Introduction and Goals!

Introduction and Goals!

Aug 18, 2018, 1:19 AM |

Hello all,

I've decided that it would be a good idea, for myself and hopefully others, to start a chess blog about my studies of chess in a day. 

A little about me

I'm about 1500 strength. Obviously, strength is not directly correlated to rating, but I would say that, on average, I have the closest games with people who are rated about 1500 - 1550. In my opinion, rating, while being a rough estimate of skill, has no place in your mind at the chess board, something I am working on making true for my own thought processes... However I find I still easily underestimate lower-rated players, with sometimes humbling consequences. With that said, my aim is to reach a comfortable rating of 1800 in rapid by this time next year, and at least 1600 by the end of this year. 

I have many weaknesses, as everyone does, but I think the main one that I have to overcome, that pokes it's tendrils into every aspect of my game, is laziness. As a blitz addict (783 blitz games and 384 bullet games, compared to 43 rapid and 217 daily), my brain has wired in bad habits like superficial thinking, impatience, and limited concentration. In order to get to 1800 by next year, I need to, at the very least, stop dropping pieces, and think carefully before making a move. The minutia will come, but without patience and deliberation, a chess player is limited in his ability to grow.

I also attend a chess club, which is my meter for progress. The club meets every Thursday evening, so when I get the chance, I will post a game from the club, perhaps on Friday afternoon.

What's the plan?

Well, now I've got a goal, I know what my weaknesses are... What can I do to get from here to where I want to be?

Good question, and I guess I will partially figure that out as I go along, but here's some stuff I'm pretty sure about:

1. NO BLITZ! With the exception of club events, I will not be playing any time controls under 10 minutes, and few under 15. I need to learn to, as an old gentleman once advised me, sit on my hands.

2. 5 online games a week It is easy to keep playing when you feel like you're on a roll, especially in blitz; make hay while the sun shines, am I right? Well, I might slowly start to raise this bar, but as someone with a life, and as someone learning to slow down and minimize mistakes, I think it's important for me to limit the number of games I play. These games will likely be a format such as 15 + 10, or slower. I intend to post all of these games to the blog, with my own analysis. (Another crutch to get over: Doing a post-mortem with stockfish. I have no business allowing a computer to do the mistake-proofing I should be doing myself after the game. The computer evaluation means very little at my level, and I need to learn to trust myself.)

3. Tactics I would say I'm okay at tactics, but I really need to get better at finding them in real games. Of course, there's no way other than actually playing games to get better at this, but I think solving tactics also helps. So, I intend to do 10 tactics a day on chesstempo (where I am not penalized for the time I take to think) and report my success on the blog.

4. Master games I think it's instructive to analyze games played by the icons of the chess world, to try to identify their plans and motives. I'll try to find an annotated game per day to analyse on the blog.

5. Books! I have a number of chess books, some of which I study hodge-podge, but not in a systematic manner. I intend to read a chapter of a specific book per day, and report on it on the blog. 

A caveat

I have a life, and in this life, things happen; I cannot guarantee posting daily. However, I'll try to be pretty consistent in posting.

So, that's that! My new blog is official!

Thanks for reading, and have a good day!