Weekly Progress Reports #74-75

Over the last fortnight I’ve done a little over 9 hours of chess.  In the first week the time was split (mainly) between a league game and analysing a couple of my games.  The league game wasn’t a great success, as I ended up drawing against a somewhat lower-rated player.  I played a line I had previously played against the same player, and he had prepared a forcing line which was unknown to me and took us into a very level position.  In my efforts firstly to avoid falling into a trap and secondly to generate some winning chances I consumed a lot of time while he used very little, and was obliged to accept his draw offer when it came.

In the second week the majority of my time was spent playing and analysing my game in the 5th round of the club championship.  I eventually managed to overcome my young and relatively inexperienced opponent, but he put up a spirited fight.

Finally, I’d like to address a question I received in a comment recently, in case others are wondering the same: ‘Given your relative lack of recent activity and progress, have you given up?’  No, I’ve not given up, but I am focusing very much on finishing the 4th and final year of my degree at the moment, so chess is currently not my top priority.  It’s likely that I will have a gap year or few months after my degree to focus on chess, but what I do after uni is quite a big decision and I won’t decide on any plans for certain until after I graduate in June.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Progress Reports #74-75

  1. Hey mate,
    Am curious as to why you’re using Dvoretsky. His work is usually recommended for players already at elite level.

    A few recommendations- ‘Good move guide’ by Bent Larsen really makes you work hard. And “pawn structure chess” by Soltis is the best book I’ve read. Neither are up to date with the latest theory but both will improve your chess in huge ways!

    good luck!

    1. Hi Paul,

      The only Dvoretsky book I’ve used is his Endgame Manual. This is generally regarded as the best endgame book for an ambitious player of my level (and sometimes lower) to study. (For example, Monokroussos suggests 1800-1900 and up here and Silman even recommends it for 1400 and up.)

      Thanks for your recommendations – I’ll consider them in June when I start thinking again about what to study.


  2. From your posts I understand that a lot of your chess-time goes into analysing your own games, sometimes up to several hours per game. My question is: how exactly do you analyse your games and what do you get out of it?

    Apologies if you have answered this question already in previous posts or replies to comments. If so, please let me know where I can find your remarks regarding this.

    1. Hi Peter,

      I don’t recall addressing this question before. I usually do a post-mortem analysis with my opponent after the game, then look up the opening in my database or books to see where we departed from theory, before finally going over the whole game with a strong chess engine like Houdini. By doing this I hope to avoid making the same opening mistakes in future games, and also to identify any systematic flaws in my play or thinking (for example, I might always defend too passively when my king is under attack, or always misplay isolated queen’s pawn positions). Even though I spend quite a lot of time on analysing my games, most are still not analysed to my satisfaction – you can always find new things – and many remain lightly analysed or not at all. Here are a couple of articles on the topic which I found interesting:


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