This time the plan is for this month. The reason for that is that I have a two day tournament coming up the last weekend of the month and I plan on being prepared for it.
Along the way I am playing in a one day four round G/60 event on the 13th, along with continuing to play in club events on Wed & Thurs nights.
The event at the end of the month is the Arpad Elo Open. My goal is to play well in every game. I want to come out of every opening with a playable position (which is not typically the case for me) and I want to play with a grinder's attitude. I do not want to think "maybe I'll get a draw" as much as I want to think "If it takes me until 1am to grind out this win then that's what I will do."
So how do I get there? Well, I see it as a three step plan...
- Strong Opening Preparation
- Continued Work on Tactics
- Intense Rook Ending Study
So the plan is this:
Strong Opening Preparation
That means that for this tournament I can't go in with a "play anything" attitude. I need to decide now what I am going to play. I am leaning towards 1. e4. My prep as White is strong against most openings. I have done some work on the White side of the Ruy Lopez although I haven't played any of it OTB, I am learning the White side of the Dragon (although I blew it in my game at the Waukesha Memorial by playing Bh6 when the correct move was Bd4), am solid on the White side of the Najdorf, and play the Panov-Botvinnik very well for my rating.
This means that I will have to do some work on the White side of the French. I will look at some lines and decide what I want to play.
As Black I need to continue to work on the Black side of the Sicilian. I also need to firm up my prep in the KID.
Continued Work on Tactics
I will continue to work on tactics for 15-30 minutes per day using the Tactics Trainer on chess.com, or by reading various books I have on tactics. I will not overdo it on tactics, but neither will I let my current tactical abilities slip. I consider this to be the most important, although least time consuming, part of my training.
Intense Rook Ending Study
Exactly what it sounds like. I can't give away half points like I did against Jeff Cooper this past weekend. I will read John Emms's excellent book Survival Game to Rook Endings. I plan on spending maybe only 25% of my time working on this.
In addition to those three items I will of course continue to play through annotated games to further my overall improvement.