Path To Chess Prosperity #15: A Comeback, Less Blitz, And More Quality Games!
Are you ready for the greatest comeback of all time??? Even greater than the Patriots vs. Falcon's last year?!?!

Path To Chess Prosperity #15: A Comeback, Less Blitz, And More Quality Games!

EOGuel
EOGuel
Feb 9, 2018, 6:45 PM |
9

Hey guys!

I know I have been on a bit of a hiatus on blogging and overall activity on Chess.com. Life around here has been a bit hectic, including school. As a result, my chess studies have been somewhat scattered and chaotic... but I am now ready to charge full force and make a comeback to all of my loyal followers who dearly missed me the past few weeks!

As usual, I will be posting my weekly study plan this week, and (hopefully!) give a detailed report a week from now. 

Here is my study plan for the upcoming week. Due to outside life, I may not fulfill my plan completely, though below is a rough draught of my study plan this week:

MONDAY:

  • 20 minutes tactics
  • 20 minutes endgames
  • 20 minutes reading Silman's book

TUESDAY:

  • 20 minutes tactics
  • 20 minutes endgames
  • 20 minutes analyzing master games

WEDNESDAY:

  • 20 minutes tactics
  • 20 minutes endgames
  • 10 minutes reading Silman's book
  • 10 minutes on opening work

A few notes before I continue on with the details. You will note that I discluded Thursdays and Fridays (as well as the weekend). I have chess club on Thursday nights, and though I still plan to spend some time on tactics that day, I will focus that day on playing (and notating!) some good quality games at our meetings. Maybe I will post some of them! And Friday I plan on using as a catchup day. 

Below are the details of the pieces for my weekly study plan:

TACTICS:

I still plan on using tactics trainer as my primary training tool, as I have been enjoying that a little bit more than Chesstempo, my previous resource. My rating has been fluctuating from 2080-2150 lately. I might attempt a marathon over the weekend to get over 2200, though if that is not possible, then no problems there. Starting Monday, my goals are 70% (or more!) accuracy, as well as consistency in rating. I'm not necessarily sold on trying to get my rating as high as possible, though I do believe ratings are certainly a motivator in chess study, and being consistent is better than dropping rating!

I will note that I have seen how Sam Copeland (my first/former coach!) does tactics through his streams. Even though Chess.com "pressures" you to solve the tactics fast, Mr. Copeland shows how accuracy still prioritizes over speed. He has other videos, though here is his most recent/last one where he broke 2400. (note that the tactics actually begin at 13:45). If you haven't checked out his tactics video, I would highly encourage you to do so. He has a few of them on his YouTube channel.

ALSO, not only will I try and solve tactics, but I will save the problems I got wrong to hopefully learn the pattern/tactic better. I will probably quiz myself on Friday over those tactics. I think by now, I owe you a diagram, so I shall present one. The tactic was "only" rated 1937, though I believe it was much higher, and I was satisfied to find out it was some sort of study (and it looked like one!). Here is the tactic as well as my thought process throughout.

I thought that was a nice hard-earned tactic!
ENDGAMES:
I am currently plowing through De La Villa's 100 Endgames You Must Know book, and I have gone over the first 20 positions/examples. I don't have the book currently with me (I will probably edit this section when I do have access to it), though the endings I have gone through are as follows:
  • Pawn endgames (most of which I already knew)
  • Queen vs. pawn (again, most of what I knew, except for some of the "exceptions")
  • Knight vs. pawn
  • Rook vs. Bishop and Rook vs. Knight (both on the winning and defending side)

The next section will be Rook vs. pawn, which I would like to take slowly. I will probably end up going through the next 5 or so endings, and also spend some time reviewing some past chapters. If I have trouble with any positions, I will work harder on them, and likely post them.

POSITIONAL CHESS:

I am currently going through Silman's How To Reassess Your Chess book. I am only really going through it to improve my positional play, so I don't have any concrete goals as far as the book goes. I will also attempt to get in at least three "slow" (15|10) games on Chess.com with the idea of practicing positional chess (as well as tactics, as ususal). I will likely chose one of them to annotate.

MASTER GAMES:

I think I've brought up this plan before, but I am going through chessgames.com's "notable games" section for World Champions, and annotating them. The section lists about 10 or so games per player, though I will only focus on annotating three or four of them. I annotated two Wilhelm Steinitz games awhile back, and will plan on wraping him up this week. Here is one of the games I took notes on:

I hope you enjoyed the game and comments!
I do have a few more notes/words to share with you before I sign off.
I'm not very enthusiastic about studying the opening, as I only set aside 10 minutes per week to do so. "Opening work" will not be very formal. Probably looking over my games or learning a new opening. I might also use Chessable.com to help me. 
Also, as the title indicates, I am indeed trying to play less blitz/bullet this week. I do not believe that blitz and bullet is sacrilegious for the improving player, though more of that, and less of trying to improve on slow play can cause bad habits. I found an interesting forum thread started by a titled player(!) on how blitz and bullet affected his improvement habits. While I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, I do respect any titled player's advice and have been keeping that in the back of my mind lately.
Lastly, I wanted to recognize that my tournaments have been low this year so far, though my next tournament is the Texas Scholastic Championships next month. I would also like to acknowledge that my family and I started a Go Fund Me Page (I am going to the event with three siblings and two parents), and we REACHED our monetary goals! Everything is paid off! We would like to express our deepest gratitude to those who gave; chess players and non-chess players! The event will be seven rounds, and I don't want to disappoint my donors and do want to produce interesting games to likely post here! Either way, it will be a good learning experience! 
Whew... I think that's it! Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm for my posts, and I will be in full functioning in the blogging community again!