Time Spent

I started tracking some of the time spent on various websites:


Chessable 2021


Chess.com 2021

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):

Rapid rating1156 to 1201
Number of rapid games132
Daily rating1128 to 1189
Number of daily games7
Blitz rating533 to 559
Number of blitz games46
Puzzle rating1600 to 1850 (Peak 1916)
Puzzle rush best score25 (Survival)
USCF Online Regular876 (P21) - No Change
USCF Online Quick1166 (P24) to 1092
USCF Online Blitz793 (16)
USCF Correspondence Rating2037 - No Change
Chess lessons with a coach6

Books Studied

  • 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
  • A Mind for Numbers - Barbara Oakley
  • Atomic Habits - James Clear
  • The Science of Self-Learning - Peter Hollins
  • The Science of Rapid Skill Acquistion