Path To Chess Prosperity #5: Tactically Up And Down
Hello, ladies and gentleman.
Whew... my past few "Chess Prosperity" posts have been tournament analysis, and finally, I can actually update you guys on my study plan!
Well, some of you know I have been coached for a while by a National Master who helped me improve my chess vastly. I was rated about 1500 when we started, and I am now 1700. Though I decided after our next lesson on Monday, I will begin training on my own rather than hire a chess coach. The main reason is that with school, my life is pretty tight on top of still trying to improve at chess.
Not having a coach does have its ups and downs. I will not be having a Master on my shoulders as I have had the past couple of years, but a high is that I will have more "freedom" with my training session as I am doing it independently.
And secondly, I have a tournament coming up this Saturday. It is a local one, three rounds of G/60;d5. Most of the players will be lower rated (1200-1600), though we will have some strong players, like Jason Howell (Waco city champion, 1900 rating). My obvious goal is to... well... win three games! It won't be easy, but all of the players are beatable. This tournament is important to me, as it will be among the last of the year, and I certainly want to end the year on a high note.
I have another tournament... this time in this city.
Without further ado, the plan:
If any of you have been following my blog, you may know that my top priority in chess is tactics. My chess coach introduced Chesstempo to me, and I still intend to use it. My current standard tactics rating is 1840... which is horrible for me considering I have been as high as 1900. Simply, my tactic stats have been up and down... when my goal is to get all of them correct!
I think the solution is going to be to try and limit my standard tactics and strive for 90-100% accuracy. The due date for the next blog is roughly November 3-4 (about a week from now). My goal will be to solve 8 standard puzzles between my tournament and the next post. That's it! Eight! If I go 8/8, I can probably gain about 50-60 points.
A couple of things will be important for me to do. A) sit down and solve the tactic start to finish. If my analysis is incomplete, I will probably get the problem wrong! (remember, standard tactics give you unlimited time to solve a puzzle). And B) maybe a little less important, if I get a problem wrong, it is important to not continue in "anger", trying to regain those points. I have done this before, and almost every time, I end up getting the next one wrong! If you got a puzzle wrong, take a break and resume the next day!
To be honest with you, my original method of studying past master games was not working out very well for me. Skimming through the games, I barely learned anything as I was hoping to. So, I will twist my plan. Instead of quickly skimming through the games, I am going to start over with the world champion's games selecting four of the notable games to study deeper and take notes. And I will fully annotate one of them and post on my blog. Hopefully, I'll learn something from there!
However, due to my tournament, I will probably down this plan for about a week to spend more time analyzing my tournament games.
Just like master games, I felt like how I was doing this was not working out well either. Instead of using the book, I am planning on getting the 100 Endgames You Must Know book on Chessable. If you don't know Chessable, it is an awesome website IMO for learning and memorizing various chess lines. But the book costs money, so I will probably put that on hold as well until next week.
This book now has a Chessable version.
As you probably know, I rarely work hard on my openings. I'll probably play a few training games between now and then to experiment certain openings. And if in the tournament, I clearly screwed up in the opening, I'll see through that and look for improvements.
I think that's it for my training plan. As always, it is not as important to me to complete the plan to perfection, though working on my chess and improvement is vital to me. I will let you guys know how the tournament goes, and until next time, this is Daniel saying "goodbye" to all of the loyal readers!