After some consideration I have decided to dedicate 10 hours a week to chess study during term-time. “10 hours a week?”, I hear you cry! “10 hours a day would not be sufficient!” Well, perhaps it’s not enough, but I think it’s important to start with a manageable plan. If I find I’m coping easily, I can increase it. Conversely, during exam period or when I have big assignments due in, I can decrease the number of hours. The one thing I don’t want to do is start trying to cram chess into every waking moment, only to burn out quickly and stop abruptly. I know from experience that my ‘8-hours-a-day revision plans’ mean nothing will get done, but with a more modest aim then constructive work can be achieved. As for the other objection, that 10 hours a week is too much as I have a degree to pass; well, that still leaves 30 hours of the working week, which is more than enough for any degree if used efficiently.
I intend to split the time up roughly into one hour every weekday, and two and a half hours each day of the weekend. Half an hour each morning, before I go to lectures, will be spent on solving tactics problems. I still make lots of blunders, and my calculating ability really needs to be improved, so I think this may be the most important thing to do for a while. Every evening I’ll spend at least half an hour playing online games, or doing bookwork. Bookwork at the moment will consist mainly of working through Silman’s ‘How To Reassess Your Chess’, Maurice Ashley’s ‘The Secret To Chess’, or chess.com video lectures which I’m currently trying out. The extra time at the weekend will be spent on longer games, more bookwork or preparing for my weekly lesson with GM Damian Lemos.
Each week I will post a summary of what I have achieved, either on the main page or on a separate page made for this purpose, in order to hold myself to account. Comments or suggestions on my schedule are very welcome.