Path To Chess Prosperity #17: Dueling The Dutch

Path To Chess Prosperity #17: Dueling The Dutch


Wow... it's already Friday?!?!

Hey guys!

Well, the first thing I want to say is that (from what I hear), after starting this petition, top bloggers will be getting more recognition on the front page. I first wanted to say "thank you" to all 60+ loyal members who signed this petition to headline quality bloggers and enhance the overall community.

Secondly, @Chesster3145 was the first blogger to crack a post on the front page since the petition (well, I guess one of my posts randomly got on the front page, but I think it was an accident/glitch, so that doesn't really count). My average posts get 150-200 views, and Chesster's most recent post got over 700 readers on the front page! (and if you haven't, you really should check his blog out!) So assuming that this post actually gets on the front page, I am honored to be speaking to several new readers!

For anyone who may not know, "Path To Chess Prosperity" is a series I started where I basically track my chess progress and come to you guys with a report and how things are going overall. My ultimate goal in chess is a National Master title (2200 USCF), and I hope this series helps me along the way! 

OK, let's talk about my chess activity this week.

Before I dive into my tactics log, I wanted to let you guys know that I was on a roll Monday and Tuesday (I had gained over 50 points in the duration of that time!), then...


That's right... disaster struck. Let's look at the log.


MONDAY-- 2109 to 2144 (+36 points) 8/10 (80% accuracy)

TUESDAY-- 2144 to 2161 (+17 points) 8/10 (80% accuracy)

WEDNESDAY-- 2161 to 2133 (-27 points) 4/10 (40% accuracy)

THURSDAY-- 2133 to 2122 (-11 points) 3/7 (43% accuracy)

FRIDAY-- 2122 to 2128 (+6 points) 7/10 (70% accurcay)

OVERALL-- 2109 to 2128 (+19 points) 30/47 (63% accuracy)

So... I was on an explosive performance Monday and Tuesday, but my success was virtually erased by an apocalyptic Wednesday and disappointing Thursday. I was able to finally catch my breath on Friday (and I actually started the day 5/5, which I think is a win for me after plummeting Wednesday and Thursday). I did, fortunately, gain rating points this week. I was slightly disappointed with my accuracy, though I won't let 63% compared to last week's 65% kill me.

I'll be spending the weekend looking through the tactics I got wrong (there are quite a few of them!) and will start with a clean slate next week! 


I was able to cross 2100 last week, though, unfortunately, 2200 was not meant to be...

A quick word about endgames. I did not really have time to make progress in my endgame book (I spend most of the time reviewing). However, not only will I continue the book (De La Villa's 100 Endgames You Must Know), I will also be beginning a new book! It will be Shereskevsky's book on Endgame Strategy.


This book is more about general endgame ideas rather than concrete moves (like the other book I am reading). My time can be quite limited, so I will likely only devote one day per week to reading the book, and on another day, I will likely set up the positions against the computer to play. I also want to get practice playing out the endgames in De La Villa's book. 


Unfortunately, I could not go to chess club Thursday and get some games there. I did get in a live 15|10 game today. I had logged on to play one, assuming I would be playing a "random stranger", and I realized @FangBo (fellow blogger) was online! I challenged him to a 15|10 game and he accepted. He ended up playing the Dutch Defense (hence the title), which is an opening I historically have some difficulties against. Anyways, the game was interesting:

I was obviously bummed about losing the game, though it did provide a lot of value. I think the key for me was looking one move further (something I stressed on my very first blog! (outside of the intro)). Well, first, I could have found Rf2 from White, but second of all, I also could have calculated that line where he embarrassed my Queen with Re8.  
Below is my new study plan. I could, however, take some studying time off to play slow quality games on (I need to shake off some rust for the Texas Scholastic Championships in a couple of weeks!)
20 minutes tactics
20 minutes concrete endgames
20 minutes Silman's book
20 minutes tactics
20 minutes concrete endgames practice (playing positions against computer)
20 minutes master games
20 minutes tactics
20 minutes practical endgames
20 minutes Silman's book
20 minutes tactics
20 minutes practical endgames practice
20 minutes master games
NOTE: Concrete endgames refer to endgames from De La Villa's 100 Endgame book. Practical endgames refer to those from Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy book.
As some of you may know, I plan on starting a new comprehensive series on famous Grandmasters and their games as well as their styles and playing habits. The time I devote to master games will be working on that blog. It might be awhile before I publish my first post on that topic, though it will come your way! 
As always, I hope you enjoyed the post, and do let me know if you have questions. It's always an honor to write for hundreds of loyal readers! 
Until next time...