I spent a good part of this period trying to do too many chess-related activities (see Counting My Chess Time). It was only at the end of September that I started limiting that, which I think it is helping me. I want to learn everything as fast as I can, but I realize that is not how chess learning happens. This needs to be a many-year project.

I started July with around 1200 rating, went up slightly, but then spent most of August and September bouncing around 1100. At the end of September I got back into a better rhythm and saw my rating start to climb again. I do not want to base everything on my rating, and I was never really upset when I lost points, but it felt like a good representation of how I was doing at chess. I hit a milestone of 1200, then started losing focus and my rating reflected that. Then I re-evaluated how I was spending my time and what I was studying, I started feeling more confident, and my rating went up.

I finished a USCF correspondence tournament and was able to advance to the next round, which has not started yet. This was exciting and somehow my USCF correspondence rating is over 2000. Way higher than my actual rating and not very reflective of my actual playing strength. These games just take so long to complete and manage. One of my games was featured in a US Chess newsletter. You can read about it here

I started doing a software-company-style retrospective each week to think about what is working and what is not. My weekly updates can be found here.

Finally, I did start taking lessons every other week, which I am enjoying.

By The Numbers

These are the numbers from July 1 to September 30, 2021 (stats from

Rapid rating1200 to 1156
Number of rapid games172
Daily rating1096 to 1128
Number of daily games15
Blitz rating447 to 533
Number of blitz games17
Puzzle rating1371 to 1600 (Peak 1748)
Puzzle rush best score25
USCF Online Regular876 (P21) to 876 (P21) (no change)
USCF Online Quick1084 (P11) to 1166 (P24)
USCF Correspondence Rating2037
Chess lessons with a coach3

Books Studied