I managed 12 hours 50 minutes of chess over the past week, which is ok for the last week of term. Here’s the breakdown:
Monday: ~1 hour 40 minutes working through Joe Gallagher’s ‘Starting Out: The King’s Indian’, 15 minutes watching Bazna end-of-round videos
Wednesday: ~3 hours at the City club analysing Bazna and other games and playing a 15-minute game
Friday: ~1 and a half hours playing and analysing with a uni friend
Saturday: ~2 hours 10 minutes working through the Gallagher book, 35 minutes playing 2x 15-minute games on ICC
Sunday: ~2 hours 50 minutes on the Gallagher book, 50 minutes studying Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
I’m at home now and am finding myself a little distracted by Wimbledon, a Roger Waters gig and meeting old school friends, so I’m unlikely to manage the 40 hour target this week. I’m still undecided about which tournaments to play this summer; my first will probably be either the British Major Open or the Czech Open.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been on holiday to Turkey and have been otherwise fairly busy with end-of-term stuff, so I’ve only managed about 6 hours over the last fortnight. I’ve also been following the tournament in Bazna, but haven’t included time going over those games in my report. Here’s the breakdown:
Monday: 15 minutes CT-Art
Tuesday: 30 minutes analysing games with derfel
Wednesday: 15 minutes CT-Art, ~2 hours at Durham City Club watching FM David Eggleston go over one of his games and playing 15-minute games with a strong player
Thursday: ~1 hour reading ‘My Great Predecessors’
Thursday: ~an hour and a half reading ‘My Great Predecessors’ (on the flight home)
Friday: 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training
Saturday: 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training and 10 minutes reviewing mistakes
I don’t expect to get a great deal done this week, but after that I will be home and starting my 40 hour weekly target.
I did about 15 hours 40 minutes this week:
Tuesday (31st): 10 minutes ICC TrainingBot, ~45 minutes playing 3-minute games with derfel(GM), ~1 hour 40 minutes analysing past games with derfel, 30 minutes playing and analysing a 15-minute game
Friday: ~40 minutes preparation for a game with a friend, ~4 hours playing and analysing with said friend, ~4 hours playing ICC Open qualifiers, ~30 minutes analysing ICC Open games
Saturday: ~3 and a half hours playing ICC Open qualifiers (best result was 6.5/11, which may or may not be enough for a rating prize, and I beat a GM but also lost some games to lower-rated players)
From tomorrow until the following Thursday I’m going to Turkey for a week with friends, so this will probably be the last report until I get back. Following comments on my last post I’m now seriously considering spending the summer playing European rather than British tournaments.
This summer is make-or-break for the ‘road to Grandmaster’. No, I don’t expect to make GM (or close) in three months, nor is there technically any time limit on my ambitions, but if I don’t make significant progress now then I doubt I ever will.
With that in mind, I intend to dedicate July, August and September largely to chess improvement. I’m open to suggestions on how best to use that time; in particular if anyone knows of any good chess camps or training opportunities I’d be interested to know. In the absence of any special opportunities arising, my basic plan is as follows.
Aim for 40 hours’ study per week. This time will be split roughly evenly between opening, middlegame and endgame training, with plenty of tactics problems. However, I don’t intend to try to divide the time up too strictly as I think that can decrease productivity.
I also plan to play in several tournaments. Ones I’m considering include the 11-round British Major Open in late July and early August, the e2e4 Uxbridge International in mid-August, the Paignton Congress in early September, the e2e4 Sunningdale Congress in mid-September and the e2e4 Gatwick Premier at the end of September. I’m also open to the idea of travelling to a tournament or two in mainland Europe (if my bank balance is healthy enough).