Patience Padawan

Patience Padawan

Aug 18, 2016, 9:26 AM |
To everyone, a good day!
Round 3 of the August Knights tournament was yesterday, and despite horrible play, I came out with a victory.  I am now 3-0 with two rounds to go.  I expect to play black against a 1750 or so in my next round.
I overheard a conversation my opponent was having discussing his time management strategy.  He mentioned that he takes 2 minutes for every move.  And he wasn't kidding.  Even on 1....Nf6, he took 2 minutes.  Ironically, it was me who ended up in the worst time trouble leading to missing a mate.  More so, it was him who allowed another mate in 2 combination by playing almost immediately.
What I learned From this Game:
1. I think I tend to over invest into ideas.  In this game, I saw his queen misplaced and tried very hard to trap it, and when that wasn't working, I lashed out with Nb5.  I let his bad choice (developing the queen to early) to dictate my bad choice (moving a piece twice in the opening).  I should have been the better player and just developed soundly and let him deal with his queen hanging out on b2.
2.  Getting your rook to the 7th rank is great, but then getting that 7th rank opened up is crushing.
3. I need to do more tactics! Not exactly something that I learned, as I already knew it, but it shined a light that however much I am doing now is not enough.
4.  I got lucky this time.
Goals for my chess enhancement
I wrote last week that I will be discussing my goals for chess.  One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog was so that I could have a place to record my goals, jot down my thoughts, and be able to assess progress.  I have realized now though that determining what my goals should be is harder than I thought.
Originally, I did not want my goal to be linked to rating, as I felt that at the end of the day it is just a number and not a representation of gains of understanding.  I didn't want to focus on my rating as it may be a distraction and discouraging.  However, in order for the goal of chess improvement to be measurable though, a rating is the only option I feel.
Despite this, I wanted to use a system that was not susceptible to rating spikes and troughs. So I have decided to use the USCF Category Title system.  For those that are not familiar, see this link.
I will use this awesome table to track progress:
Awesome Table of Progress
Category 4 Jun 2014 Jul 2014 Aug 2014 Apr 2015 Oct 2015
Category 3 Apr 2015        
Category 2          
Category 1          


I will pretty it up later.  Or perhaps just do it in excel and insert the image...whatever. Below is what category norm I can expect to earn so far.



 So now that I know how how I will measure my achievements, the hard part is to determine what I would like to achieve and how much time I should give myself to do so. According to my "awesome progress table", I received 3 of the required norms for Cat 4 in a matter of 3 months.  This pace is undoubtedly not sustainable, especially if I will be playing in fewer tournaments. I am currently studying for the CFA, so most weekends are devoted to study for that. However, if I assume that I will continue in the monthly Knights tournament, I would play in approx. 12 tournaments a year.  Lets say that I am successful in achieving a norm in 1/2 of them. This means I should get my Cat 3 in 6 months.  Ok, I will aim for that and adjust fire if I need to. By January 31st, I will have obtained Cat 3.

How will I achieve my goal: our next episode...