Sunday, December 22, 2013

2014 Chess season preview:

The 2014 chess season is about to begin. Five upcoming tournaments in the next few months. Rochester Chess Club January, Minnesota Winter, Rochester Winter, Minnesota Open, Rochester Chess Club March. A total of 23 rated games is possible.

The scholastic season also stretches over the next three months culminating in the Minnesota Scholastic tournament in March. The high school team I coach is lacking dedicated players. Only one high school student has shown up at the club meetings. I am bringing up some middle schools students who show some promise, and starting a chess club at the middle school that feeds the high school.

I don't expect to break 2000 rating this season. I need to do a lot of work to get to expert strength, but I know how to get there.

Expert strength should come for me by working on better understanding of endings and my openings. A lot of this is the drudgery of memorization. I need to keep my other skills sharp and my interest up by doing problems and playing. I also need to do better at strategic thinking on my opponents clock (too much time spent on  speculative precise tactical calculation)

I still need one or more breakthroughs in understanding to reach master level. I did very poorly on the quiz positions in Soltis's What It Takes to Become a Chess Master, so I think I will wait on his new book. Annotating and memorizing master games is my main approach here. I have a target of annotating three master games from the Kaufman repertoire a month, that I will include in the Following Kaufman ebook periodical. I should annotate and memorize one Grandmaster game a month from the "62 Most Instructive Games". I should finish "Capablanca's Best Endgames".

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the hard work Rob and I'd be willing to bet money you'll reach expert in your next 23 games. 2014 is your year for the breakthrough!

    If the opening memorization feels like a chore maybe take a month break from the openings and read some of the other books you listed. With the tournament season starting up it'll be important to keep up on the tactics.