A midsummer’s night slump

Aug 1, 2009, 12:43 PM |

Between vacations and sporatic Zurch 1953 coverage, my OTB chess experience has bled 50 points. This is in direct opposition of my goal to brake the 1800 USCF ratings barier by end of year. I am suspending reporting on the biographies of the last five players in this series ( Petrosian, Reshevsky, Keres, Bronstein and Smyslov) for the Month of August as I revamp my training regimen for a couple of upcoming events.

In looking at my most recent losses, these games took a bad turn based purely on calculation and tactical blunders. Since the MDLM days, I’ve really slacked off on the effort of studying tactics and it shows in my games. Which sucks, since I put a lot of effort over a year ago in this area before shifting to positional understand through studying historic game collections. At least I am understanding positional games a little better but I still miss fire when it comes to picking middle game targets. A bad plan is better than no plan… but sheesh, enough of the blood shed already. I need to be able to execute a good plan and not create weaknesses.

Short term goal and plan:

I am playing the Continental Open on August 14-16, which means I need to get my game back up to par.

Daily Tactics:
Oddly, endgames are a strong point for me ( must be the training I had from Jorge Samour-Hasbun still sticking well with me from almost 2 years ago) Since my problem happens earlier in the game with more pieces still on the board, I will tailor my problem set accordingly.
1) I am going to select a series of exercises from my own games.
2) I am going to augment this training set with selected problems after a review of “miniatures” of Master-level games in my repertoire database.

The above tactical training will consume 70% of my allocated chess study time since I need to convert these problems to 3D on a real board.

Opening RX:

1) My White pieces are kinder than the Black ones. Therefore, for White I will only fine tune my repertoire by review select games in the Zurich 1953 series for NI games since this is my weakest link.
2) Black: I’m not going to abandon the Caro-Kann at this point, but I am getting tired of the positional consolation with the main line Bf5 line. It’s time I try the 4…Nd7. Oddly, this is called the Petrosian-Smyslov variation but during Zurich 1953, neither played this line. This was popularized during the 1950’-60’s only later to have new life revived with Anatoly Karpov. For August, I will post on my studies of this again, drawing in the history stuff which helps me remember these lines in a deeper sense.

3) As for my Slav, I think it’s high time I embrace the Meran variation… as the there will be some similarities of the two. I hope to synergize. Again, future posts will included a historic study of these two openings in preparation. This will take up 20% of the chess study time as well.

I have my work cut out for me. I am somewhat familiar with these two variations but never dared debuted either at an event. The Continental will be the waters I set sail on this new journey.

Middle game:
Keep playing over whole games of those in my repertoire and annotate. ( this will be a part of opening study from above).

Final 10% of the time is allocated to games review of my practice at the club, ICC, and other practices.

After the event, I will post my games for all its warts and shame and glory.

I am also in the process of organizing a chess related fund raiser with a local IM to raise money for the American Heart Association’s up coming Heart Walk. Tentatively, this will be at the end of the month. Stay tuned for the announcement. So August is a busy month. I apologize for those readers eager to follow Zurich 1953. I promise to return in full force in September.

I am also looking into a new coach this fall. I liked Jorge but schedules are rough, I think I found another, who is well versed in my opening mess.