Training and a Stagnating rating

Jun 30, 2010, 3:45 AM |

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!)