Monday, 2 September 2013

Good week, I'm now on the 93-94% percentile on 15|10 chess.

For the last week of August, I followed a strict study plan and I feel it brought me great benefits. I was much more organised about what to study (compared to the month before that!), and having re-read Philip Ochman's "The Process of Decision Making in Chess" I feel that last week, I've improved quite a bit.
The biggest bulk of my improvement during August came however from many hours of Tactics training. I have been very dedicated and tried to do tactics almost every day, and aside from the 2 week period when I was travelling I think I stuck to it quite well. Hitting over 1,850 tactics rating on chess .com, something I did not think was possible with only a few hours of tactics under my belt.

Okay, about last week's study plan, I was a little bit impatient and did not study Friday as I had planned, instead I played chess all day and noticed that I now am playing at a 1,500 (chess . com) level.

The graph shows a decent gain throughout August. My rating could be much higher, around 1,600 I'd say, but my main problem has been complacency. As you can see in the rating, I am down to 1,484 after balancing on 1,500 for a while. The reason is throwing away won games. I seem to have a bad habit of taking less time for my moves once I am winning. I had a particularly bad game when I had my opponnent completely crushed, so I started multi-tasking and bam, my king got smothered. A particularly embarassing way to lose in chess, wouldn't you say? Other examples include missing obvious tactics because I am up in material and ending up blundering a piece away and losing an endgame due to being a pawn dawn. I really need to focus more and stop doing this!!!

I hope that by having noticed my complacency, I will now pay more attention to games I am winning and not throw them away. I hope that combining this with my study plan, I will be able to get to a rating of around 1,600. My study plan now includes reading "Simple Chess" by Michael Stean and applying the principles of "The Process of Decision Making in Chess" in a few Online games where time is not an issue. The latter will take a lot of dedication, and I expect to be my greater challenge. I will also continue studying tactics and I hope to hit 2,000 tactics rating at some point soon.

In non-chess news, I've been going to the gym regularly, eating semi-decent, I've moved, and have been making time for other things that are important aside from chess. So I am happy on all fronts, woop, let's hope things continue this way.

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