Time Keeps on Slipping
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” -- from William Penn (slightly abbreviated/paraphrased)
It has been a while since I have updated this ... almost two years in fact. Seems like time just keeps getting away from me. The Joplin tornado put a small blip in life's plans but I continued to work on my chess, once things got a bit back to normal.
I didn't reach my goal of 1600 OTB by the end of 2010 or even this year. I was able to get in 29 tournament games at G/60 or longer and almost 190 casual and quick games OTB in that time and will have a few more completed by year end. I also started and completed a little over 200 correspondence games over that time. Didn't come close to the 3 OTB games a week I had planned, so I'll have to try a little harder next year.
2011 started off slowly chess-wise for me, however, I turned in my best performance in a tournament at the Missouri Open in October, finishing with 4.5 points out of 5, winning the Reserve (U1600) Championship in the process. My games weren't the best, overall, and I still made a lot of errors, but it was a good feeling to finish with that score.
In my last tournament of this year, I was able to get 2.0 out of 4 points, though I got lucky in my first win. Made a major blunder near the end and neither one of us caught it ... which let me keep my slight advantage. My best game of the tourney was the loss on the first round; I had an advantage against a 1900+ rated player and he was in time trouble. However, I pushed for a win, got into time trouble myself and ended up flagging. I'm planning on annotating it at some point (but the way things go, that might not happen ). My other loss, against another 1900+ rated player, didn't feel as good to me, but in my initial computer analysis, I had a slight advantage in most of the game; of course, I didn't capitalize on it like I should have, so I really need to analyze that one too.
While I didn't get to 1600 in a year, I was able to increase my rating 366 points in that time-frame, with over 332 of those coming in the last half of this year. I'm still having problems in my games and need a lot of study and work (that's an understatement ), but even with the limited time studying, I am seeing some improvements.
I plan on soldiering on. I got a new phone this year and have the Chess.com app on it. I have been able to use that to do quite a few tactics every day to keep up with that part of my plan. I try do a study day each week, mixing it up with openings, playing over some games, and tactics. I also plan on getting in more videos during the year, since I have been neglecting that benefit on the site.
The plan continues to remain fluid and I hope next year brings more improvements.