Training/Playing Balance

RT_Dude

What is the optimal blend, for an ambitious "B" player, of training time and rated game time? The best I can do at the moment is maybe 10/1 hours a week, but I'm curious if others think about this.

Farm_Hand

I'm not a trainer and I haven't experiment with different ratios, so I don't know. Conventional and historical wisdom seem to agree that new players should play more and masters should study more, but what that means for a B player is (of course) unclear.

 

I can tell you what worked for me though. I was studying about 3-4 hours a day, most days of the week. Then one day a week I'd play casual long games, like G/30, with some people I knew. Or I'd go to a tournament that had G/60 or G/90.

So I guess that was around 15-20 hours of study a week (wow, that's a lot now that I think about it) and anywhere from 2-3 hours of playing if we were just meeting at a coffee shop, to around 10 hours of playing if I went to a tournament.

Farm_Hand

For me, having regular opponents helped a lot. Because, for example, lets say some guy keep killing me in the Sicilian. So I work all week on the Sicilian with him in mind. It's a great motivator.

 

Or I embarrassingly screw up an endgame, or with tactics. So then I work all week on that endgame or on solving tactics.

RT_Dude

Makes sense. I'm using a similar approach with training games, training books, and chess.com training tools. I was thinking like in the case of pro sports,  athletes spend much more time training than competing. Rated chess is risk-free physically,  but does bear a toll on the nerves. But, serious play is obviously necessary for real improvement.