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Tales of the backrankbrawler 
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Tales of the backrankbrawler
Hi everyone,

After reading a few of the other members' training logs and interacting with a couple of you, I'm inspired to share my training log. I'm not sure about a total training plan yet, but here is my long term (lifetime) goal: To reach USCF rating of 2200. I don't know if I have "the talent" but becoming a national master is both exciting and inspiring. I just finished reading Jack Canfield's Success Principles and one thing I learned and I'm going to apply is to state my goal and if I take action towards it and don't quit, good things will happen. With faith in that principle, I venture forth with courage and a smile.

As for specifics, for now I'm going to work on four main activities:
1. 15-20 minutes doing Chess Tempo tactical problems (on blitz mode to test my tactical pattern recognition) daily.
2. Playing long games against good competition (OTB and online) and analyzing them to identify my mistakes. I will play when I can, and try to spend some time doing some type of analyzing activity, including looking up openings and relevant master games, etc.
3. Watching relevant videos here - based on conclusions from my games. This will be a little more casual and when I can, for example during lunch at work or in the morning before the kids get up.
4. Mapping out my opening repertoire. I've switched openings so much in my life, and I want to come up with a coherent solid repertoire that I can build upon.

I'll post my games and analysis and I'd love feedback. I'll also try to look at other people's games and try to provide feedback when I can. This seems like a great community and I think it will be good to help and seek help from you all.

That's about it. I was spending some time trying to come up with the "perfect" training plan and I think the important key is to get started on training and playing as well as just enjoying the journey. Thanks for reading and good chess!

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backrankbrawler

Check out my Chess Blog: http://www.betterchesstraining.com/


Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:03 pm
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
7 AM

Today, I did 15 minutes of tactical problems on Chess Tempo. I scored 11 correct and 3 incorrect and finished with a blitz rating of 1685. I was a little slow on my correct answers too, but I think this will improve as I continue to do this regularly. I don't really worry about my rating, but instead, I try to review the ones I get incorrect or the patterns I'm not familiar with, because I feel over time the patterns will get burned into my brain somewhere and I'll be able to recognize them faster. For example, I used to do CT-ART a lot and I noticed I recognized some of the forking tactics that are common in CT-ART really quickly today. Eventually, I believe the rating will go up and I think is a fair benchmark of my tactical pattern recognition (which is what I'm training at the moment, as opposed to deep calculation which would be more measured by my standard rating). My idea will be to shift to standard, once my blitz rating goes up to focus on more of the calculation skills involved with the more complex problems.

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backrankbrawler

Check out my Chess Blog: http://www.betterchesstraining.com/


Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:12 am
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King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 744
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Hi Backrankbrawler,

May I ask what your current rating is? Also, what do you do in terms of playing live chess?

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Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:38 am
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Sarciness wrote:
Hi Backrankbrawler,

May I ask what your current rating is? Also, what do you do in terms of playing live chess?


Sure...my USCF rating is currently 1761. I am trying to play OTB tournaments every 2-3 months depending on family and work obligations. I played in about 6 tournaments since 2010, and before that I had about a 5 year layoff from any chess, but before that time (around 2005 or so), I used to be quite active, and I had a rating of about 1750 when I stopped playing 2005. I hope that answers your questions.

I usually play about once a week on ICC depending on when I can find time. I used to play a lot of blitz, but I'm cutting down on that because I don't enjoy it as much anymore.

Best regards,
Bryan aka backrankbrawler

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backrankbrawler

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Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:06 am
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King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 744
Rating: 1802
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Well if your lifetime goal is to gain 450 points, I think that should be quite doable, and it sounds like you are playing plenty of chess. If you combine that with study I'm sure you'll do well! Keep it up and keep sharing!

Ish

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Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:59 pm
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Sarciness wrote:
Well if your lifetime goal is to gain 450 points, I think that should be quite doable, and it sounds like you are playing plenty of chess. If you combine that with study I'm sure you'll do well! Keep it up and keep sharing!

Ish


I appreciate the support. I think the community here is very friendly and helpful and I hope to contribute and learn so we can all improve and enjoy chess!

