I wrote the last update exactly a month ago, and today seemed like a good day to post progress. First, the numbers:
Both these numbers are significantly higher than a month ago; I expect them to remain stable here, and I’d be really surprised if I fall below 1550 on Chess.com again.
The following things have helped me with the progress:
- Practice Tactics: I have been consistently practicing tactics on Chess.com and the CT ART 4.0 app, and this has been a very important factor in my improvement. I wrote earlier that my game analysis shows that I consistently miss tactics, and that’s the number one thing I want to work on in order to climb up the ladder.
- Game Analysis: I have developed a habit of analyzing all my games with the help of Chessbase, and this is the single most important thing to improve. There is no way to improve without getting a sense of what you’re doing wrong and you can’t do that unless you put your games under the scanner. For instance, I noticed that undefended pieces were becoming a problem for me and I mentally started taking a note of all such pieces for me and the opponent after every move and that has helped improve my game.
- Playing a tournament: I played my first tournament earlier this month, and it taught me a lot of things. In a 90 minute per player game, it is quite common to see players think about a move for 15 to 20 minutes, and it altered how I think about moves, and made me think about each move a lot longer in all games. Also, in analyzing the games, I noticed that the players there took time to understand why a computer made a certain move, and went a lot more in depth than I did so I learned that from them as well.
Going forward, I want to continue practicing tactics, the CT ART 4.0 app has about 4,000 puzzles so I’d be happy to have done all of them by end of next year, I think that is a realistic to optimistic target.
Analyzing games is also just so important, and I’ll continue to analyze games the way I am doing them now, and continue in my journey to improve my game.