Long time readers of this blog have probably heard me mention Ben Johnson’s podcast Perpetual Chess.
I really enjoy the podcast, and I typically get a lot of interesting tidbits out of the interviews. There have been interviews with people I have been friends with for years where I still learn all kinds of cool information.
This week’s episode was a bit different from the normal interview of either a titled player or someone running a chess business. This week Ben kicked off his Adult Improver series where he will conduct interviews from time to time with adults who are working to improve as players.
For the inaugural episode he chose Polish CM Andrzej Krzywda. Andrzej is an interesting case study. He’s 38 with a wife and two young kids and spent around 20 years being rated 2100 FIDE. Three years or so ago he decided to pursue the IM title.
Recently he made an IM norm with a 2579 TPR in a strong round robin event.
He wrote about the experience in this Reddit post.
Here is the interview itself. Listen to it as you will be amazed by Andrzej and his work ethic and dedication. I know I was!
One of the things that Andrzej mentions several times in his interview is the site https://www.chessable.com/
I started using this site a few days ago for openings work, and oh wow has it already made a massive difference.
I’ve never been one to enjoy studying openings. I used to have a phenomenal memory, but these days it’s maybe slightly above average at best, so I just never felt like putting in the work I felt it would take to learn lines cold.
Since I also tend to play really sharp stuff at times this was leading to some truly avoidable issues where I was getting terrible positions making basic mistakes.
So I started using chessable to build a repertoire. I can tell you that the process will be slow going because it does take a bit of work to add your lines to the site (unless you have pgn files which you can just import) but I can already tell it will be well worth it.
After only four days I have an extremely sharp line I play as White memorized 22 moves deep – and it’s sticking in my memory!
Once I get all of the sharp stuff I play into chessable and get in the habit of drilling it daily until it’s a part of my chessic DNA I’m expecting to finally perform at or above my rating in the openings.
Naturally I don’t plan on suddenly spending all of my time working on openings. That would be an anathema to the way I work on chess. However, with chessable it seems like I won’t have to. Because of the way it drills you on your lines and then repeatedly has you go over moves that you missed it doesn’t take much time to be able to solidify the ideas in your head.
Of course you can also use chessable for endgames, tactics, books, etc.
I heartily recommend that everyone try it out. Just join and grab one of their free opening books and go through it. Right away you’ll have a great feel of how the site works and how they will do the repetitive drilling to help with memorization.
Til Next Time,
If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.
If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.