So of course, after summing up 2017, the next logical question is what will 2018 hold?
I mentioned in my last post that I think that there are some things which hampered me in 2017 from a rating standpoint which I intend the work on in 2018. The main one is both the number of games played and the places in which they were played.
Heading in to next year I am set up to play quite a bit more than I have been. While I will only be playing a couple of events in Waukesha most likely, I will be playing much more on the weekends. So my plan is to wind up somewhere around 100 games played in 2018 as opposed to the 56 I played in 2017.
As many of these games will be played in weekend events I am hoping to wind up playing a wider variety of people. One of the challenges with playing the same people over and over is that it can create some outlier results.
For example, there are two players who I play rather often…Shaunak and Rishav Bhattacharyya. Both are juniors who are improving. Lately they have managed to have good results against me, with Shaunak scoring a couple of wins, and Rishav a couple of draws.
However, they also play in the same closed pool as I, which means that we just trade rating points amongst each other instead of going outside the pool.
I also play Jim Coons all the time, and I have a horrible record against him even though our ratings are usually within 100 points of each other. So that artificially affects my rating. Much as I had the opposite effect when I played a local expert who I managed to draw in all three games when I was rated 1600 or so. That artificially increased my rating.
So going outside the pool will be a vital measure for me.
While the Quality Chess Challenge will be ending soon (Feb 2018) I do plan on sticking with using mostly Quality Chess products in my improvement as it’s clear by pretty much everything they put out that they take improvement quite serious.
From the highest quality opening books, to the Yusupov series and Jacob’s GM Prep series there is literally something for everyone.
One thing that I will make more use of in the new year is the CT Art app which I have on my phone. Comprised of the Blokh puzzles, and structured in such as way as to ensure maximum learning, I feel that this should be a way in which to increase my tactical vision well beyond where it is now.
I also need to take more lessons. I haven’t quite worked this part out as lessons are expensive, so it always becomes a matter of where to put my resources…into more playing or more lessons.
I will absolutely work on more consistent studying. One thing I have seen Susan Polgar mention over and over is that champions train when everyone else is sleeping/watching TV/partying/whatever. Some nights I’m exhausted and decide to go to bed without studying at all. Next year I will not allow that to happen. The only times where I will not study are when prior plans do not allow for it. Even then I’ll try to get some tactics training in.
My main goal for 2018 is to get my rating over 1900, which will be a first. So far my peak rating was 1896, though clearly I was nowhere near that strength.
I’ll break this down into smaller plans over the next few days and post them here.
Til Next Time,