Chess reboot — Day 1 ("All about the Basics")

Chess reboot — Day 1 ("All about the Basics")

Feb 29, 2016, 5:51 AM |

I've decided it's time to try and get my Chess into somewhat better shape. For the past three months or so, I haven't really had the time (or the energy) to play any proper games, or to spend any time doing studying.

I'm still pretty busy — between work, school (I'm taking some university courses) and family there's not much time left over for Chess-related activities. (I'd imagine this is the situation for many of us that are 40+.) But I still would like to improve, even if just a bit. I guess I'll just have to make the most of what little time I have. 

What I plan to do is to try to get some studying in every day. At best I can hope for an hour or so, so I'll have to try and be as efficient as possible. Well, at the very least, I should be able to do 15 minutes of Tactics Trainer every day.

There's no scarcity of resources to choose from so in order to narrow the field somewhat, I've decided to mainly use materials from this site (articles, videos &c). (Well, it narrows it down a bit at least... I wonder how many videos, for example,  there are now?)

My main rule will be that I must spend at least as much time playing and analyzing my games, as I do any other forms of studying. (Tactics Trainer excluded however.) I must also not care about my ratings; focus is on improving, not on just getting my rating as high as possible. (Of course, if I get better my rating should improve as well, but I don't want to stop playing just because I've had a few lucky streaks and I'm afraid of losing rating points.)

I will take on the role as my own coach and each day I will give myself some kind of task that I have to perform. (And by "each day", I mean whenever I get some time over for Chess! happy.png ) 

I've somewhat arbitrarily divided up the things I want to work on in the following categories (I'll write more about that later):

  • Openings
  • Tactics
  • Strategy
  • Endings
  • Board vision
  • Calculation
  • Psychology
  • Attacks
  • Defence

These are my long-term goals (in order of importance): 

  • Have fun!
  • Get better at Chess
  • Reach 1500 in Blitz here on
  • Be able to play blindfolded (without looking at a board)

(But didn't I say that I mustn't care about ratings? Well, this is a special case: I've had this life-long dream of challenging IM Thomas Rendle to a game in "Hack Attack" and to do that you have to have a blitz rating of at least 1500...)

This first week, I'll just try to get back to playing and work on some basics. Wish me luck! (Sorry if this was a bit long-winded and boring — I'll try to make it more fun in the future!)

Task for today: Work on the most basic of basics, that is, don't hang stuff! It doesn't matter how good you are at tactics or at the endgame; if you hang your queen on move 8, you're still going to lose. (Unless you're playing me — in which case you'll probably win anyway, but you can't expect to be that lucky all the time!)

Play a 10 game 2|1 match against Computer1-EASY where all that counts is that you don't leave any pieces hanging, and that you don't miss any pieces that it hangs.