I am doing an update much sooner than a month because I dropped several points in rating very quickly and I think this is a very instructive thing to keep in mind for future.
First, the numbers:
Since the last time, I went to my highest rating of 1658, and beat two players over 1700 for the very first time. In addition, I grew in confidence and played to win and felt that I could really beat players that are rated so much higher.
However, I came crashing down from 1658 to 1582 and a 70 point drop is something that definitely begs introspection.
I think the primary reason I lost so many games in a short period is that I didn’t apply myself. Chess is a demanding game, and it is not enough to have some spare time to play it. You need to be ready mentally to grind out in a game, and apply yourself fully to think through moves, calculate lines, and be fully in the moment. If you get distracted, or tired then you don’t stand a chance.
I played a lot of games without fully committing myself and applying myself, and this resulted in a lot of losses. The big lesson to be learned from this is before you start a game, ask yourself if it is a good time to play? Can you commit yourself for the time that is required? Are you mentally tired? Is this the only thing you will do for the next half hour or the duration of the game?
I want to slow down, and commit myself again before starting the games and I hope to break my previous high doing that along with the other things I have been writing about here.