March 2015 Training Recap
USCF Rating: 1604
Year to date: +74
March, and the first quarter of the year, ended with me being in the midst of playing in the Philadelphia Open.
From a training perspective, on March 16th I put my regular weekly training regimen on hold in order to spend the two weeks prior to the Philadelphia Open in order to concentrate on opening prep, particularly my white repertoire and my QGD Exchange repertoire. Though I have read several books on my openings and for years have looked up opening mistakes after my games, I've never sat down and deliberately memorized lines and key positions/plans (tabiyas?). The net effect of this training was that I felt much more comfortable in most of the openings I played and I had a few new plans at my disposal during the tournament.
It has been a few weeks since the tournament and I am just now getting back on track with my weekly training. Similar to returning from the U.S. Open last summer, I needed a few weeks to decompress and also spend some quality time reviewing my games from the tournament, looking for any lessons they hold.
Some highlights from the month:
- I scored 4/7 in the Philadelphia Open U1800 section, losing only one game.
- I'm really close to finishing Chess Training Pocket Book by Alburt and Winning Chess Combinations by Seirwan.
Some current challenges:
- In a weekend swiss, I was clearly beating an Expert in an endgame and in time pressure made a few bad decisions that lost me the game. This has happened many times where I have a clearly winning game against a stronger player and end up getting flustered or getting into serious time trouble and it costs me the full point. I have discussed some training ideas with friends to try to address this weakness and may formally add it to my training regimen next time I make changes.