- Strong Opening Prep
- Tactics Work
- Rook Endings
How did I do? Well, I did some light opening prep. I vacillated between whether or not to play the Open Sicilian as White. Or go back to the Alapin. Or continue learning the Grand Prix. The result was that I didn't focus on any one thing. Big mistake.
I did some work on Rook Endings. I watched some Karsten Muller rook ending DVD clips and I worked through some Dvoretsky & Yusupov articles. But not enough. And not practical enough. I talked about learning specific techniques and then setting them up and playing them against Fritz. But I only did so once. And only one shot, not repeated effort to make sure I got it.
I am pleased with my tactical work. Although I didn't do as much as I would like I was more consistent last month with making sure that I did some work every day. Even if it was just doing a few puzzles on my phone each day.
So with last month's achievements and failures listed, let's move on to this month's plan...
For the month of May I am going to do the following...
- Learn to mate with two bishops.
- Strong Opening Prep on One White Opening and One Black Opening
- Rook Endings
- Continued Tactical Work
So I plan on changing that. The hope is that by doing so I will also get a good feel for how to better use the bishop pair in general.
Strong opening prep on one White and one Black opening. OK, let's face it, I set myself up to fail last month. Saying you need strong opening prep is too broad a statement. You can't prep everything well in one month. But you can learn one White and one Black opening in a month. So I will choose one of each and work hard on them. I have an idea of what I want to work on. I think I want to work on the White side of the Worrall and the Black side of the 1...e5 English.
Rook endings. Last month I said I'd work on John Emms' Survival Guide to Rook Endings. I didn't. This month I will. I own it, I should use it.
Continued tactical work. I will just continue as is. Which is to say that I'll grab a tactics book and work on some puzzles. Or do some online. Or on my phone. At some point I want to work through Karsten Muller & Claus Dieter Meyer's excellent work, The Magic of Chess Tactics. Again, I own it, so I should use it. Although I feel like before I work seriously with that book I should continue to develop my basic tactics skills for a bit.
So that's it...that's the plan for May.