Candidate moves (or) Trying not to play sloppy chess
I played my first game today selecting two candidate moves for each move and carrying the variations two moves deep. The game was a resounding win, and against an opponent with a rating nearly 100 points above mine. This was a lot more effort than I had thought it would be and, consequently, though I won the rematch, I did not play nearly as well due to my brain feeling like luke-warm tapioca.
This method is clearly superior and is also definitely more satisfying than playing intuitively with an eye out for tactics. It was much, much more gratifying than other victories had been.
Based on my experience today, I am going to alter my daily chess routine. I will no longer warm up with a quick game against an opponent of equal or inferior rating. I believe this was ultimately a negative beginning even if an easy win did get me into the mood to play serious chess. Instead, I will begin with the tactics trainer and attempt to view candidate moves with the tactical problems as a method of making me view the board more thoroughly and sort of stretching my brain before the real mental exercise begins. After the tactics trainer I will continue with the usual 3-4 hours of games, but I will start playing longer games and fewer of them. This will allow me to study the positions more and calculate with more accuracy.
I believe this will increase the effectiveness of my training.