December 27, 2011

Your goals for 2012

  • Grand Master Igor Smirnov, Chess Coach, Author and Publisher.
  • Recently, I gave you some advice about analyzing your chess development in 2011. I hope that you sat down and spent some time on this important step for chess improvement. If you have, let’s build upon that step and set your chess goals for 2012.

    Why it’s important to set goals? Well, there are MANY benefits. I’ll mention 2 main ones.

    1) First, it motivates you. When you see an attractive goal in front of you, you get motivated to reach it.

    2) It organizes you. In order to achieve a long term goal, you need to create a plan (from your current point to the final one). This plan will become a schedule for you. By following this schedule you will advance to your goals in the most direct way (making sure you don’t get side tracked).


    It’s time to set your chess goals for 2012. Better yet, write them down somewhere that you can easily see every day. Here are some questions you want to answer when setting your goals:

    What result(s) do you want to get in 2012?

    How many rating points do you want to bag in 2012?

    How many tournaments do you need to play in 2012? (This question is closely connected with the previous one)

    How many games against strong (titled) players would you like to play in 2012? (You need to play against strong opponents in order to pull yourself up to their level)

    How many hours will you spend on chess daily?

    Which drawbacks in your chess game/training do you need to remove in 2012?

    Which areas of chess will you focus on in 2012?

    What will be the most important part(s) of your training in 2012?

    Of course, NOTHING will come out of just reading these questions. BUT if you think about them seriously, answer them truthfully and realistically, and write down your answers– you’ll be surprised how many useful things you will discover for your chess development! :)


    Here I’d like to make a few important notes:

    –> Your chess goals should motivate you to train TODAY!

    For instance, if you think “In 2012 I want to gain 100 rating points” – it does NOT motivate you TODAY.

    Instead, be detailed in your goals. You should think:

    “I want to get 100 rating points in 2012. Thus I should gain about 10 points each month. Therefore I’ll need to spend 20 days for training; and then go to the tournament. In that tournament, I’ll try to get at least +10 rating points. So TODAY and during the next 19 days I’ll train hard and prepare myself for my upcoming tournament.”

    Of course, you can tweak it depending on your situation and chess goals. Nevertheless, I hope that you got my MAIN idea: your long-term goals should be connected with what you have to do TODAY. They should motivate you to do something TODAY!

    The 2nd note is this:

    –> Your goals should be SPECIFIC. Remember, they should organize you.

    For example, if you decide: “In 2012 I’ll improve my tactical vision” – then how will you check it? It’s too general and it does NOT allow you to check yourself.

    Instead you should plan “to solve 10 tactical puzzles each day”. This is concrete and measurable. You will easily know whether you follow your schedule or not.

    Again of course, there’s so much more you can do to improve your tactical vision and skills than just solve tactical puzzles day in and day out. :) It’s only an example to illustrate my point.


    By the way, you may like to read what I wrote about chess goals the day before 2011:

    “Your Chess Goals”LINK

    “Your Chess Goals – 2 (Creativity)”LINK


    Setting your chess goals is the 1st step to achieve them!

    I strongly believe that you can reach those goals in 2012. Moreover I KNOW that You CAN achieve in 2 times greater results than you expect!

    From my side, I’ll make my best efforts to support your chess development in 2012! I’ve already set this goal for myself! What about you? :)