Best regards,
Bryan aka backrankbrawler

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backrankbrawler

Check out my Chess Blog: http://www.betterchesstraining.com/


Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:34 pm
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Monday, July 4
Happy July 4th for my American chess friends!

8:00 AM
This morning I did some Chess Tempo problems, getting 9 correct out of 12 problems, with an ending tactics blitz rating of 1689. It was about 15 minutes, and I finished the session after my sons woke up.

Last night, I played some blitz. I was very tired, so there was no real quality chess. I play about 10-15 games against the same player. I know blitz can be a part of chess improvement, but in this case, it was pure entertainment for me, which I guess isn't bad either in small doses.

With the long weekend, I'm not too worried about not getting too much chess in. I've got a http://www.chess9030.com tournament game coming up on Thursday, so I will share my game once that is played.

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backrankbrawler

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Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:30 am
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Premium Member

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:05 am
Posts: 33
Rating: 1600
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Great job! If you aren't enjoying the games, then there really isn't any reason to play at all.

I think the ready availability of chess problems online will be a big factor in improving as a chess player for both you and me, and am following much the same course.

Good luck to you on your journey!


Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:04 pm
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King

Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:57 pm
Posts: 394
Rating Class: Novice (<1200)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Nice blog :)

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Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:38 pm
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
Thanks for the support. I'm glad you're reading the blog. Basically, I'll keep the details of my training here and any musings on chess on my blog. I'm really into the science of chess improvement and success literature in general, so I'll probably write a bit about stuff on there.

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backrankbrawler

Check out my Chess Blog: http://www.betterchesstraining.com/


Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:34 pm
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Tuesday July 5, 2011
A quick chess session:
15 minutes Chess Tempo: 12/16, blitz rating 1685. I believe I am on the right track with my plan to do these blitz tactics problems. In some cases today, I had the right answer, but lost points on time, which is fine for me at this point.

I also studied a chess game video on ICC with Joel Benjamin. Due to work, I had to stop at 24 minutes, but I will pick it up again tomorrow. During these videos, I often stop the video and try to understand the position or pick the next move, so this actually took about 35 minutes even though I only got through 24 minutes of the video.

Okay, off to work!

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backrankbrawler

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Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:27 am
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post ICC July Standard Tournament Round 1
Here is my first round game in the ICC July Standard tournament. Fairly straight forward. I try not to get too excited about easy wins, although I was pleased at my level of concentration in the game itself and my focus on piece activity, which were my goals going into the game. I will analyze this game for any missed tactics as well as looking up this opening, which I haven't played in a while. Comments and feedback is welcome and appreciated!


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backrankbrawler

Check out my Chess Blog: http://www.betterchesstraining.com/


Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:48 am
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Chess Tempo: 12/15, blitz rating 1694
I felt sharper today. I think partly due to the fact that I'm doing these in my office as opposed to at home where distractions abound.

Tonight, I'm going to do a little more analysis of my game from yesterday and see if there's any interesting positions to analyze. Also, I'm still trying to decide on an opening repertoire to focus in on as I play a bunch of different openings, and I want to focus on a few to master.

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backrankbrawler

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Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:14 am
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King

Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:57 pm
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Rating Class: Novice (<1200)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
You mentioned some openings in your blog. Are you dropping one or more of those? tia

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:00 am
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Rook

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Posts: 142
Rating: 1822
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: Tales of the backrankbrawler
ketchuplover wrote:
You mentioned some openings in your blog. Are you dropping one or more of those? tia


I'm not sure what you mean...I don't plan on totally dropping any of the particular openings I play, but I was thinking of trying some new stuff. One part of me says there's still a lot to learn in the openings I play, while another part wants to just explore some new stuff for fun. Until I get a handle on any new openings, I have a repertoire I don't need to work on too much. I try not to emphasize opening study too much in any case, but sometimes it is just fun to try new stuff. So I'm still deciding on a long term plan.

I also realize that my openings are not my biggest weakness, but besides just tackling our weaknesses, we should try to have fun in chess too. For me, that includes trying out new openings, including studying whole master games with resulting middle game and endgame study as well. So my recent blog post just summarized a few ideas on how to go about building an opening repertoire.

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backrankbrawler

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:22 am
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