Weekly Progress Report #2

The target this week was ten hours again.  Like last week, I exceeded it, doing about thirteen hours; like last week, the intended subdivision of the time was not exactly followed.  For the coming week I will have the same target, but I will attempt to include some ‘visualisation training’ (e.g. here or here), possibly eating into the tactics allowance a little.  A breakdown of my week’s training follows:

Monday 18th: 40 minutes ICC TrainingBot (tactics problems), 30 minutes looking over Najdorf games (in a database sent by Blitz-King), 20 minutes playing a 15 0 game

Tuesday 19th: 30 minutes TrainingBot

Wednesday 20th: 30 minutes TrainingBot, 2 hours 20 minutes playing a local league game, an hour and a half in the ‘Woody’ (local pub) going over the evening’s games – I have divided this time by three according to the formula Useful training time = Total time / Number of pints consumed + 1.

Thursday 21st: 30 minutes TrainingBot, 25 minutes playing a 15 0 game + brief analysis

Friday 22nd: 30 minutes TrainingBot, 100 minutes playing 3x 15 0 games + brief analysis, 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training, 30 minutes writing notes on the French Defense Tarrasch variation after 3…Nc6

Saturday 23rd: 10 minutes TrainingBot, 15 minutes visualisation training, 2 hours at Durham uni chess society (most of which was spent playing strong opposition, including FM David Eggleston)

Sunday 24th: 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training, 35 minutes blitz with GM derfel, 40 minutes chess.com video: Recent Trends In the French; Tarrasch by IM Thomas Rendle

A post about my last two league games, both of which I won, but neither of which I won by playing well, will follow soon.

8 thoughts on “Weekly Progress Report #2

  1. Given that you are a university student with the potential to do well (if you want to be GM this must be so), then if I were you I’d cut it back to a more sustainable workload like 5-6 hours per week .

    And take your girl friend out somewhere special (soon!)

    [Haven’t spotted you on ‘PlayChess’ yet]

    1. 10 hours seems sustainable at the moment, but I’m prepared to cut back if I need to. I’ll take your advice about the gf. 😉
      I’ve been spending more time on ICC than PlayChess recently. One of the reasons is that I can’t get PlayChess to make sounds when the pieces move (despite checking the option for that and reading all the help files).

  2. It may be just me but looking at your progress report i cannot see a decent plan in it. Only you playing with TrainingBot is a consistency. For the rest their is no direction to be found. Isn’t it better to make a more solid plan like each day 30 minutes of TrainingBot, for monday add 30 to 60 minutes of opening study and fill the rest of the time with 15 minutes rapid games, for tuesday add 30 to 60 minutes of visualisation training and fill the rest of the time with 15 minutes rapid games, for wednesday add playing competitive chess at chess club followed by game analyse, …?

    I think that with a more structured plan the benefits will be higher then just pick at random what you like to do. That way you also do what you dislike or not feel like doing.

    1. Yes, you make a good point. I’ll have a think on Sunday about introducing more structure for next week. The problem with too fixed a structure is that it may be difficult to stick to it, as sometimes I can’t manage to do much on one day, but make it up on another. Still, I haven’t really made any progress with the book I’m supposed to be reading (How To Reassess Your Chess), so dividing up the hours more strictly is probably worthwhile.

      1. hello will,

        maybe you should divide training your subconscious and training your skill and knowledge (since i have read “chess for zebra’s” i believe knowledge is overrated!!)

        you need longer sessions for skill (playing long games/ analysing)
        the same goes for gathering knowledge (reading)

        i believe tactics, quick games, clicking trough mastergames etc. train your intuition. this can be done during breakfast, lunch or when you have 5 minutes…. subcounscously you take it in?!

        maybe it’s usefull to structure long sessions and just
        fill your brain with positions every other time you can.

        this is what i plan to do…… well not during breakfast and lunch….but i don”t plan to be a GM.


  3. Hi Will,

    Very interesting project you have going here. Of course all chess players want to improve, that is one of the things that drives us. I have well over a hundred books (most unread).
    I have my own Darlington Chess club blog (http://darlingtonchessclub.blogspot.com/) and I have added you as a link. I’m following you progress and no doubt we will meet over the board when Darlington play Durham B again (Durham B 5 Darlington A 0 last fixture).
    I use CT-art 3.0 to practise tactics I would recommend it. Although you have witnessed how underwhelming my tactics prowess is first hand, so feel free to ignore as you wish.

    Anyway good luck. I’m sure that focused study will improve your play no matter what.


    1. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the link, and your blog looks good. I prepared for your Scotch Gambit again for our match with Darlington A, but found you had been promoted to board 2. I look forward to playing you in the next match if you’re back on board 3.
      I purchased CT-Art 4.0 a while ago, but still can’t get the thing to work, so at the moment I’m using other sources for tactics training.


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