Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Personal Chess To Do List

Here are, in no particular order, some of the things I want to do in the near future. I don't have a particular time frame in mind for all of this, but I think all of these can greatly contribute to making me a better player. So here goes:

-Go through all 4320 PCT exercises at least twice. Once I'm through with that, go through all CT-Art exercises. Supplement with tactics exercises from books when I am travelling.

- Play through 2000 GM games fairly quickly (only the main lines, not too many variations). I believe this will greatly help my pattern recognition.

- Fully memorize some 50 GM games (again, mainly for pattern recognition). Try to replay the games in my mind to help visualization.

- Play at least 2 long games a week (G/90) plus as many G/15 and G/30 as I can.

- Analyze all my long games thoroughly (first by myself, then with Fritz).

- Consult MCO-14 after each of my games to see where I went astray in the openings.

- Do Stoyko exercises on a regular basis (see point three here).

- Focus on applying a conscious thought process in each game.

What do you think? I believe it's a pretty ambitious amount of stuff to do, and time constraints are going to be my main challenge. But hey, challenges are fun right :)

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts and what's on your own to-do lists!


Polly said...

Reading your to do list just took a chunk out of my study time! LOL j/k. That is a very ambitious undertaking on your part. I would break it down into short and long range goals. The tactics stuff you can do every day, but some of the other stuff like memorizing grandmaster games takes time.

It would probably take me a month just to memorize one game unless it was only 15 moves. What I find with memorizing games is that unless I play them back frequently, I tend to lose them after awhile. You may find better use of that play back time.

Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I get really lazy about working on my game. I'd rather just play and take my lumps over the board. :-)

Chessaholic said...

Yeay some of this stuff is REALLY long term - like going over 2000 GM games. Even at a pace of 2 a day it would take me over 2 and a half years... but hey, I like to have long term goals.

The memorizing part I actually don't find all that hard if I have an actual board in front of me. What I think will be much more challenging will be replaying those games in my mind, without looking at a board. But I think doing so will pay big dividends.

And I hear you on the getting lazy part - I am the same way, sometimes all I want to do is play... which is part of the reason why I now started this blog - as a way to discipline myself a little :)

Glenn Wilson said...

"Go through all 4320 PCT exercises at least twice."
Do you mean do each position twice? If so, I would recommend you let the software have its way which will lead you through each at least six times.

For memorizing GM games, doing so as part of opening study is one way to get a double benefit from that effort.

It is a big list, good luck.

Chessaholic said...


No, I am actually planning to go through all 4320 problems twice. I know problems are repeated six times, so if I manage to do this I will end up doing each problem 12 times. That should keep me busy with tactics for a while :)

As far as GM games helping with opening study - I absolutely agree. I intend to focus on games in the openings I play, so I learn more about common middle game plans & patterns.

The whole list is really a multi-year endeavor, my strategic study plan if you will.

Anonymous said...

David K is the king of intricate planning if you haven't hit his site up.

My to-do list is here (complete with a disclaimer that I won't follow it.)

In all seriousness, one thing I'd add is a physical exercise regiment.

Chessaholic said...

liquideggproduct: hmm good idea to have a disclaimer... takes away any self-imposed pressure that could result in actually following through :)

I'll check out David K's masterplans, thanks for the tip. As far as physical exercise: that's actually the one thing I'm good about. I run 3-4 miles about every other day, play tennis, and throw in the occasional push ups. Healthy body, healthy mind and all right?

Anonymous said...

I believe it's a pretty ambitious amount of stuff to do...

I believe so too. What i do can be followed here. The main focus though is on solitaire chess and PCT. Everything else is extra.

Chessaholic said...

edwin: just took a look at your training regimen, very cool. I see you've already gone over 163 GM games, that's awesome. Great idea to keep track of the games you've played over, I think I'm going to copy that idea and start my own list. I've got a looong way to go...

BTW, read through a bunch of your older posts, you've got a lot of good stuff on your blog!

Anonymous said...

Well, i don't know what your approach will be concerning master games, but if you're just going to review them then you'll probably catch up quick. I guessed the moves to each and every one of those 163 games which i guess takes considerably longer then just review games. But anyway, i'm glad you like the stuff on my blog. I on the other hand, like to think it's all insignificant crap.

Chessaholic said...

edwin: the fact that you've studied the 163 games solitaire style is pretty awesome. How long does it generally take you to go through a game that way?

I read in a few places the suggestion to go over the main lines of master games quickly, playing out only the main line. That way it takes only about 20 minutes or so. The idea is that you can get many games in and improve your pattern recognition, sort of by "osmosis" :)

Anonymous said...

Well, i give a game an hour. And if i can't finish it, i leave the position as it is (when using a chess set) or i remember where i left off (when using ChessBase). I play through the opening moves that are familiar and start guessing when i feel i have to. Sometimes though, i play out a whole game or even two. But that is when i can spend some extra time.

Chessaholic said...

I will have to give that a try!