April 2012 Review
So April has ended and it's about time for my monthly review about how it went.
I have taken deep thought and as you'll notice, I have both added, and deleted some of my goals.
As you can also see, I have given myself a chess grade of a 'B+'. I've spent a great deal of energy making myself slow down and think before moving, and in doing so I have increased my rating some 100 points this month. The main reason I didn't give myself an honest 'A' was that I didn't spend as much time as I personally wanted studying (using Tactics Trainer, Chess Mentor, and the Study Guide provided on Chess.com), and also I lost a match to a much lower rated opponent that really stuck with me.
Alright, so time to look at my goals, which were originally posted here: http://blog.chess.com/LucasBP/chess-goals-for-the-rest-of-2012
1. ACHIEVE A RATING OF 1500+Now I’ve held a rating of 1500+ before, but I want to be a solid 1500+ player, and by that I mean that I want to learn, and take the proper time to get past the 1300-1400 rating that I’ve been stuck in during my life and never see it again. My heart tells me that if I can, with my knowledge right now, be a high 1500 rated player, but that would require me to slow down, and not get timeouts
2. GET BACK TO A 50% WINNING PERCENTAGE: This seems pretty naïve and not the most important of things, but I want to have more wins than loses, and personally I don’t want to achieve this by just playing people who’ve never played chess before. I don’t consider this to be one of the harder of goals, but it’ll require me to keep improving and challenging myself and bring back the idea of winning being the most important thing.
-57 (4/1/2012) (267 W / 324 L / 13 D)
-37 (4/30/2012) (316 W/ 353 L / 15 D)
3. NO TIMEOUTS GET BACK TO 0% TIMEROUT PERCENTAGE: I don’t think I really need to describe this one in detail. Truth be told I tend to take breaks from chess when I’m going through bad spells and so my biggest goal this year is to work through the tough spells and keep trying to improve. 18% (4/1/2012)
4-8 ORIGINAL GOALS HAVE BEEN DELETED
4. COMPETE IN 3 ‘OVER THE BOARD’ TOURNAMENTS: I’ve only competed in a handful of these in the past, and I get absolutely slaughtered as I’m so used to see chess boards on the screen. I can’t see moves, angels, and traps as well over the board so my goal is to find a local group to play chess with, and then compete in at least 3 tournaments when I feel ready to do it. 0/3 (4/1/2012)
5. DO 100 HOURS OF TACTIC TRAINER ON CHESS.COM: This is what I believe to be one of the most important and vital goals to achieve if I’m to improve my chess ability. I did the math and with the rest of the calendar year to go, I need to average about 36-37 minutes a day on this. This is a LARGE amount of time dedicated to Chess tactics, and with my two vacations coming up where I won’t be able to dedicate as much time to chess; this feat is almost too much. But I’ve thought about doing it during my lunches at work (1 hour), plus 30 minutes most every night, and dedicated an hour or so to it on the weekends. Yes it seems like a lot, but that’s because it is, but I truly believe this to be something that I can accomplish by years’ end. I've already completed 2 hours, but I'm going to still shoot for 100.
2 hours (4/1/2012)
28.6 hours (4/30/2012)
6. GET MY BLITZ RATING ABOVE 1400: Okay, so this goal is a new one and it's only been added because I have been trying to play in one 10 | 0 Live tournament every night. Of course I've been able to play EVERY night, but I've probably played in 10 in the past 2 weeks, winning 3, and two of those wins by going 5-0-0. Currently I've only played in <1200 tournaments and so I'd love to get my rating above 1200, and then start playing in more competitive tournaments.
So there you have it, an update for my chess progress for the month of April. I personally feel like this has been one of my more productive and 'growing' and I hope that the month of May will also see a lot of progression. This big goal this month is to complete, and fully understand, the entire series of the Beginner's Study Guides as found here: http://www.chess.com/article/view/study-plan-directory
Again, I only plan to fully complete the beginners this month and see how much progress I find through it.
Overall, like I mentioned before, it was a good month and if the same kind of improvement can be made this month, I'll continue to be very pleased with myself. Hopefully I'll be able to put in the hard work and concentration required to keep up the chess improvements and become a more competitive player online.
Thanks for reading, and I'll talk to you in a month!