Sunday 13 September 2015

Update on Improvement

It's nice to have constant improvement, but often in chess plateaus are reached. Sometimes you don't understand why, but if you do, then you can make a plan to break the plateau and progress. Luckily, I have plans.

First, I have reached a plateau in Tactics Trainer, I cannot seem to get above 2,000 rating points, I believe the problem to be mostly psychological, whenever I am close to breaking 2,000 I solve tactics faster to get more points and then after getting a few wrong I get into a bad emotional state that make me spiral down. I have recently decided that I no longer seem to be losing games due to missing tactical patterns, in fact, my tactical awareness seems pretty strong, so I am going to cut down on tactics. However, I am not sure how much yet, maybe I will only do 5 TT problems a day and any others on other sites or books, but definitely no longer 30. To get 30 mostly right is just frustrating! For now, I am doing none as I am moving back to Europe! Here is a photo of the last set of 30 TT/day. (the last week was 20p.d.)

Second, I have kept in touch with an IM chess coach and have had a few lessons. It has mostly been about changing my opening repertoire and playing 1.e4 as well as 1.e4 e5. Before this I used to play mainly the 1.d4 and 1.e4 c5. The idea is that by changing my repertoire I will be able to improve some weak areas of my game, specifically dynamic play as well as become comfortable across a wider range of openings and positions. My Page on has videos of me mostly playing these new openings and I am finally feeling comfortable on those lines. Other than changing the opening repertoire my coach is helping me analyse my own games and correct some faulty positional decisions taken every now and again, example, which pieces are correct to swap and which aren't, correct plans in certain positions, but mainly most of my mistakes have come from not correctly defending or taking over the center. Either way, with a coach, it is nice to be able to improve this part of my game.

I am in a transition period of moving back to Europe, which has reduced the amount of chess study I have been able to do (I still did some! ;-)) but it also means that soon I will be able to play a tournament and get my first FIDE rating. I am really, really, hoping for 1850+ FIDE based on my chess . com ratings compared to other players who seem to have a FIDE rating of around 1800. I also have been getting to play more National Masters lately on ICC hence I really think I may be able to come up even with 1,900. That would be great, but of course, 2,000 will be even better. I plan to make it happen. Wish me luck!