My Path to FM - Week 6
Hey guys! Can you believe we're on week 6 already?! Am I an FM yet? Nope.
Am I playing like one? Maybe. This week will be about Practical Play.
So okay, I played a training game and won. I won't show it because it was pretty complex and very inaccurate on my part. I also can't show it because we ended up in an opening variation that I'll be using at the Canadian Closed where I hope to win the FM title. The game taught me something though. Once I "left book" I took a 5 minute think, made a slight mistake, and then got upset with myself and basically blitzed the rest of the game. In spite of the result, this teaches me two things: 1 - I need to spend a little bit more time in the late opening, and especially on the first "out of book" move. 2 - I need to calm down a bit. Recovering from mistakes is part of a practical game.
Otherwise, my training is going well. I made it to 2082 on Chesstempo mixed tactics. My blitz tactics rating stayed around 2100, and I did not attempt any standard problems.
Obviously all aspects of the game can and should be improved, but I think my next step is going to be to translate my newly-improved calculation skills into results over the board. For the next month or two I'm going to cut out all blitz and stick to games 15 minutes or longer. I'll try to play at least 1 long training game against another master each week. Most of my training time will be spent playing and analyzing 15 minute games on ICC. Calculating well isn't just about tactical depth, but about knowing when to calculate. I think it's time to work on that.
Anyway, sorry if this one was a little boring. For me it's a big deal. I feel my openings are strong enough to use in practical play. I feel my tactical play is strong enough to match most FM's. Now it's time to start playing games with a proper level of intensity.
I may eventually have to reassess of course, but we'll see how it goes!