Sunday, October 26, 2014


life got really wild about a month and a half ago.  with four kids in three different schools and numerous activities going on; with a ramp-up in work - every new day and week brought more and more work and things to do.

then our home was burglarized; part of it was ransacked.  ever since, we've been trying to recover and get back to a somewhat normal life.

chess took a backseat, obviously.  i've not done any work at chesstempo or started any new games at since the middle of september.

while we were reassembling our home, i took the opportunity to do some reevaluation of what i'm focused on in life.  a part of that was figuring out what i should do with chess.  i love solving chess problems, but i'm beginning to wonder if that really is helping improve my game.  on top of that, i don't regularly play.  i had a number of correspondence games going, but not much beyond those.  although i have been playing more with my younger son - who has taken a big interest in chess when i introduced him to Fritz and Chesster a couple of weeks ago.

i don't quite know what my new routine will look like, but i know i need to play lots more games; i know i like solving problems at chesstempo; and i'm trying to experiment with AOX's suggestion at Chess GYM (attackers).  i'm up to around 17 pieces a minute now.

the one constraint i have is time.  i estimate i have about 10 hours a week to dedicate to training and playing.

so, with all that said, a high level view of my plan looks like this:
- during the week, do 30 minutes of tactics at CT; play a 15 0 game at (during lunch)
- spend an hour an evening going over correspondence games at night
- play a 30 0, or 60 0 game Sunday night
- somewhere in there, i need to spend some time reading books (i'd like to actually use the books i have, which are just collecting dust)

any suggestions from my dear readers?  what should i focus on?  how do i maximize my results for improving, given my time constraint?


  1. I doubt that solving chessproblems will help you "a lot". It is often suggested that something like 25% of the trainingtime should be used for tactics ( to stay "sharp" ) .
    I think the best method to improve your OTB play : analyse your games ( with the aid of an engine and / or a ( much ) better player if available ), try to understand what you made wrong and what should be done better and read or watch at youtube mastergames with good comments
    ( look for seirawan, Manju2006, chessnetwork, onlinechesslessions, MSK chess,........ at youtube for example )
    put same rattlesnakes in your closets and get a mashine-gun for your other problems ;)

  2. Whenever I focus on tactics, I see direct and positive results in my games, so that is a good idea. I agree that analysing your own games ( without an engine ) helps, and also playing through a game self-annotated by a master is helpful.

    Occasionally, I look at tactics during my lunch break, but it rarely works for me. I couldn't find a quiet enough space to play a game properly at work.

    Best advice would be that whatever you do, make sure taht you only single-task on chess during that time !