Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

Oct 14, 2012, 7:45 AM |

Well, as it turns out they're busy fighting against the Indian Defenses!


The last time I wrote anything in my blog I was being extremely cocky.  My original plan when I came back to chess at the beginning of 2011 after a 19 year absense was to study hard enough and play well enough to get my rating over 1600 by the end of 2011 and 1800 by the end of 2012.


By October of 2011 I had already made 1700.  I then dropped back below it, but in January of 2012 I was once again over 1700.  So I made the statement in this blog that I would get myself over 1800 by April of 2012.  What a stupid remark.


Of course I then went on a horrible losing streak and lost confidence.  I went from 1712 down to 1560 over the course of the next several months.  It seemed like any time I sat down to play someone rated 300 points below me I just couldn't focus.  I lost tons of games that I shouldn't have lost.  Generally by not remembering to ask myself the simple question "Is it safe?"


Then, when I would "study" I wasn't really studying.  I'd play through annotated games without really going through all of the annotations.  So I learned very little from this.


Well, I decided that it was time to do something about it.  So about two months ago I once again started meticulously playing through annotated games.  I also decided it was high time to start focusing on older games instead of only on the latest books that has annotations far more detailed than my current skill level truly allows me to grasp. 


So I turned to books such as Taimanov's excellent work on the Soviet Championships (yes, I know this is a newer book, but the notes are not so complex that they're impossible to follow), Tartakower's wonderful work 500 Master Games of Chess, and Alekhine's Best Games.


The result?  Well, I'm on an upswing once again.  When the weekly tournament I'm competing in at my chess club concludes this Thursday I will be either in the mid 1600's or low 1700's depending on what happens this week.


Back to basics.  It works.  I'll post some of my more interesting recent games over the next few days.