My Chess Study Going Forwards, and Misc. Stuff

My last post drew a few responses from two readers, so I thought I’d answer them while also going through my general plan for the next 2-3 months.

I’m currently taking a small break from chess, in that I’m currently not actively studying or playing.  This is a mental break for me.  I recently got a new job in addition to my old one, and I’m working 11-12 hours each day.  I think I’ve earned a small break.

Image result for endgame expert

When I feel recharged, I’ll be studying chess for 30-60min each day.  I have two goals.  First, I want to go through Smirnov’s course Endgame Expert, thus addressing my main weakness.  This will be the bulk of my study.  In addition, though, I want to learn the King’s Indian Defence, so I’ll be looking through KID games as a secondary focus.  Maybe.  I’m not completely sure yet.

[Note, in terms of my blog, I have two games worth of analysis nearly done.  I just need to add comments and export it to the web, so expect some content over the next two weeks … just less than normal.]

During this time, I will play very little if any chess.  When I study chess, it’s akin to playing.  I look at a given position, analyze it and then predict a move.  If I get it right, great, keep going.  If not, I try to figure out why and then keep going.  In essence, this is the same as me playing against a GM, as I’m going through the whole game thinking about every move, wondering what I would do and then analyzing the opponent’s reply.

This takes quite a long time.  It makes no sense to go through games quickly.  GMs put multiple hours into each game; can I really expect to just put in 10min and learn very much?  Not really.  Depending on game length, I average about an hour for a game, but because I’ll be focusing on endgames and I’m not very confident here, it may take even longer.

I won’t lie, it is a lot of work, and sometimes it’s not very fun, but this type of studying really seems to work.  In 2015, I used something similar, studying GMPU for three months and then spending the rest of the year zooming past my old best rating.  I’m hoping something similar happens here.

First things first, though.  I get my March Break, and then I’ll worry about all the details.

3 thoughts on “My Chess Study Going Forwards, and Misc. Stuff

  1. CitronJeune

    Hey SmithyQ !

    Thank you very much for explaining your study plan and answering in this article. I’m glad to see your results.

    PS: Thank you Gringo I read your post and it “light” me a bit more.

    Keep going !

  2. Gringo

    What’s ‘troubleing’ is that there isn’t an easy way to win games. With the knowledge about positional understanding a small advantage can be had but then it has to be maintained for several moves before it causes the other side to get tangled up. This is especially true for B and N interplay. My idea that somehow some magical knowledge would have removed all obstacles was an inaccuracy, especially against equal or better players.

  3. JP Post author

    As I’ve become a better play, I’ve been amazed at how often the other side has had counter chances to get back into the game. I see more resources for both sides, and it really highlights how you are rarely ever completely out of the game.

    Also, while my analysis is often calm and level-headed, my thought process in game is more ‘worried’ if that makes sense. Similar to what you wrote, I know I have a positional advantage, but I don’t know if it’s enough to win, and it isn’t obvious how to go forward, and if I make one inaccurate move then my advantage and all that hard work vanishes into the aether.

    After the fact it often looks easy, but during game I’m nowhere near as confident. That’s why I try not to think in terms of winning advantages or whatnot. Just play good moves. If I play good moves, I won’t lose. Avoid blunders. I might not win, but I won’t lose, either… and more often than not, my opponent makes the first mistake and everything is okay.

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