The beginning of a new year is considered to be suitable for two things:
- An analysis of your results in the past year.
- Your plans for the New Year.
An analysis of your results in the past year.
All chess players know the importance of an analysis of your games. It helps them detect your past mistakes, and prevent them from recurring in the future.
For the same reasons, it’s important to analyse your OVERALL PERFORMANCE as well.
Analyse your chess results in 2013. Think about the following questions:
- What is your rating change since 1st January 2013? If it’s smaller than +100 points in the official FIDE rating, or +300 points in your online rating, it means something is wrong. You need to change your way of training and/or playing chess.
- Have you been progressing steadily? If yes – good for you! Keep up the good work you are doing.
If your progress was unstable, it proves the absence of YOUR TRAINING PLAN. Unfortunately, lots of chess players study chess haphazardly. They learn various books, puzzles and other stuff in a random order. Predictably, such random training brings random (unstable) results.
Imagine a doctor who studied medicine by watching a couple of thematic videos on YouTube 🙂 It would be better for your health to run away from such a “specialist”.
Similarly, one can’t become an expert chess player without a solid, systematic approach for studying chess. I’ve provided such a program for an effective training in the course
“Self-taught Grandmaster”: LINK
If your chess progress in 2013 was limited, less than 50 rating points – unfortunately you’re stuck. This means you use ineffective ways of training/playing chess habitually.
On the positive side, this can and should be changed for the better. I strongly recommend that you print out “10 Golden Rules” I’ve provided in the previous lesson: LINK
(this advice is suitable for everyone). Keep it on your table for some days and implement it in your chess training/playing.
- What are your statistics in different openings? Lots of chess programs or databases can provide such information to you automatically. At the very least, you can calculate your win/loss record in your main openings manually.
What’s the reason for doing it? Very simple: if you lose in a certain opening (variation) more often than in other openings – you need to fix this problem. Perhaps you should allocate some time to study this opening and/or arising middlegame positions.
However, if you keep getting bad results with a certain opening over a lot of games – just stop playing it. Probably it’s too difficult for you at this stage of your chess learning.
- Calculate how many games you have played against opponents 200+ rating points higher than you in 2013.
If you can’t calculate it, at least you can evaluate it based on your overall perception.
If the number of such games is small, your modest progress is not surprising. It’s difficult to reach a higher level if you never face the players of that level.
Of course, you may use other criteria as well. At least, you can evaluate the above mentioned items intuitively, spending only a few minutes. You can do it right now.
You can draw some valuable conclusions based on your performance in 2013 and speed up your progress in 2014!
In the next lesson, we’ll talk about your chess plans for 2014 and how to make them come true.
Your tactical vision should be sharp, right? Let’s do a little bit of training now.
Li – Aronian
The material balance is equal, and not many pieces are left on the board. Is it a draw? How would you play as Black?
Moen – Topalov
Your task is not only to find the next move for Black, but also to calculate all the following lines.
After you come to a decision in both examples, please, download the solution here: LINK
P.S. If you accidentally missed “10 Golden Rules”, I do recommend that you study this lesson: LINK
P.P.S. I may be visiting Singapore in the following months (although I’m not totally sure about it yet). If there’s anyone from that country, you may like to send me an e-mail: [email protected] (if you’d like to contact me for any other reason, please, do so here: LINK ) Maybe we’ll meet each other soon 🙂