Planning for GM

After all your helpful input, I've started modifying my plan - although, as it should be it is a work in progress.  Anyway, here's a couple changes I've tried over the last week (thanks for the suggestions!) that focus on the weaknesses I came up with last time (Calculation & Opening Theory). 

To improve my Calculation, I've started using Tactics Trainer (here on for 5 minutes before I start my other chess excercises, which should be 2-3 times a day.  While probably the activity I enjoy least, it's still one of the most useful.  I'm following IM Pruess's method which involves stopping and repeatedly solving incorrect problems until I really master the pattern.

Rather than analysing Master games on my own, I'm going to focus on using the Chess Mentor courses which will probably be a better use of my time even though I'll have less choice of what to look at.  For those of you who say you are "stuck", I would highly reccomend using this, as it is as useful as analysing master games with a personal coach and a lot more cost effective.

The one thing I've really been enjoying is playing at least an hour of live blitz games (G/5) with no breaks - every day!  This  should improve my tactical foresight, locate weaknesses in my opening repertoire, and learn to work through mental exhaustion. Here's one of my more recent games:

In all honesty, I wasn't completely sure how much I should share with you guys. If I put too many of my games in my blogs, my opponents would have an easy time researching my openings, and be able to prepare against me a lot easier than I against them.  On the other hand, your input would likely help me improve.  I've mainly gotten reccomendations against posting my games, but am curious what you guys think?

Most importantly, I really need your help.  If you happen to play the black side of the Grunfeld - please challenge me to a game (echess or set up a time for live chess).  Next week I'll start playing the black side as well.  Also, if you have a Grunfeld game you played that was interesting please send it in and I may analyze it the upcoming weeks!


  • 6 years ago

    IM Kacparov

    what's your rating then?

  • 6 years ago


    Keep up the good work. 

  • 6 years ago


    Hey I'm following along with this. Might not be at the same level as you but it's interesting stuff to read. Keep on working at it!

  • 6 years ago


    I challenged you so we can play out 7...e4.  I'm afraid I am too busy to do it on Live Chess, although that would be my preference.  I hope you don't mind turn-based.  I am interested to see how it plays out since I get similar positions as White with colors reversed.  As White, I normally push e5 (analagous to your ...e4), and it's not such a happy affair when Black has yet to commit his center pawns.  Let's see.

  • 6 years ago


    @Kacparov: thanks~ Although I feel skill and preparation are more effective than luck!

    @naughtybishop: I completely disagree with your comment about 7 ...e4 - Yes, "no good squares" is an exaggeration but all of my squares are better. and white has very few reasonable ways to break open the position.  If two strong players played this position 100 times, I think black would easily score 60W/25D/15L.  Challenge me and let's purposefully play to that position. Considering this was a G/5 I thought that trading queens would be easiest way to draw.  With a longer time control I might have tried to keep them on the board but I don't think white has enough for a win unless black blunders the a pawn.  Yes Nc5 wasn't great, but if I take the c-file his b3 Knight is nearly garbage.

    @Kingscrusher: I think I agree, I'm just a little worried when a lot of Masters I know are strongly recommending against it.

  • 6 years ago

    CM Kingscrusher

    "If I put too many of my games in my blogs, my opponents would have an easy time researching my openings, and be able to prepare against me a lot easier than I against them"

    It didn't hurt me when I was video annotating all my games on - I have my peak ECF rating now (ECF 199), as well as being officially a FIDE CM. 

    The insight you would gain from others should improve your middlegame. If you become strong enough, then even if you are prepared against and someone gets a better position out of the opening, you should strive to just blow them away in the middle and endgame. 

    There was an IM once at my local chess club who never annotated his games - IM Neil Bradbury. Okay we have his PGN - but i consider it a bit of a waste when really strong titled players don't annotate their games. A bit sad really. I think this was part of my inspiriation for sharing all my ideas and secrets on my youtube channel - I think understanding of chess should come first - and let results come second. This should work out for you in the long run.

    In FIDE rated tournaments in any event, you should be with a huge Chessbase database and gunning for a particular opponent before the round of that day kicks off.

  • 6 years ago


    I wouldn't worry so much about opponents researching your openings.  As long as you play solid lines the worst that can happen is you get some kind of equal or maybe slightly worse position.

    Regarding your game with expJWT:

     7...e4 would not be so good.  Besides doing nothing for your development while down a pawn, White could play either or both of Na3-c2 or Nh3-f4.  The first blockades your pawns in the center preparing to blow up the long diagonal with c2-c4.  The second attacks your d5 pawn while clearing the way for the king to castle.  So it's not true that White's pieces would have no good squares after 7...e4.  I think you played it just fine with 7...b6.

    I would not have traded queens.  You have compensation for the pawn since you have the awesome bishop and White had weak light squares around his king.  With queens off, that bishop is reduced to insurance against the a-pawn promoting.  With queens on, White always has to worry about getting mated on the long diagonal.  When you traded queens, you agreed to play a position where you are the one who has to be careful not to lose.

    19.Nc5(??)  A horrible positional blunder.  Chess is all about breaking in to the other guy's position, and he just let you walk right in.

    My guess for White to move:  White should play cxb5.  axb5 allows ...a4 that gives Black the a-file.  After cxb5 White has an advantage since he can move his queen and play Nd2-c4 when Black has permanent problems with his b and d-pawns.  White has time for this because Black can't play ...f5 right away since his g-pawn would hang.  Long term, White can play f3, g4, then walk his king over to the queenside while Black can't do anything, and then open the position with h4.  Black will not be able to simultaneously defend against the invasion on the h-file and the monster knight on c4. 

  • 6 years ago

    IM Kacparov

    good luck :)

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