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.
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.