Getting Back into the Swing

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For the last several years I’ve “worked” on chess every day. Loose emphasis on the word worked.

Adult Improver Dr. Vishu Sreekumar made the point on Ben Johnson’s Perpetual Chess podcast that you can’t truly improve at chess without some level of obsessions. You can hear that episode here.

I think that incremental improvements can be made without that level of obsession, but I do think that Dr. Sreekumar’s point is well taken…it’s not possible to make sizeable improvements at chess without an almost fanatical pursuit of that goal.

I’ve been definitely doing the work that is needed to stay at the same level that I have been, and to slowly, gradually, improve.

For example, I’ve been working on learning to properly evaluate positions, and while I’m still light years from where I want to be, I’m certainly far better than I was even just a couple of months ago.

I have been working on tactics every day, and that will never stop. I will put in the work there.

I have a set repertoire as Black and will begin learning it deeply. Soon I’ll do the same for White.

Mostly though, I’m itching for OTB to come back.

What do all of these things add up to? Let’s be honest…right now, not a whole lot. I need to gather the inner fire to push through obsessively for a while. It’s time to make the push to drive to 1900.

That will require some sacrifice. TV time, family time, etc. Am I ready? I guess we’ll find out.

One thing I have been going as part of my training is playing through games such as this one:

Instead of just flipping through the moves and maybe taking note of the killing blow I actually work through these. In his game, for instance, I’m fascinated by the sequence which starts with 19.e5 and goes through 25.f5.

Will I make that next level? Time will tell.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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