Status and Update

Apr 28, 2008, 7:07 AM |

I thought I would give an overview of my training, results, and rating in this post, as well as ask a question for anyone who might read this little blog of mine.


First of all my training results so far. Currently I have done 17600 problems on chess tactics server with a 73.1% accuracy. My peak rating is 1560 but it usually hangs around 1530-1555. It seems that everytime I come back from a tournament my CTS rating drops by 50 points! Of course I always work my way back up again but its a little perplexing.


My games are going quite well. I think it's important to play turn-based chess online as it helps to train your openings and calculation. So far my peak rating has been 1791 and currently I'm sitting at 1775. I've entered myself in 4 tournaments which keeps my gameload up and provides me with more incentive to win than I usually have in online chess.


For those of you interested my chess-book reading list I've gotten most of my suggestions from this article on chess improvement.


I've just recently started step 5 of that plan and am reading "Art of Attack in Chess" by Vladimir Vukovic and "100 Selected Games" by Mikhail Botvinnik. As I've been working my way through that improvement plan I've made some observations and improvements of my own which I hope to publish in this blog one day. I think his plan is spot on for the most part, concerning which books to read at which stages...but I think some of his suggestions are a little old-fashioned and neglect the recent trend towards electronic resources. Also I think his ideas on helpful game anthologies need some work.


That brings me to my over-the-board progress. I have played in 6 OTB events so far and after the results from my latest tournament come in I will have a rating around 1635. Since I started studying chess seriously only 3 months ago and my first rating was 1400 I think my progress has been pretty steady and my training fairly successful.


This brings me to my question for you. There are two tournaments next weekend. The first is a weekend-long rated 5 round swiss tournament. The problem with this one is that it's a 14 hour drive to get there! Is it really worth the trek? The second choice is an unrated evening tournament in a nearby city. It's a fun little event held in a restaurant. You pay $20 at the door for a free meal and a chance to win a trophy.


I'm not sure which one to play in....any thoughts?