Happy Anniversary - My first year on chess.com

Happy Anniversary - My first year on chess.com

May 3, 2015, 8:32 AM |

Hi everyone! Today I received a message from chess.com telling me that it was one year since I had joined.

One year ago I knew little more than the basic rules of chess. I have improved much since then, but I have only now just started to realise quite how difficult of a game it can be. It sometimes feels like the more I know about chess the less I know about chess. Tongue Out

In the past year I have played over 440 correspondance games, most of which have been for The Great British Empire group. Over this time my rating went from 983 to a peak of 1539 just a few days ago. What might surprise you is that of all the chess I have played I haven't actually analysed a single game.

So please join me for my first ever attempt at game analysis! Laughing

I selected a game at random from my previous archive. Interestingly enough it was against another TGBE member, London717.


So okay, it was not my finest hour, but the game really does show some ways that I can improve my chess over the next year.

Every new game I start I go into it without any plan, and without taking anything from my previous games. My main areas of improvement have been from dropping less pieces (which I still do all too often in live games) and recognising more tactics (except mate-in-1's apparently Cry).

My plan now is to reduce the amount of games that I am playing to try and actually think about them as opposed to playing what is pretty close to hope-chess a lot of the time.

Where would I like to be in another 12 months time? I am quite an ambitious person so I would like to improve the same again this year... so 1539 to 2095? Tongue Out

But seriously my goals for next year are:

1) 1600 Correspondence Rating - I think my current rating is a bit flattering. My average opponent is still about 1350 and I feel I really struggle when I am against other people of my rating.

2) Tactics, Tactics, Tactics. - I don't use the chess.com tactics trainer anymore as I am no longer a premium member. I use things like chesstempo and lichess pretty regularly. I hope to keep this up and slowly improve.

3) Live Games - I simply hate the pressure of playing live games... especially blitz. I know that there is no consequence of winning or losing but goodness me I find it hard to concentrate. When I think about a position (without an analysis board) it really hampers my ability to find decent responses. I would like to get my blitz, bullet and live games all above 1200 next year. I am sure I can do it, it is just simply a matter of concentration and practice.

4) Analysis - I don't really have an excuse as to why I don't look at my completed games (especially the loses!) so I hope to really try and gain knowledge from my past games.

5) Play Chess OTB - There is actually a chess club not too far from where I live. I don't know how popular it is as I haven't really built up the courage to go yet.

6) Have Fun - There were a couple of times last year when I would load up the app on my phone and see 40+ games waiting and think UUUURGGGHHHH why am I doing this to myself. I want to play chess to enjoy it, not force myself to spend an hour playing through games just to not timeout. This is why I plan to reduce the amount of concurrent games I will be playing to around 20. Even that may still be too much. Undecided

I guess my personal chess highlight of the past year was setting the TGBE record for 11 points in a week. Wink

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I wish you the best of luck for the next year.