Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Year in My Chess Life

While I haven't written anything here for three weeks, I haven't been entirely idle on the chess front, my main activity being the study of my own games as part of the program in Rolf Wetzell's Chess Master...at any age. It's been a revelation, not just in learning from my mistakes, but in a way that Wetzell talked about but I hadn't really experienced before--how painful it is to really study and critique your own efforts.

I'm almost ashamed to admit how little I have done in this area in the 26 years of my tournament chess career, usually preferring to move on to the next game rather than analyze the one recently completed. Often the immediate postmortem was the only study I gave to a tournament game, and the circumstances of tournament play at the Reno Chess Club have made even that difficult over the last year. So the deeper study of six or seven games from the last six months for 1-2 hours each has been difficult--but also a revelation.

I'm now convinced, more than ever, that my understanding of chess is at least that of an 1800-1900 player (and indeed, I was once rated 1825), and perhaps equal to that of some Experts, but that I'll have to bring that understanding to bear in practical games more frequently and consistently in order to move up the ladder.

I'll be returning to tournament play in the city class championships in about four weeks, and we'll see how much my efforts ahve paid off then, in the fire of competition.

At the beginning of 2006 I set a goal of a 1700+ rating by the end of that year. I am still at my floor of 1600 as of today. I again say to the chess world (heh, I'm sure it's sitting up and taking notice!) that by the end of 2007 I will be over 1700. Now let's see if I can make good on that.

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