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Shyam's Beginner Study Plan

doggan21

Hi all.

I started playing chess regularly in January 2021 after stumbling upon Gotham Chess on YouTube. I learned some basic strategies and openings and peaked my rating at 929. I then got into a slump, got very frustrated with chess, and crashed my rating down to 694.

After taking a few weeks hiatus, I found the Chess Goals study plan. I took some advice from this (limiting myself to ~1 rapid game daily, playing 24 hour daily games, analyzing each game that I play, etc) and I got back to ~850 rapid. This is where I currently find myself plateauing.

I want to break past this plateau and get to 1000 rapid. Instead of "casually" following the study plan, I am going to be a bit more strict, and follow the daily routines exactly. Let's see what happens happy.png

My starting ratings:

* Rapid: 854

* Blitz: 589

* Daily: 1152

* Puzzles: 1406

PrestaJay

Welcome! Hope it goes well - the important thing is to focus on spending the time practicing and not getting too hung up on the day-to-day swings in rating, though I know that can be tough happy.png

IgnoratioElenchi33

Agreed with @PrestaJay. The ratings will come. I've had rating swings as large as 200 points. When that happens, I have to remember the wise words of GothamChess (since you mentioned him): https://youtu.be/bK6rAfukA44?t=822. Good luck with the plan!

doggan21

Thanks for the words of encouragement happy.png Here's my week 1 update that I forgot to post last week.

 

Week 1

  • Summary:
    • Purchased “Silman’s Complete Endgame Course” and “How to Beat Your Dad at Chess” books. Started reviewing, but I think I need to re-read this a few more times. I panicked during a king/rook endgame this week, and caused a draw by accident.
    • My black opening feels a bit weak, and I don’t feel as comfortable. All I know is the King’s Indian Defense. Maybe I should look into adding a new black opening to my repertoire.
    • End Ratings:
      • Blitz: 613 (+24)
      • Rapid: 895 (+41)
      • Daily: 1135 (-17)
      • Puzzles: 1505 (+99)
  • Day 6 and 7: (6/5 + 6/6 - Saturday + Sunday)
    • Played games but didn’t have time to write down my analysis over the weekend due to travel.
  • Day 5: (6/4 - Friday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16656934441
      • Positive:
        • (can’t think of any).
      • Constructive:
        • Ugly game. 22.4% accuracy. I got a bit impatient and miscalculated # of attackers vs defenders on an opening pawn break. I couldn’t recover my focus and the whole game was downhill.
        • Opponent played an e5 opening and I couldn’t play the london as usual. I didn’t know what to do, and sort of improvised. I probably should have taken the pawn instead of pushing another pawn. This ended up blocking in my bishop.
  • Day 4: (6/3 - Thursday)
    • Rapid (15+10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16506927663
      • Positive:
        • 1 blunder, 86.4% accuracy.
        • Early in the game when I blundered my bishop, immediately after I let go of my mouse, I saw the best move (king fork) to win back a bishop. Even though I didn’t play the best move originally, I’m glad I was able to see this.
      • Constructive:
        • Need to watch out for discovered attacks (bishop blunder).
    • I played a few more games this day (10 minute rapids and 3 minute blitzes). I noticed a bad pattern where after I lost a frustrating 10 minute game, I binged out on 3 min blitz games. None of these were terribly productive, and I lost most of them. The lesson is to quit playing and take a break when you start to feel frustrated. This can be hard to do in the moment though grin.png
  • Day 3: (6/2 - Wednesday)
    • Rapid (15+10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16413889797
      • Positive:
        • My longest game ever (102 moves) and 0 blunders, but 5 missed wins sad.png 72.3% accuracy.
        • I played the endgame fairly well (simplifying the pawns), but couldn’t finish it out.
      • Constructive:
        • OMG I need to review my king/rook endgame. I completely spaced out and forgot how to get the king to edge of the board, and then accidentally caused a draw.
  • Day 2: (6/1 - Tuesday)
    • Rapid (15+10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16331693209
      • Positive:
        • High accuracy (88.6%).
        • Stayed calm even though opponent was very aggressive, and I avoided getting my queen trapped.
      • Constructive:
        • I used my time well. I ended with 6:25 and my opponent with 11:59. A couple moves I used 2-3 minutes when I was caught off guard by the opponent. I ended up playing a clean game (no blunders, 1 inaccuracy).
  • Day 1: (5/31 - Monday)
    • Rapid (15+10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16238157431
      • Positive:
        • Relatively high accuracy (83.1%).
        • Material advantage (+6).
      • Constructive:
        • I panicked when the queen got close. I should have immediately moved Rfe8 to give my king space, and look for an escape route.
    • Rapid (15+10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16239881391
      • Positive:
        • Relatively high accuracy (82.9%).
        • Opponent was very aggressive and I couldn’t play the London as usual, but I was able to adapt.
      • Constructive:
        • Computer really wanted me to play h3. I thought it would weaken my king side, but analyzing it now, I see it would have allowed me to free my knight to move (and also open a file for my rook).
doggan21

