Trek of the Toucan: New Beginnings
Hello all. I learnt the rules of chess around February this year. Between then and late April I did nothing much but play my dad and other school friends at a low standard. When it came to June, I decided to join my local chess club.
This helped me improve a lot and I plucked up the courage to enter my first tournament in September. I played in the under 105 ECF (1488 FIDE) section and came joint first with a respectable score of 7/10.
At the same time, a local player rated approximately 2100 FIDE very generously offered me coaching, free of charge, once a week. This coaching is not intense but I feel like I learn something every week. We cover things such as bishop vs knights and calculation in tactics.
I play in a team for my club, normally on board 2 or 3. After my initial period of prosperity, I feel like I have plateaued recently. I played poorly in both 100+0 and 10+5 tournaments in the past few months and I feel like I am not making much progress at all.
Therefore, I decided to devise an improvement plan to help pick myself up from this slump. With the help of forum contributors, I have managed to fine-tune the plan into what it is today:
Approximately 20 per day. Mix of themed and random tactics from day to day, to add some variety.
Two 30 minute games per week
One 15 minute game per week
2-4 hours at my local chess club
1 game of Logical Chess per session. Full analysis of both mainline and sidelines.
Once Logical Chess is finished, I will read Silman's Endgame Course and then The Amateur's Mind. For these, session times won't be restricted but are likely to last 20 minutes.
I will study these books a maximum of 4 times per week.
1 analysis of a master game per session, 2 sessions per week. The players I study will probably be the likes of Steinitz, Tarrasch, Keres, Bronstein.
Here I will analyse all/most of the games I have played during the week. I may do some of this analysis with my coach.
And so I come to explain the purpose of this blog. It will be used to report on the results of my improvements using my plan. I will post every fortnight and provide my games and interesting puzzles which you can get involved with. Hopefully my plan will bring me success and happiness with my chess. I look forward to the first Trek of the Toucan- I hope you will join me for the ride!