How Early is Too Early?

One thing I’ve read time and again by people working to improve is that often times they give themselves more time to improve by working on chess first thing in the morning while getting up earlier in order to do so.

I often work on chess early in the morning, especially on weekends, but normally I sort of get into the groove with some playing through games, etc.  This reminds me of an older gentleman who lives in Chicago named Vladimir who, prior to a tournament game, likes to find someone who’ll just make 10-15 moves on the board with him.

The idea is just to get used to moving the pieces and staying in theory.  Once the position gets to a point where either side would have to think he’ll reset the pieces so it can be done again.

He calls this “priming the pump” and it’s an interesting approach.  His philosophy is that shuffling a little bit of wood will get the brain up to speed on piece coordination prior to the game.

So this morning I decided to do my 15 minutes of tactics first thing.  Like immediately.  I woke up, went downstairs to my chess lab, and set the timer and off I went.

Here are the results…

Date Day Correct/Missed
7/1/2018 Day 1 16/5
7/2/2018 Day 2 16/6
7/3/2018 Day 3 22/4
7/4/2018 Day 4 20/3
7/5/2018 Day 5 11/3

As you can see, the results were slightly out of whack.  The percentage doesn’t seem too out of line with prior results, but the number solved is far off the mark.

Granted, a sample size of one may be statistically insignificant, but I can tell you that I felt slow when I was solving.

So there seems to be something said for priming the pump.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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