Since last October I've had no chance to play "live" tournament chess, and much of my chess activity has consisted of 3 0 and 0 5 at FICS. When I have 20-30 minutes of free time for chess it's been tempting to dash off a few quick games.
This has, predictably, done nothing for my development as a chess player. So, in the spirit of chess- and self-improvement epitomized by GM Nigel Davies and his Chess Improver blog, I am changing things up for awhile:
1) No blitz for the rest of the summer. If I have at least a 30-minute window for play, I'll play a minimum 15 0 game.
2) I purchased Ray Cheng's excellent Practical Chess Excercises for use in those short windows of time where otherwise no useful study could take place. This book has gotten great reviews as study material, and I think it is reasonable to expect to get through all the diagrams once this summer.
3) As a change of pace, I'm going to aim at being able to play the "Top 10" (K+P v. K, Lucena and such) most common endgame positions "like a machine" by the end of the summer. I worked on this briefly a couple of years ago and it helped a lot (especially at blitz!) and I think this is a basic that I'm still incomplete in.
4) Analysis of my own games. I will post some of them here, for you the reader's entertainment/instruction/amusement.
Unless I also get a chance to play some rated games, this will be my exclusive focus for the next three months. I will also be interested in seeing if this will result in a measurable increase in my blitz rating after that. Ought to be interesting!