Trek of the Toucan #2: Immensely Enthusiastic, Immensely Naive
Trying something new is never going to be easy. Humans by nature seek comfort and stability. Learning something new involves creating new paths in the brain, understanding, executing and improving . This means dealing with self doubt and insecurities. All these things require coming out of our comfort zones and being in an unstable state temporarily. However, once we overcome these initial insecurities, progress can really begin.
I don't know when I will climb this mountain but, armed with enthusiasm, I hope it won't be too long.
This has been an interesting week of acclimatising myself with the improvement regime but so far I am satisfied with how I am doing. On that note, let's piece apart the past seven days into our categories and take a look at what's been going on:
I have decided to alternate between themed and mixed tactics on weekdays, doing 20 per session and solving both themed and mixed tactics on weekends, which amounts to 40 tactics. Let's go more in-depth with how I did in each category this week:
99/120 or 82.5%
106/120 or 88.3%. This week, I focused on forks/double attacks. My theme for next week will be skewers.
205/240 or 85.4%. For the first week, this isn't a bad result but I'd like to start aiming to break the 90% barrier in all categories.
Online, I have played one 15/10 game, during which I squandered a slight advantage under time pressure. I also enjoyed playing a 30/0 game, which involved a satisfying winning combination. In fact, there will be a chance for you guys to solve it at the end! At my chess club, I played four friendly games against my friend, which weren't timed. The final score was 3.5-0.5 in my favour.
I also played two 20/0 minute games against a 124 ECF (1630 FIDE) player. These were both instructive and enjoyable. In the first game, I was a full rook and a few pawns to the good but ran into serious time pressure and blundered a back-rank mate with seconds to go. In the second, I was a pawn up out of the opening but he recovered this material deficit, got into a great position with a dominant pair of knights and mowed me over. Here is the first game:
As I mentioned in the last post, I am currently studying Logical Chess: Move By Move by Irving Chernev. I have a notebook that I use to respond to some of the annotations, answer questions, and, overall, reinforce my learning. I have done four sessions this week, which I have really enjoyed, actually. I look forward to continuing this book. Who knows? I may even do a review when I am done!
This week I have unfortunately not done any master study. However, with the help of the fantastic @simaginfan , I have picked out three fantastic master games books and one has already arrived, with two on their way. These are: 500 Master Games of Chess by Savielly Tartakower, The Sorcerer's Apprentice by David Bronstein, and The Road to the Top by Paul Keres. Below is a photo of Keres:
I think I will read them in that order, although I might swap the Bronstein and Keres books around. I am very excited about these books.
To compensate for these lost study hours, I completed some of the Study Plan lessons on this site.
I analysed the annotated game in this post with my coach. I also briefly went over the two games I played online. Nothing too exciting to mention in this field.
So, there you have it. I have just taken the first step in a very long journey to (hopefully) some form of chess mastery. Of course, there will be stumbles along the way but I will just have to hope that my enthusiasm picks me back up again.
Looking ahead, I have a team game on Friday 12th January. I will make sure to report on this in the next post, which will probably come out in two weeks and continue on a fortnightly basis from then.
Special thanks to: @simaginfan @chesster3145 @EOGuel for guiding a patzer like me in these initial weeks of my journey. Thanks to them, I can leave you with this puzzle, taken from a game I played earlier this week. Until next time, take care.