Training and a Stagnating rating
Some of you may have read my plan for chess improvement and I think it was a good plan.... However, It was a bit naive and in need of revision.
After reviewing my games, both the wins and the losses, I have determined that the root of most of my problems is a lack of tactical knowledge and poor opening selection. Consequently, I have upgraded my membership and am trying to make myself do at least 100 tactical problems a day.
I have also been running into problems with my opening repertoire, probably because I was playing openings that are fundamentally unsound..... This led me to talk to a couple of friends (who are much better than I am) and to review a database of some of my favorite modern players (in the top 20)... Now that I'm switching to openings that show consistent success against world class players I have more direction in my review of master games.
I have finished Josh Waitzkin's Attacking Chess, and am still working on Silman's Reassess Your Chess. I think I will be working with Silman's book for the rest of my life in one capacity or another. I have picked up several titles by the Everyman publishing company and will be writing some sort of review (from a patzer's perspective, of course) of them at some point in the future.
If anyone could recommend good books on the Caro-Kann, the Ruy Lopez and a nice general one for introductory Sicilian I would appreciate it.
On the subject of rating stagnation, I have been on a three week losing streak and not liking it a bit. (This is what caused the reevaluation of my chess plan). I think I may have hit the end tonight with 8 wins, 1 draw and a total of 5 losses. As a note of personal triumph, I also scored a new best win (by ratings anyway) tonight with the defeat of a friend of mine (rated 1954) in a fifteen min game. (Yay!)