I exceeded the target this week, managing 32 hours. I didn’t use my holiday training plan, but instead decided to take advantage of a bimonthly event on the Internet Chess Club, the ‘marathon’. This is a 24-hour series of continuous tournaments, in several sections, of which I chose the 15-minute section (the longest time control). I played in every round but one, when I missed the start of a new tournament due to an extended post-mortem with my opponent. The rationale behind playing this event in preference to studying normally is that I hope the experience may help me to cope better with playing when very tired, such as on the first day of the British Rapidplay.
Playing chess almost continuously for 24 hours was an interesting experience, made more tiring by the fact that I used a lot of the time between rounds to analyse games from previous rounds. My level fluctuated during the event, and I made a fair number of blunders, but I also had some good games, managing to beat a 2150+ twice and also achieving a winning position against a 2300 (which I later blew). I finished strongly, winning the last tournament and coming third overall in terms of cumulative points scored over the course of the marathon. I’d like to share my final game of the event:
I did a small amount of training during the rest of the week, so here’s the usual breakdown:
Monday: 30 minutes opening preparation
Tuesday: 3 hours local league game (Somerset league rather than Durham league, as I’m at home at the moment)
Wednesday: 20 minutes ICC TrainingBot
Thursday: 45 minutes studying Kasparov’s ‘My Great Predecessors, part 1’ – I’m in two minds about whether to play through the games in this quite quickly, as I’m just trying to get a general ‘grounding’ in the classics, or whether to study all the games in depth – thoughts welcome, 2 hours 40 minutes playing games at my local chess club
Friday: 20 minutes opening preparation, 10 minutes PlayChess tactics training + 5 minutes reviewing mistakes
Saturday: 10 minutes playing blitz games with GM derfel, 7 hours playing in the ICC marathon
Sunday: final 17 hours of the ICC marathon
This coming week will be disrupted as I’m travelling back up to Durham tomorrow, and will be spending some time helping my girlfriend collect river water samples for her dissertation. I’ve been collecting canal water samples today in a very unusual way – more on that later! Added to this I still have some of the excessive amount of uni work I was set over the holidays to do, so I’m moving back to the term-time 10 hour weekly schedule a week early.