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Chess Diary (Entry 1) 7/22/07

Jul 22, 2007, 10:06 PM 13

I have decided to start a Chess diary to track my Chess thoughts and activity. A couple of hours ago, I was going through one of the games that I am playing (Email Chess). I don't like the position at all. I messed up in the opening. I don't follow my own advice/tips sometimes. So I was analyzing the game and I decided to look up the sequence of moves, and it is French Defense (Tarrasch). I have always had disdain for studying openings. But it appears that relying on opening principles alone is not cutting it for me. Well, it has worked all along, but I end up working too hard or being riled up when things don't go my way. So I wrote up a 10 point plan: COMMITMENT TO CHESS EXCELLENCE. I am not sure if I have ruled out the possibility of playing Chess professionally or going for norms. So in the mean time, I think I will just prepare myself, just in case. So the "Commitment" will help me eliminate the early mistakes I make when I play Chess games. It will also help me get ready for tournament (OTB) play. It will also act as a foundation for being disciplined in other areas.


1.  To play Openings that have NAMES in my head. If I cannot call it by its name, I will not play it. I will be able to answer the question: "What Opening was that?" with more detail than "Queen's pawn", for example.

2. I will choose several openings. 2 for White, 2 for Black. I will learn as much as I can on these openings. I will focus on the Main Lines to start with. I will go into more detail as need be.

3. Prepare for Openings that are not my Specialty and learn to transpose into Openings that I am familiar with.

4. If I encounter something new, I will research it whenever I have time and then make notes on it.

5. I will not make a move until I am sure that I have answered several questions. "What is he trying to do?" "What would I play if I had his pieces?" "What am I accomplishing with my move?" "How is he going to respond to my move?" etc.

6. I will annotate all my losses, and find ways to not repeat the mistakes I made.

7. I will post my losses on this website for analysis/help/discussion.

8. I will give away $5.00 to charity for each loss. (I may change the figure in the future.)

9. I will choose a Mentor/Model/Exemplar; a player I really like, to see how he played/plays the Openings that I choose. I will study the mentor/model and adopt some of his Chess habits.

10. I will review this COMMITMENT every day, and change it as need be.

(For Chess Diary Entry 2, click here). 

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