I started tracking some of the time spent on various websites:
I also tracked Lichess, but I only played a few games there.
Starting with ratings, I made very little progress, finishing about the same place I was at the end of June, right around 1200. At first I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t making more progress, but now I am OK with it. I know there will be plateaus and I think the work I am doing with my training is going to pay off. I always wanted a longer-term view of chess study, but then I made some quick early progress so I thought I would be able to progress faster. It is taking a bit of mental determination to keep working even though the simpliest measure (rating) says I haven’t changed.
I had regular lessons with a coach every couple of weeks for a few months. It was enjoyable, but I’m not sure I was getting out of it what I wanted, through no fault of the coach. I will need to rethink coaching and what my expectations are.
I started work on an opening course for Chessable. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap that up early 2022.
The world championship was distracting for a week in November, but in a good way. It was fun to be able to watch some of the games live and then follow-up with some recaps on YouTube. I feel like I was part of something big, since everyone in the chess world was focused on that.
In December started following a more structured study plan that focused on tactics. I wrote about the plan here and then measured my time to see how close I was sticking to the plan. I really like the structure and having very specific things to work on. I think it is helping a little as I got my puzzle rating over 1900.
I also took a step back and read a couple of books about “learning how to learn” like The Science of Self Learning (see below). I started to use some of the skills from that book while I slowly work my way through The Soviet Chess Primer.
By The Numbers
These are the numbers from October 1 to December 31, 2021 (stats from chess.com):
|1156 to 1201
|Number of rapid games
|1128 to 1189
|Number of daily games
|533 to 559
|Number of blitz games
|1600 to 1850 (Peak 1916)
|Puzzle rush best score
|USCF Online Regular
|876 (P21) - No Change
|USCF Online Quick
|1166 (P24) to 1092
|USCF Online Blitz
|USCF Correspondence Rating
|2037 - No Change
|Chess lessons with a coach
- Weapons of Chess - Bruce Pandolfini
- 500 Chess Questions Answered - Andrew Soltis
- Chess Opening Names vol 1 - Nathan Rose
- Chess for Zebras - Jonathan Rowson
- The New in Chess Book of Chess Improvement - Steve Giddins (Forward Chess)
- Tactics Time 1 - Tim Brennan (Chessable)
- Learn Chess the Right Way - Book 1: Must-know Checkmates - Susan Polgar (Chessable)
- The Soviet Chess Primer - Ilya Maizelis
Other Chess Related Books
- A Mind for Numbers - Barbara Oakley
- Atomic Habits - James Clear
- The Science of Self-Learning - Peter Hollins
- The Science of Rapid Skill Acquistion