Rensch takes down the title!
I'm in California at chess.com headquarters meeting the team this week, and got the chance to host the first ever chess.com deathmatch between IMs David Pruess and Daniel Rensch. If you missed it, check out the video tabs on this page: http://www.chess.com/tv That's me running the pregame interviews and post game commentary!
The team here is fantastic, we're having a blast. David and Danny are really amazing teachers, they routinely rock my chess world with just a few minutes of insights into the game. They are putting together the 1800 - 2000 study plans right now, perfect for my level. A little preview: one great study tool is the "30 minute exercise" in which you find a critical moment in a master game, and sit down to just study it for 30 minutes, writing down all of your analysis as you go. Once you have your answer, play through the game and identify the mistakes in your analysis. Finally, and most importantly, categorize very specifically where the holes in your thought process occured. Does the board get fuzzy after 3 moves? Are your mistakes of a tactical nature or positional? Are you underestimating counterplay for your opponent, missing defensive resources in cramped positions? etc etc etc. The point is to build a catalogue of these mistakes, and look for patterns over time. Becoming aware of these mistakes in thought process can focus your study plans in the future, preparing you for big scores like this!
To try out this plan, I happened upon the following position. See if you can figure out what is going for yourself! Fair warning, even IM Pruess and FM Kostya Kavutskiy had some trouble when I showed them this position!