A year to improve my chess (January)


Yet another new year, yet another resolution to improve my chess. This year at least I've come up with a bit of a study plan to try and get my playing strength up a bit. I'm targetting improving my Online rating from around the 1750 mark and hoping I can break 1900 by the end of the year. That seems like a challenging but realistic goal.

To achieve this I'm planning the following study:

  • Tactics, tactics, tactics! At my current rating I still lose most games due to tactical oversights, so tactics still needs to form the bulk of the study at this level. My plan is to work through Polgar's book 'Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games' over the next six months or so. This study will be supplemented with practice on the chesstempo.com site. I'm looking to do around 1000 - 1500 problems a month.
  • Strategy - not to be neglected - over the next six months I'm planning to study all the games in Chernev's books 'Logical Chess Move by Move' and 'The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played', along with working my way through Jeremy Silman's 'The Amateur's Mind'.
  • Endgames - not to be neglected - I'll be trying to study all of Silman's 'Complete Endgames' book, up to the section for class-B players.
  • Openings - not yet - I'm not really convinced there's much benefit to studying openings until I've hit around the 2000 level.

Well, that's the plan anyway. After the first month I've actually more or less stuck to it and, so far, seem to have been rewarded with about a 50 point drop in rating. Ho hum. Still, one month is hardly enough to really see much difference. Hopefully a couple more months will show some results. We shall see... let's hope I can report something positive in next month's post.