Week 2

  • Summary:
    • This week I decided to quit the daily games. I found these very stressful since I was constantly thinking about my next move. There was a helpful discussion over in discord about this. Someone recommended trying 48 hour moves instead of 24 hour moves, in order to give yourself more time to relax. This helped a bit, but I still found myself obsessively checking chess.com. Will continue to focus on Rapid, Blitz, and Puzzles.
    • I am not following the course very strictly it seems. I am still trying to do the 5 puzzles, one rapid 10 minute game, and game analysis everyday. The 15+10 games take a bit too much time, and the daily games are too stressful for the reasons mentioned above.
    • This week I have definitely started noticing patterns. When I play the london opening, I have gotten better at knowing what my best move is to counter the opponents moves. There are a couple traps I fell into this week, but ended up learning from them and not falling for them a second time.
    • End Ratings:
      • Blitz: 608 (-5)
      • Rapid: 973 (+78)
      • Daily: 1168 (+33)
      • Puzzles: 1612 (+107)
  • Day 7: (6/13 - Sunday)
    • Taking a day off. Just watching lessons today and studying some openings.
  • Day 6: (6/12 - Saturday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/17259810207
      • Positive:
        • Good accuracy (80.1%)
        • Nice discovered attack on the queen with a rook sacrifice.
      • Constructive:
        • Rook attacks could have been a bit cleaner to take advantage of the hanging pawn. This resulted in a mistake move.
  • Day 5: (6/11 - Friday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/17181124245
      • Positive:
        • Tried experimenting with a new opening (queen’s indian defense).
      • Constructive:
        • Terribly accuracy (9.1%) but I was playing a new opening for the first time. I wasn’t sure how to move my pieces, and ended up getting mated pretty quickly. Knight blunder didn’t help things. Probably need to watch some youtube videos on this opening and study.
  • Day 4: (6/10 - Thursday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/17107382055
      • Positive:
        • 92.4% accuracy.
        • Did a good job trading pieces at the right times.
      • Constructive:
        • Don’t overextend knights. I took the pawn with the wrong knight. My other knight could have been easily kicked out with the pawn (a3) and then I would have lost a knight.
  • Day 3: (6/9 - Wednesday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16960498445
      • Positive:
        • I was able to mentally recover from the opening blunder, and had the opportunity to mate in 1.
      • Constructive:
        • Don’t blindly play london system opening without considering opponent’s moves. I somehow hung a bishop on move 3 by not accounting for opponent’s aggressive moves.
        • I got excited that I had recovered, and got tunnel vision trying to take a knight with a king fork. I ended up missing mate in 1, AND hanging queen (due to not seeing the long bishop move) all in a single move. I should have stayed calm and should have gone for the simple check (and mate).
  • Day 2: (6/8 - Tuesday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16934118027
      • Positive:
        • -
      • Constructive:
        • Even though I got destroyed, this was a great game for learning. I learned that my e3 pawn move to attack the black b4 knight was a horrible move, since the knight can jump onto d3.
  • Day 1: (6/7 - Monday)
    • Rapid (10)
      • https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/16841723165
      • Positive:
        • No blunders, but 1 missed win.
        • Good aggressive king side pawn storm to win the game. It could have been converted a bit cleaner by taking advantage of pinned pawns.
      • Constructive:
        • Moved by knight to e5 too early. Didn’t count properly: opponent had 3 attackers but I only had 2.