics until I know them cold.
The next part of my plan was to work though Silman's Endgame Course. Honestly I got to the K+Q vs K+N and could not beat it and got a bit discouraged. In the next couple of weeks I plan to pick it back up and maybe just skip over that one for now and practice K+P endgames since they come up much more often. I am also working though some annotated games with another book I have.
Lastly, I am on a goal to improve my "Rapid" chess rating here. Since I started regularly playing 30 minute games my rating have improved about 100 points. I don't want to keep falling in the trap of playing a lot of correspondence games. For various reasons I don't think these games help you improve very much.
Last night I found a group of locals who play OTB at a pub not far from me. I think I'll try to meet up with them as much as possible since at least one of the players seems to be right at about my playing level. Although honestly I try not to drink and play chess since it certainly doesn't improve my game