About a month ago I joined the Say Chess Accountability Group. For me, the biggest benefit so far has been using the Clockify tool to track my time. I know I should take advantage of the community aspect as well, but I haven’t gotten into that yet.
I spent over 55 hours on chess in November.
Here is where that time went:
I spent over 23 hours of my time playing online rapid games. These were almost all 30-minute games, or 66 games total. I set a goal to not play any blitz in November, which I stuck to. I did play a couple of faster rapid games, but not too many.
I think this is a pretty good ratio of time for my level. I still feel pretty new to chess, so I need to play lots of games just to build up my skill level. I won exactly 50% of those games, which is lower than I’d like. That’s another reason I feel I need to play more. I’m doing all this studying, and I need to learn how to apply it to games.
16 hours of my time was spent on tactics. This makes me happy. At my level, tactics are the deciding factor in so many games. I wish I was better at pattern recognition, but doing some tactics every day (I averaged about 30 minutes a day) will hopefully help with that in the long run.
About half of this time was spent on Chessable, specifically the “Learn Chess The Right Way” series. I’ve completed the first 3 books and I’m now on Book 4. I review every open puzzle every day, and have been adding new puzzles to book 4 daily.
The other half was on Chess Steps. I’m working on Level 2. These are great because they are paper and pencil, which gets me away from the computer and Chessable for a bit. I had some success with Level 1 early on, but for some reason I never continued even though I had found something that worked. Now I’m getting back to it and hopefully will finish Level 2 by next month. I also use these as calculation exercises, but right now most of the puzzles are a bit too easy to require deep calculation.
I spent about 10 hours studying openings. This is all reviewing lines in Chessable. In October I switched up my black repertoire. I started on the Keep It Simple For Black but only learned the quick-starter lines for now. However, that meant a lot of reviews. The amount of time has gradually tapered off over the month. I also reviewed some custom Chessable courses I created with openings for White and some extra lines for Black.
I am trying to build up the habit of reviewing annotated game collections since that is so often recommended. I am currently working through Chess: The Art of Logical Thinking - McDonald. I try to review 1 game every day, though I just started this towards the end of November.
I have seen that endgames are a weakness of mine, so I wanted to start doing something in this area. About a week ago I restarted Endgames 101, which I bought when it came out but did not get very far in. I try to learn a little more each day.