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RaitonvsFuuton's Training Journal 
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Pawn

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:25 am
Posts: 3
Rating: 1300
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
Post RaitonvsFuuton's Training Journal
Good evening.

Since school has ended for me and I only need a couple of exams before being free for the rest of the summer, I've decided to create this training journal to plan and describe my practice regimen for the next couple of months. It'll be helpful to keep me accountable and increase my productivity in terms of chess study.

I started playing chess 7 months ago and I've been actively studying and trying to improve at it ever since. I've always been competitive in my hobbies, which means I've been constantly attempting to perfect my chess skills and my methods of training. Currently my relevant ratings are:

- 1260 on chess.com (started out with 820).
- 1800 on chesstempo's standard mode (started out with 940)
- 1470 on chesstempo's blitz mode (haven't done many problems yet)

I don't have a classical FIDE rating yet since I haven't won enough games against rated players, and my rapid ELO is 1495 after a successful tournament.

I believe tactics and endgames to be the two most important aspects of chess for amateur players, since that's where the biggest mistakes are made. As such, my practice will consist off:

- At least 5 problems of chesstempo in standard mode and hard difficulty per day, solving for accuracy. This will improve my calculation skills, some pattern recognition, creativity and will introduce me to more combinations of tactical motifs. This can be replaced by blitz tactics at maximum TWICE a week.
- At least 3 slow games a week + analysis (listing and categorizing the mistakes in a spreadsheet). This will consist of my main feedback and will develop all aspects of my play.
- Analyzing at least 2 games a week. I'll be focusing on games that feature openings I usually play to get a better feeling for possible variations and specific plans for each side. Also develops strategic thinking, tactical ability and endgame skills.
- Studying endgames from class "E" and class "D" of Silman's Endgame Course. Revise them the following week and eventually move on to class "C" and so on.

Since I don't believe in the effectiveness of results-based goals, I will consider my practice effective if I'm able to complete all these tasks on a weekly basis while being fully concentrated, as long as I have enough time to do them. Improvements will definitely appear soon.

I'll try to document my practice on a daily basis provided I have enough time / motivation. At the end of the week, I'll reflect on how practice went and any improvements I can make.

Thanks for reading,

RaitonvsFuuton.


Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:56 pm
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Location: Maryland, USA
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Post Re: RaitonvsFuuton's Training Journal
Welcom Raiton and good luck in your quest.

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Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:44 pm
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Pawn

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:25 am
Posts: 3
Rating: 1300
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
Post Re: RaitonvsFuuton's Training Journal
Today I didn't have much time or energy available to spend on chess, due to having to study for my upcoming exams.

However, I was able to complete 5 standard problems on chesstempo, winning 20 rating points (1809). Got 4 correct and one wrong.
This is the problem I failed: http://chesstempo.com/chess-problems/162376. I thought that after 1.Rxd8+ that 2. Ra1 would trap the queen but unfortunately I didn't realize that the rook as actually hanging.

The other problems were successful and I managed to find creative ideas to obtain a tactical advantage. As my tactics rating goes up, more and more problems require unusual moves which helps my creativity when searching for candidate moves. I've been finding many tactical opportunities in my own games simply by taking into account moves that would at first glance seem bad, such as putting my pieces on undefended squares or weird sacrifices.

At the end of the day, I played a 30+30 game on Lichess. My opponent blundered early on in the opening, and I managed to win a rook, a minor piece and a pawn for nothing. I ended up considering the game to be over and started alt-tabbing and playing random moves, which resulted in a crushing defeat for me. Lesson learned.

Overall the day went well, despite not having had much time available. I managed to complete my tactical training, which I consider a success.

Tomorrow, I'll start the day with more tactics on chesstempo and analyze a game played between Alexander Cherepkov and David Bronstein, in an Open Spanish, which is an opening I've been taking a closer look at. In the afternoon, I'll try playing a slow game online and if time allows it, go over the class "E" endagems from Silman's Endgame Course.

Thanks for reading,

RaitonvsFuuton.


Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:16 pm
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Pawn

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:25 am
Posts: 3
Rating: 1300
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
Post Re: RaitonvsFuuton's Training Journal
Tactics:

I've managed to complete my goal of doing at least 5 standard problems on chesstempo today and yesterday, although my rating hasn't changed much (still around 1800). Some miscalculations in long variations mostly due to imagining pieces and missing good responses from my opponent, which is a major concern and one aspect I'll be looking to fix in the upcoming days.

On the plus side, I've been finding more combinations in my games and I've started to stop complex tactics in chesstempo relatively quickly and most of my time is spent calculating and double-checking all possible lines, which is definitely a sign of improvement.

Game analysis:

I didn't end up analyzing the Bronstein game and have changed my mind as to what types of games I'll analyze. I think I'll start with something more simple and tactical, like the classical Morphy games for instance, to further develop my tactical skills as well as the ability to punish my opponent's mistakes in the opening through quick and purposeful development.

Regarding my own slow games online, I've played 3 of them in the last 2 days (time control of 30+30 on Lichess) but they've all ended quite quickly with mistakes by my opponent in the opening. They've all allowed my to gain a development lead and space advantage in the opening and eventually a critical combination that wins me major material. As such, I won't be analyzing any of those games and I'm hoping to play some better ones tomorrow.

Endgame:

Yesterday, I went through all the class "E" endgames on Silman's Endgame Course, which was mostly a review of work I had done previously. The concepts were pretty basic, just a few K+P vs K endgames where Silman introduces the concept of opposition and goes through some examples where Black manages to draw, other where White is able to win and stalemate opportunities when we're dealing with rook pawns.

Tomorrow, I want to play a 30+30 game on Lichess and analyze it if it ends up being a close game, along more tactical problems on chesstempo. If time allows it, analyze one or two Morphy's games.

Thanks for reading,

RaitonvsFuuton.


Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:16 pm
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