Chess Resolutions

Farbror the Guru has challenged the chess improvement community to come up with a list of chess goals for the coming year, so here are mine:

Long Term Goals

  • Increase USCF rating to 1400 (currently at 1283)
  • Increase Chess Tempo standard tactics rating to 1850 (currently at 1700)
  • Increase ICC standard rating (currently have a provisional rating of 1750) will set appropriate ELO goals within the next 3 months once I get out of provisional status. update 01.03.10 Out of provisional rating after having played 26 standard games. Benchmark rating is 1781 goal is to reach an ICC rating of 1825 by the end of the year.
  • Play in 4 tournaments within the next 12 months
  • Play a minimum of 2 standard games G/15 or > per week
  • Have a minimum of 6 training sessions in the next 12 months with FM Charles Galofre

Short Term Goals (goals for the next 90 days)

  • Dedicate 1 hour per day to chess training
  • Review all of my standard games
  • Play in an OTB tournament before the end of February ’10
  • Have a chess lesson before the end of February ’10
  • Simplify my chess training, focus more on the practical side of chess
  • Increase Chess Tempo rating to 1750 by the end of February ’10

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7 thoughts on “Chess Resolutions

  1. I’ve recently been trying to put a plan together as well, and it’s not easy.

    A couple of comments on yours. I found that my own chess didn’t start really improving until I mostly gave up on weekend tournaments and switched to the longer term ones at my local club that involve one extremely slow game per week. I found that trying to play 4 or 5 serious games in a weekend was chess overload. I wouldn’t have the time to mentally, process each game before the next one, I’d get tired towards the end of the day and not get as much out of those games, and after the tournament was over I’d be a bit chess burnt out and wouldn’t really go over the games. I find one game per week to be much more manageable. I don’t know where you’re located or what kind of clubs you have nearby, but I strongly encourage you to look for something like this.

    An added benefit of this sort of schedule is it makes chess part of the weekly routine, instead of having to clear a whole weekend every few months, I just know that (almost) every Tuesday night I’m playing chess. This way I’m also playing something like 40 to 50+ OTB games per year, which I feel is good for my chess.

    Secondly, when I first started playing chess and played mostly online, G/15 felt like a reasonable pace to me, but now that I’ve played a lot of tournament chess I’ve realized that anything fast than G/45 or even G/60 is just too fast to play really good chess, especially if you’re not at expert level. Sure, a 2000 can play a nice clean game of chess at a rapid time control, but for us mortals, it just encourages bad habits like not fully blunderchecking or not forcing ourselves to calculate a complex variation to its end. I find blitz useful to drill my openings and to get some tactical practice in, but in terms of learning to make plans, play a clean endgame, or practice a good thought process, fast games aren’t that useful.

    Finally, while ratings are a barometer of chess skill, I like to frame my goals in terms of volume. For example I want to play 50 OTB games per year, I want to solve 200 ChessTempo puzzles per week, I want to study 2 master games per week, things like that. Ratings go up and down, even while you’re improving, but goals that focus on the time spent and items to study tend to be more concrete, easier to stick with and in the end work better for me.

    I wish you luck! Maybe we should play online sometime…

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