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"...It's fiddler crab season!"

United States
Jan 2, 2013
Last Login
2 hrs ago
Supporting member since Jan 27, 2016

No cold friend requests please.  If we meet in a tournament and have some good, fair games then sign me up.



"...basic self-belief is not about thinking you will never go wrong, but that these mistakes don't define you...  You have to see that it's OK to make mistakes."  Jonathan Rowson


20190601 - Still working toward a correspondence (daily) rating of 2000 w/ average opponent rating of 1900+.  I've come to the realization that I am not, and will probably never be, a rapid/blitz/bullet player.  I need way more time to consider positions than the fast time controls allow.  So be it.  I'm here to learn and it's all good clean fun. happy.png   

My approach is:

     1) Establishing an opening repertoire - I play correspondence games ("Daily Chess") exclusively and use many opening references - books, videos, opening databases, chess.com's opening explorer.... basically anything I can get my hands on (but no engines during ongoing games).  Because of all the reference material, I usually get decent positions out of the opening, and by virtue of repetition I'm starting to remember certain lines, and more importantly starting to understand some of the strategic/positional concepts in those lines.  

     2) Beginning August 2019, I've started annotating games as they progress.  Hopefully the action of articulating plans, ideas & decisions will help me slow down and prevent "speed blunders", help me find better the tactical ideas I usually overlook, and also help guide my post-game analysis by having a record of what I was thinking during the game.

     3) Analyzing completed games - By running engine analysis of all my completed games, I'm starting to see where I go astray - missing tactical opportunities, and picking up on my mistake patterns.  Eventually I hope to do more self-analysis, but at this stage of my game... well, if I would have seen the better moves (obvious blunders aside) I would have played them.  Hopefully as I improve, I'll be able to see the less obvious mistakes on my own.

     4)  Tactics, Tactics, Tactics - When I lose a game it's most often in the middlegame, and most often because I am overlooking tactics, both mine and my opponent's.  I try to do ~20 puzzles most days, and definitely notice a difference in my ability to find tactical ideas in current games when I'm doing this consistently.

     5)  Study - Books and tournament commentary are my "teachers"... so much material, so little time.  

I look forward to solid, challenging games and wish you the best in all your endeavors, chess or otherwise.



"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."  Groucho Marx


Chess related reading/study material I’ve found helpful in one way or another:

Jacob Aagaard "Excelling at..."

     All the "Excelling at..." titles are worth your time.  A fair amount of

     overlap, but enough unique material in each to justify looking at them.

Ward Farnsworth “Predator at the Chessboard”

Nick de Firmian “Modern Chess Openings”

Mauricio Flores Rios "Chess Structures:  A Grandmaster Guide"

Dan Heisman "A Guide to Chess Improvement", "Back to Basics - Tactics", "The improving Chess Thinker", and "Elements of Positional Evaluation"

     There is A LOT of overlap in Heisman's books.  If you only have time/energy/money for

      one, go with "A Guide to Chess Improvement".  And if you've read all the Novice Nook articles,

      you've already read most of that too. 

Muller & Lamprecht “Fundamental Chess Endings”

John Nunn "Understanding Chess Middlegames"

     - especially helpful was the section on material imbalances

Jonathan Rowson “Chess for Zebras”, “The Seven Deadly Chess Sins”

    - both Rowson titles are HIGHLY recommended

Sam Shankland "Small Steps to Giant Improvements..."

Andrew Soltis "Pawn Structure Chess", "GM Secrets - Openings", "GM Secrets - Endings"

Paul van der Sterren “Fundamental Chess Openings”

Mihai Suba "Dynamic Chess Strategy"

Vladimir Vukovic "The Art of Attack in Chess"

John Watson “Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy”, “Mastering the Chess Openings, Vol's 1-4”

Alex Yermolinsky “The Road to Chess Improvement”

…and the chess.com video tutorials are also highly recommended, especially the video series on pawn structures ("In your face camel cake!!").

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