500 hours with chess!

Oct 21, 2011, 2:58 PM |

Eureka! I've just passed another landmark on my way to chess excellence: 500 hours of practice and play - in less than 12 weeks, averaging more than 43 hours weekly.

I began studying chess sometime in August this year, inspired by Dan McLaughlin, who is trying to become a golf pro through 10,000 hours of what's called deliberate practice. Being too old for trying my luck at something too physical, I decided to return to a childhood fascination of mine - chess - to see if I could become a chess master within 10,000 hours of practice and play. 

If I keep studying more than 40 hours weekly, I should reach 10,000 hours in about 5 years from now. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. And it really doesn't matter that much. Even if it takes 10 years, it's still a fascinating project, and I truly enjoy it. Smile

Until now, the majority of my time have been spend playing turn-based chess here on Chess.com. In fact, 40 % of my chess hours have been on turn-based chess. About 25 % of my time has been spend studying chess theory, half of it on openings. A little less than 10 % of my time has been with the Tactics Trainer. The remaining 25 % I've analysed my own games, looked at master games, practiced with the Chess Mentor and the Computer Workout, played live games (mostly blitz), and worked with my coach. 

Lately, I've been experimenting a lot, and winning haven't been the aim of playing turn-based games. As a result, my rating has dropped from it's peak (at 1,648 on 7 September) to 1,554 as of today. This is fine. My best win so far was on 17 October, playing the Latvian Gambit against a player rated 1,722. When it comes to tactics, my rating in the TT is 1,451 right now, which is a significant improvement, in a rather short period of time. For a long time it staying below 1,200. It peaked on 19 October, at 1,566.