Monthly Archives: July 2011

British Championship update

I’m currently playing in the British Major Open, and I thought I’d use the rest day to give a quick update here.  So far it’s going rather well; I’m on 4/6, with a rating performance of 2184.  I need 3.5/5 in week 2 in order to qualify for next year’s British Championship (main section), so that’s the aim.

In other news, the new English Chess Federation grades came out last week, and I’ve had a modest increase to 162.  However, this was quite heavily affected by my poor performance in Paignton at the start of the season; if this was discounted (which seems reasonable, given that I was just starting to study then), my new grade would be in the 170s.  My ECF performance at the Major Open so far is exactly 200, but it remains to be seen whether I can maintain that level over an extended period.

Weekly Progress Report #41

As predicted in WPR 40, my girlfriend was a highly disruptive influence last week, so I only managed about 13 hours.  This week will be largely about getting a few repertoire tweaks in some sort of working order in time for the Major Open which starts next week.  Hic naufragii (yes, I know that’s wrong):

Monday: 30 minutes CT-Art 4.0, 30 minutes opening work

Tuesday: 2 hours 25 minutes (car journey) opening work

Wednesday: 1 hour lesson with GM Damian Lemos

Thursday: Nowt

Friday: 3 hours playing, analysing and discussing ways to train with an old friend from junior tournaments

Saturday/Sunday: A considerable amount of time reading about and thinking about the optimal way to train.  I’ll guess at 6 hours.

As can be seen above, I’m currently having a minor crisis about how to train, but I intend to set this aside, at least to an extent, until after my two upcoming tournaments (which can be seen on the calendar page).

Weekly Progress Report #40

I’ve had a good week, managing 40 hours and 20 minutes of study.  This has been split between tactics problems (CT-Art 4.0), opening study (various top-secret sources), middlegame study (How To Reassess Your Chess, 4th edition), endgame study (Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual) and a few online 15-minute games.  I’ve also restarted lessons after a break with GM Damian Lemos.  Hier ist die Aufteilung:

Monday: 60 minutes solving CT-Art 4.0 tactics problems, 3 hours 5 minutes reading Silman’s ‘How To Reassess Your Chess’, 30 minutes opening work, 30 minutes playing an ICC 15-minute game and 40 minutes analysing it

Tuesday: 35 minutes CT-Art, 1 hour 20 minutes studying Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, 1 hour 40 minutes Reassessing My Chess, 70 minutes lesson with GM Damian Lemos, 40 minutes reviewing lesson material, 50 minutes opening work, 50 minutes playing & analysing an ICC 15-minute game

Wednesday: 60 minutes CT-Art, 1 hour 25 minutes Silman, 1 hour 40 minutes opening work, 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training

Thursday: 65 minutes CT-Art, 1 hour 30 minutes Dvoretsky, 2 hours 10 minutes opening work, 20 minutes playing an ICC 15-minute game, 15 minutes playing a couple of training games with chessdi

Friday: 30 minutes CT-Art, 50 minutes Dvoretsky, 1 hour 45 minutes listening to Chess Talk with Levon Aronian (not wholly instructional, but did include a nice annotated game), 55 minutes playing & analysing an ICC 15-minute game, ~40 minutes opening work

Saturday: 50 minutes CT-Art, 1 hour 40 minutes Silman, 1 hour 30 minutes opening work, 1 hour 5 minutes playing an ICC 15-minute game and reviewing the opening

Sunday: 1 hour 30 minutes CT-Art, 2 hours 30 minutes Dvoretsky, 2 hours Silman, 2 hours 20 minutes opening work, 40 minutes playing and analysing a few ICC and PlayChess games

I won’t be able to manage 40 hours this week, as my girlfriend’s visiting.  See you next week.

Weekly Progress Report #39

Hello and welcome to another weekly round-up.  I do intend to do these on Monday, but a casual observer would be forgiven for assuming that I used a random number generator to decide on which day of the week to write them.  The bad news is that, as predicted in WPR #38, last week wasn’t particularly productive; I only managed 4 hours 55 minutes.  The good news is that I’m now in an excellent routine, and am on course to manage 40 hours this week.  Voici la répartition:

Monday: Nowt

Tuesday: 1 hour 5 minutes working through Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual

Wednesday: 1 hour reading Gallagher’s Starting Out: The King’s Indian, 15 minutes ICC TrainingBot

Thursday: 30 minutes finishing off Gallagher’s book (which I found to be a useful refresher even though I’ve played the King’s Indian for years), 10 minutes playing an ICC 15-minute game, 50 minutes Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual

Friday: 1 hour 10 minutes starting to read Silman’s (recently rewritten) classic ‘How To Reassess Your Chess’

Saturday: 5 minutes PlayChess tactics training

Sunday: 40 minutes Reassess Your Chess

The second piece of bad news is that I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t afford to play tournaments in Europe this summer.  The corresponding piece of good news is that I will be active on the British tournament circuit, and so far have entered the British Major Open and the e2e4 Sunningdale International.  Both are FIDE-rated, and both should offer a relatively strong and uniform field (in particular the latter, which is a round robin).