We’re coming up on the conclusion of the first quarter of the book challenge, so I thought I’d take a step back and look at what has gone well and what could still use a lot more effort.
First, let’s look at the objective measure of the whole thing…rating. Since the book challenge officially began on 2/11/17 my rating has essentially stayed flat. In fact, if you look at my MSA page here you will see that in that time I have gone from 1804 to 1790 to 1801 to 1785 to 1801.
So actually I am down three points. Not so much of a plus when you realize that my goal was to make 1925 by the end of the book challenge.
That, however, brings me to my next point, which is to ask this question: why has my rating pinballed within that narrow range over the past three months. The most accurate answer is, I believe, the fact that I haven’t been playing enough.
Yes, I have been playing one club game each week, but that’s it. In fact, in the last 12 months I have played only 50 regular rated games. That’s not going to be enough to break away from the luck factor.
Let’s face it, it’s not farfetched at all for a club player to play either 200 points above or 200 points below their rating on any given night. However, the more you play the more consistent you get, which stops the bouncing. In the tournaments where I lost points I was inevitably held to a draw by, or had a loss to, a lower rated opponent while not managing to offset that with enough wins/draws against higher rated opposition.
So the first hope is that more events means more consistent performance.
The second hope for more events is that more games means more chances to work what I’m learning into my own praxis. Of course that’s vital. It’s one thing to esoterically acquire knowledge about a subject such as positional chess, but quite another to put that knowledge to practical use.
As far as the learning itself, I do feel that is coming along great. My tactics and positional play have clearly gotten better as you can see by my last two posts. So now I just have to keep that up and make sure that I continue to drive home new learning.
So what could use more work? Two things in particular. I need to keep working hardcore on board vision. I’m hoping that continued work on tactics will eventually get the board vision where it needs to be.
I also, according to Yusupov’s book, need a lot more work on converting material advantages in the most efficient way possible.
OK, I’m exhausted. It’s 7:12pm and I need to meet a friend at 2:15am to head up North for opening day of open water fishing season 2017. Then back to my friends Gelfand and Yusupov for the rest of the weekend.
Til Next Time,