New Year Resolutions, Such as They Are

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I’m not a super big believer in making New Year resolutions since I think that if you’re going to do something then you’re likely to just do it, and if you’re not, then saying “I’ll make that my New Year’s Resolution” is just a way to put off the decision and then to tell yourself it’s OK when you fail.

Having said that, I do believe that a calendar year is a good time frame to decide if something is working, should be changed, etc.

So here are my resolutions for 2022, which just so happens to be one calendar year.

  1. Annotate and publish those annotations to every classical game I play. This will include me taking a few minutes immediately after every game to jot down a few notes about what I was feeling/thinking, as well as trying to capture the lines I calculated at the board. Yes, I will engine check this analysis, but I will do it by hand prior and will note when there was something critical that I missed that the engine found.
  2. Continue my streak on Chessable. Currently that stands at 626 days, and my intention is to not stop – ever. I don’t use the freeze protect anything. Those are 626 actual days. Some where I might have done all of 1-2 lines just to keep the streak going, and some where I did hundreds to really work.
  3. Work on openings. For real. For 2022 I give myself the goal of being able to competently play the Caro-Kann and the Slav by the time we get out of the year. I really want to get in tune with the Caro-Slav pawn structure and understand those …e5 and …c5 breaks.
  4. Read four books cover to cover, not counting the ones that I read for revies or the ones I pick up and play through a game of two from. The four books are 300 Most Important Chess Positions by Enqvist; Chess Strategy for Club Players by Grooten; What it Takes to Become a Chess Master by Soltis; The Science of Strategy by Kotov. As you can see, strategic/positional play will be the theme of these books.
  5. Get in much better physical shape. I used to enjoy working out and lifting weights in my youth. I need to get back to that. Some of you witnessed me wrestle a former NFL player when I was 44 or 45 🙂 So I’m not afraid of physicality, I just need to get back to wanting to do the hard work/heavy lifting.
  6. Enjoy myself and trust in the process.

You’ll notice that none of the above relates to rating. I have no intention of setting rating related goals at all anymore other than the long-term goal of getting to 2200.

I used to do the “If only I get to rating X this year” and, in fact, I think I did a “If only I get back to 1800 this year” for last year. If the results of only two games of mine at the end of the year had gone the other way, I would have done that. Yet take a moment to reflect on the insanity of that thought process for a moment. Can I really pretend that two games with different results would mean much in the larger scheme of things? Of course not.

Therefore, rating goals are gone. Now, we focus on the process.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott