Sunday, July 14, 2013

Update for July

I'd have to say so far so good this month.

Here we are at the not quite mid point of the month and so far I seem to be on track.  Let's recap shall we...

My goals this month were to work on:

  • Opening Prep
  • Analytical Ability
  • Calculation Ability

So far I think that I have done a fair amount of work on each of them.

Opening Prep

I have done some of this on my own the good old fashioned way of just playing through some variations over and over trying to learn them.

However, I have also done something I should have been doing for a long time, which is to take my games and put them in ChessBase, then scroll through the opening book to see who deviated and what the correct move was.  If I keep playing the same openings and keep doing this, then I should be able to learn my openings on a deeper and deeper level.

Lastly, I have a two hour lesson scheduled for tomorrow to work on nothing but openings.  I need to learn them desperately and it's been hard overcoming years of not studying the opening at all.

Analytical Ability

I have been making more of an effort to analyze my own games lately.  Not only have I been analyzing recent games that I have played, but I've also gone back and looked at some that were 18 months old. 

What's interesting is that as I look at the older games I am identifying a lot of areas in which I have improved.  Also, since I have gotten better in that time it's easy to see progress.  It's also easier to identify areas in which I still need to improve when I am looking at these older games.

For example, I know that one of my weaknesses is that I tend to play a large number of "groveling" moves.  Defending when I don't need to, etc.  As I look at games I played in the past few weeks it's too easy to be defensive about the moves I just played.  Especially when I had a good result.  i.e. when you are rated 1700 and you draw an expert you don't want to admit that any of your moves were weak.  Yet when I look at a game from a year ago it's easier to be objective, regardless of the result.

I don't know if others feel this way, but I certainly do.  Perhaps that in an of itself is a weakness I should work on.

Calculating Ability

This is the area in which perhaps I have done the least.  I have been working on some tactical exercises and doing some endgame work, both of which serve to help in this area.  But I don't feel like I've truly worked hard on calculating.

However, I have a cutesy fix for this...

I am reviewing a handful of books for and as I work on the reviews I intend to treat the diagrams as calculation exercises.  I think that will help me get two things done at reviews and  my calculation skills!

So at the roughly mid way point of the month I'd say I feel good but not great about having stuck to my plan!

By the way, for anyone who is curious, here are the books I am reviewing right now.  They are older books which I was asked to look at:

Mastering Tactical Ideas - by Minev

Essential Chess Endings for Advanced Players - by Donaldson

How to Win at Chess Quickly - by Williams

True Combat Chess - by Taylor
Here are some items I have reviewed for ChessCafe already...

No comments:

Post a Comment