New Year, New Format

I am going to make a couple of changes to the content on this site starting in 2023. I’ve been doing study plans for over a year, and I think now is a good time to do a bit of a refresh.

No More Weekly Updates

For the first change, I’m not going to do weekly updates any more. For the past 70 weeks, I’ve written a weekly update. I would write about what went well, what didn’t go well, and what I wanted to try in the upcoming week. Lately I have not been seeing the value in them for myself so I am going to pause on them for the time being.

I also had this idea that others may benefit from them, but the numbers don’t lie. Over the past year almost none of the posts had any views according to the analytics I have in place.

Instead I’m going to do that “retrospective” each month instead. I think that should be plenty fine-grained enough.

December Review

Creating a ToDo List

The biggest thing I started doing was having a list of “todos” each day for my chess studying. Before I would have a general idea of what I wanted to do, but I would skip around quite a bit and not always do the work that I wanted to do. Having a prioritized daily list of tasks gave me a way to hold myself accountable to my plan. The list was:

  • Complete review of all tactics

  • Add 5 new tactics

  • Complete review of all openings

  • Do 1 page of Chess Steps

  • Review 1 annotated game

  • Play an online rapid game and do a quick analysis

How I Spent My Time

Here is an overview of how I spent my time in December. This information is from the SayChess Accountability Group.

%%{init: {'theme': 'base', 'themeVariables': { 'fontFamily': 'sans-serif;'}}}%% pie showData title Study Time "Tactics" : 1159 "Openings" : 374 "Games" : 1068 "Annotated" : 400 "Endgames" : 112 "Other": 50

I spent an average of 1.7 hours per day on chess. About 1/3 of that was on tactics. This was either from the Learn Chess The Right Way courses on Chessable or from the Chess Steps workbooks. Another 1/3 was playing 30-minute rapid games online. The rest was mostly split between reviewing openings (12%) and playing through annotated master games (13%).

January Plan

I decided to write down my 2023 Goals. This study plan will hopefully help me work towards those goals. In January, I’m hoping to make progress on each goal.

Here is what I am hoping to accomplish:

  • Play in 1 OTB tournament. I have some options for weekend tournaments. I’m hoping to be able to play 5 games.

  • I want to finish all the “Learn Chess the Right Way” books before the summer. To do that, I need to add 5 new tactics every day. I currently spend about 20 minutes a day on adding new tactics and reviewing any in Chessable that I need to review. I’m thinking I should try to bump that up to about 30 minutes a day.

  • I should be able to finish “Logical Chess: Move by Move” in January and start on my next game collection, which will be “The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played.” I want to review 1 new game every day.

  • I should also be able to finish “Chess Steps Level 2” in January and start on “Chess Endgame Workbook for Kids.” I want to finish that 2nd book by the end of February, but since I haven’t really looked at it, I’m not sure if that is a realistic goal yet.

In addition to these goals, I also want to keep playing lots of games. I still feel like I just need to get in lots of repetitions.