Going for a Title: Chapter 1 "Reboot Camp"
One line I remember my sensei telling me when I was younger, and very impatient, was to "master the basics". When someone would complain about practicing a simple move repeatedly, he would always ask "would you rather be punched by someone who's practiced a thousand punches once or one punch a thousand times?" The logical answer is neither, but since there was no option C, I know the person who's practiced one punch a thousand times will have it mastered. This can be true of any sport and aligns with the old adage "practice makes perfect." With this advice in mind, I've decided to go back to basics and refresh what I've learned thus far before I proceed.
Since my goal is no longer just to have fun and be able to beat my dad in chess, which I totally can, I've had to rewire how I approach the game. Yes, memorizing theory and studying some classic games is incredibly rewarding, but I also need to analyze WHY I'm making every move I'm making. My intent is no longer just to have bragging rights or show off, my intent is to be a high level competitor, shooting for a title. So instead of gaming, mindlessly surfing the net, or having regular human interaction, I've put myself on a strong training regime. I've budgeted more time for chess and less for sleep...something my son also budgets for me. Dedication like this separates PGA Tour players from Sunday golfers, professional fighters from bar fighters, and rock stars from tribute bands.
I've deleted all recreational apps aside from chess.com, Twitter (danschultzchess if you want to follow me there), and a few other chess programs/tools from my phone. My morning starts with checking my chess.com app and catching up on games, messages, the daily puzzle, and news. When I have breaks during my day, I also check my games and play at least 200 tactics puzzles in the chess.com app. Instead of playing games on my phone at night, I'm reading up and going over tactics in bed. I've also been making it a point to play in at least three tournaments a week. Chess.com has so many tools, lessons, and opportunities to learn and grow it is staggering. This app and website combined account for much of what I've learned and will continue to study and learn. Chess.com will definitely be a large part of my success story and development.
I've also been hitting the books pretty hard. My brother in law recommended Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev (visible in the photo above). Although it may seem very basic to some, remember what sensei said, "master the basics." There is incredible depth, insight, and variety in this book as well. If you don't have it, please order it now. So it's time to "feel the learn", until next time!
Do you have any books or stories you'd like to share? Comment below.