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Aug 5, 2011, 8:29 PM 0

I just checked out a great book from the library today. It is called The Improving Chess Thinker and it describes how players of various ratings go through the process of determining the best move in any given situation. It includes many examples and tips on how to think better in chess.

This book goes right along with my goals in playing chess more. I want to get better, but the only way to do that is to think better when I'm playing. I have a bad habit of just going with the first move that seems OK without actually analyzing any of my other options. This book, along with the practice I will get from playing on Chess.com, can help me to change that.

I also want to learn a few openings well. I am working right now on learning the Sicilian Defense, the English opening, and a few other common openings so that I don't have to spend valuable time on the first few moves of each game.

So my goals in playing:

1. Get better

2. Figure out how I stack up to other players. I've never played much with anyone except my brother, and I don't know how good I am objectively. The best way to find that out would be to play more with other people and get an online rating. So here I am.

3. Someday to play in over-the-board tournaments and earn a rating of at least 1500. Should be a very doable goal, but it will take some work.

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