It's About Time
It has been a month since I laid out my plan to really begin my chess improvement. As I expected, one of the most challenging things in this endeavor is finding time to complete each task.
My first goal, tactics training, has been my easiest one so far. I have been able to maintain at least 30 minutes a day, pretty much every day, of tactics training with the Chess.com Tactics Trainer. I'm noticing some common errors in my recognition/calculation of the solutions, that are helping my thought processes, and have seen my ratings fluctuate between 1400 and almost 2000, depending on the day. Based on the puzzles so far, I have noticed a need to increase the ranges of puzzles as I get better. I find myself missing many of the lower rated puzzles and need to make sure I'm not missing fundamental patterns in my practice.
Analysis with Solitaire Chess and my own games has been less productive. I have managed to complete three Solitaire Chess columns and start another one. However, I have only been able to analyze one of my games at this point. My hope is to catch up on both, even if I don't get one completed of each type every week and can only average one a week.
Games have also been in shorter supply than I originally intended. Had to skip a week of club play and have only been able to complete two games a week for the most part. I'll either need to decrease my goal or play faster chess to get in three games I guess.
Finally, I have been able to read close to a chapter a week but haven't focused on it as much as I originally wanted. Hopefully I'll be able to get into more fully through the year.
I plan on continuing and feel that I'm actually getting benefit from my efforts. Seeing weaknesses in my tactical vision and pattern recognition is certainly helpful and I hope I'll begin to see continued improvements there. Any suggestions or recommendations are always welcome.
(originally published at www.joplinchess.org)