Working on my own chess improvement

Dec 24, 2015, 6:30 AM |

In the last few weeks I let quite some advantage slip away in blitz games, and losing or drawing several won games.

Have I become too old for blitz, or should I work more on my technique ?

While pondering about this, I ran into an early game of Bobby Fischer, and I was puzzled that a lot of the moves - after white won the exchange - were a surprise for me. What was white's manouvring plan ? Only at the end it became clear.

A quick look with Stockfish showed that (according to Stockfish) Fischer made just 1 inaccuracy, the very last move, Rxg5.

I was wondering : Do I need to work on my technique so much more ? Or was Fischer in time trouble, repeating moves, and searching for the winning plan, or waiting for more mistakes from the opponent, like I sometimes do myself ?


Almost every week I meet with an old chess master and we go over our chess games, and sometimes games by Capablanca or Botvinnik, which is quite useful and interesting.

This week I showed him a few games where my technique versus time usage was failing.

Here's one :

Here's another game :

My conclusion :

  1. I'm old aged, so it is okay to be not as fast as before. I need to make peace with that idea Smile
  2. I'm not using premove, and I don't like the idea to start to use it, so I just need to deal with those losses and draws, and focus on the chess content and chess enjoyment.
  3. I need to work on my time usage. Be more practical in decision making and transposing to a won position.
  4. I should play more slower time control games.
  5. And related to all this as well : I should check my opening repertoire. Playing my blitz openings in correspondence or classical chess games is maybe not the best idea.

Today I decided as well that if I don't manage to go through a chess book that easily [1], I will allow myself to try some other chess books.

And I went to buy a few chess books.

I had two books in mind that I was thinking to start to work with since quite some time.

One of them was in stock, and I got it just now : Pump up your rating by the swedish IM Alex Smith.

The book looks good, I glanced through the introduction chapters and it feels good. I am happy with it.

In the bookstore I also saw the book by IM Willy Hendriks "Move first, think later", and the new Scandinavian gambit book by GM David Smerdon. Interesting and tempting to work with that as well. But I decided I wanted to wait till the book "100 chess endgames you must know" is available in that book store again. First things first. Smile

To finish, here's one of my best games from this week :

And some games went also pretty well. Here's a game with my favourite chess endgame, the rook endgame :


I gave up on one of IM Silman's books. Too hard for me to go through that material.

I have not finished going through Positional Chess Handbook by FM Gelfer (quite nice but has lots of chessgames), and The survival guide to rook endings by GM John Emms (I like it but still need to continue with it).