Weekly Retrospective

I’ve seen a few people who post weekly or daily updates about their chess training. I think this might be an interesting challenge for me, mostly to spend a few minutes to reflect on my progress and to keep track of what I have been working on. I’m not ready or excited about something like #100daysofchess because I do not want to have to track my status daily, even though I work on chess daily.

I am going to use this format, which is a carry-over from my software development background:

  • What went well?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What will I try next?

What went well?

  • I switched back to 30-minute games and saw some success, winning 4 of 5 games. I had been trying 10-minute games to get more games in, but I only won 6 of 33 games in that format and always felt like I was stressed about the time. 15|10 was a little better, winning 4 of 6. Spent time analyzing these 30-minute games afterwards, which I had not been great about in the 10-minute games.
  • I have been doing pretty well in puzzles, with a high of 1578 this week. I dropped down a bit since then, but still feeling pretty good. I was not able to break 1400 before August, so something clicked. This week I broke 1500 for the first time too.
  • Got a new Puzzle Rush streak record of 20 in a row. On that run I also got my high score of 23, which I have yet to break.
  • I have been focused mainly on Winning Chess Tactics in Chessable, and continued my Chessable streak to 20 days. I went back to this book to focus on some of the more basic tactics.
  • Re-started Logical Chess Move-by-Move using the ebook and Lichess studies. I had only gotten through about half the book previously, but even using a real board I found I was not learning much. Maybe I wasn’t ready for it. Just analyzing the first two games seems better.

What could have gone better?

  • I stopped studying openings in Chessable, which I have mixed feelings about. I feel like I need to slow down a bit on the grind of openings and just focus on the principles of chess. This tweet and responses helped direct my energy. I was debating creating a “U1500 Opening” repretoire, but I now think that studying the basics might help me more.
  • My online rapid rating dropped to 1093, which is the lowest since June 12. I think most of this was from playing 10-minute games. The good news is that I have not been as focused on my rating the past few weeks as I had been when I was really trying to get to 1200, which I got at the end of June. My high in July was 1221.
  • I was hoping to play my first OTB game this week at a local chess club, but now Covid is back.

What will I try next?