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May 3, 2010, 8:36 PM 3

For the last month or so I've been pretty apathetic about my games here. I don't know, chess became a drag. My whole situation became quite stagnant. Same old every day. Then about 2 weeks ago i joined a gym. Unlike the other males in the gym, I'm focusing on cardio and stamina. I figured i would only schedule 3 times a week to not make it boring and i made it my mission to figure out what the best way to go about my gym routine would be (got me an mp3 player). So long story short i feel much much better about everything. I felt focused and very clear. I then decided to look into my chess again. I guess my main issue was, and is, the fact that on my own i can only get so far. That i will at one point have to seek outside help to take my chess to the next level. So while exercising to the universal sounds of stereolab, charlie parker, dark funera, stero total, stan getz and black sabbath (i also hear audiobooks) i figured a new approach was needed. If I'm not exercising to become a muscle ape, but instead to have good overall health and conditioning, why then not use that attitude towards chess. Hey, maybe i wont be the best chess player ever, but i can become a vicious opponent. Creative, yet traditional and bold. So every day now I'm doing a new "conditioning routine". While on the phone i run through the tactics server and through the masschester random tactics training with a clock drills. I don't focus on the time but on accuracy. For example, there are 10 positions that have to be evaluated to either take an unprotected piece, find a pin or fork situation and so on. My goal is not to finish faster but to finish without a single mistake. Only then can i go the next drill. If i make a mistake on the first attempt i make myself finish the entire 10 position course before trying it again. I use this "advance only if mastered" approach on my guitar training and i do see some improvement. And i believe that tactical appreciation of a situation is enhanced with conditioning and exposure. Its helped my blitz game and its helping my chess.com game. Ratings on both still suck. I'm on 1100 here and in the 780s on the FICS. Still, I'm enjoying my games more. I Still lack end game skills, strategic concepts and who knows how many other things i cant name. In the mean time i strongly recommend you all to do exercise. Aerobic if possible. I do believe its helped my game and my attitude towards chess and many other things.



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