New Year's Resolution: Reach USCF 1800 before 2018
As 2016 ends, I am making a bold and lofty new year's resolution to reach a USCF Classical rating of 1800+ before 2018. Although I realize meeting this goal will be quite difficult, I also know from experience that setting grand goals for yourself can help you push yourself harder, and although you might not meet your goal, you will have at the very least come a lot farther than you might have otherwise!
In order to strengthen my chess knowledge and abilities over the board, I have been studying hard and playing as much as I can, and it seems to have been very successful so far. Below are the things I have been doing to further my goal of improving as a chess player and eventually reaching the National Master (2200+) title.
I devote a considerably large amount of my day to studying chess. Between reading books such as The Art of Positional Play by Samuel Reshevsky; studying courses from International Chess School; and taking lessons and doing tactics puzzles on chess.com, I usually spend at least two hours a day doing focused study.
Naturally, this doesn't include the "lazy" uninvolved study that I do in almost all my free time, such as watching chess videos on YouTube. I have also been meeting up with a player from a local club about once a week to study, particularly games from Karpov and other positional legends.
Without practicing, it's very hard to actually implement all the knowledge you gain from your studies. So, I try to play as much as I can in order to stay sharp and put to use new ideas that I've been learning over the chess board. Every day without exception, I spend at least three hours total playing online chess games, generally g30s but also some g15s.
I have also been meeting up with a 2000 level player to play OTB games about once a week. Although he usually crushes me, my record against him is about 7 to 20, so that's promising.
I try to play in many USCF rated tournaments as I can, though considering my pitiful transportation and financial situations, that isn't very often. Nevertheless, I play in monthly four round g10 tournaments, as well as monthly three round g29 tournaments. Neither of them have any effect on my classical rating, but they are good practice.
Aside from that, I try to make it to classical tournaments every once in a while, and in a few months, I plan on playing in the Mid American Open again. Last year I took 1st place in the Under 1300 section, and this year I plan to do the same thing but in the Under 1700 section.
So, that's my new year's resolution. I'll be posting blogs after each new classical tournament I play in so you can track my progress if you're interested and keep me to my goal!