“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Term is over, and with the Christmas holidays comes the chance to do some serious training. I’ll be aiming for 30 hours a week, with the exception of this week as Christmas will get in the way. I intend to do 5 hours a day, which leaves 1 day a week spare for a break or for making up the hours if I haven’t managed them earlier in the week. The daily plan is as follows:
1 hour of tactics problems
Sources: Chess Tempo, ICC TrainingBot, PlayChess tactics trainer, and CT-Art 4.0 if I can get it to work
Method: I will alternate between sources, using them approximately evenly. With TrainingBot I will continue to use JimGrange’s method, as described here.
1 hour of opening study
Sources: Various DVDs, books, databases, chess engines and online sources
Method: I will be creating ChessBase databases covering my repertoire, using all of the above-named sources to determine the most desirable moves.
1 hour of middlegame study
Sources: Jeremy Silman’s How to Reassess Your Chess, Garry Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors: Part 1, Maurice Ashley’s ‘The Secret To Chess’
Method: I will be changing the source each day, and so should use each twice a week. After looking over my games, Ken Neat, the leader of Durham City Chess Club, has suggested that a more thorough grounding in classic games would be of benefit, which is why I will be studying ‘My Great Predecessors’.
1 hour of endgame study
Sources: Mark Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
Method: A thorough, cover-to-cover study, with a board and a computer engine running to answer any questions about variations which the book doesn’t explain.
1 hour of miscellaneous study
Method: This can include playing and analysing games, or extra time on any of the previously mentioned areas. Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, it will consist of working through Livshitz’s ‘Test Your Chess IQ: book 2’ (probably this, though my copy has a different cover).
I will also be playing at least one more Team 45 45 league game, and will be going to the London Junior Chess Championships from the 28th to the 30th, which will disrupt the schedule but will certainly be useful. I haven’t put very much playing into the plan, as I will try to do a lot of that in tournaments and league games next term. As always, I’d be interested to know your thoughts, and any suggested improvements.