What went well?

  • I decided to stop fighting the urge and just play more games. For me it is trying to balance play and study. However, at my level I think the some of the best learning is coming from playing and then reviewing my games. So I played 16 30-minute games this week and won 10, which was exciting. Ratings aren’t everything, but that increased my rapid rating on Chess.com by about 50 points. I know it will continue to go up and down, but it is fun to keep winning!
  • I feel like I am in a maintainable rhythm with my chess study. I am focused on just a few things each day instead of trying to do everything. The main things are about 30 minutes of Chessable and Aimchess (which I wrote about here). After that, depending how much time I have, I look at master games or work through the Chess Steps level 2 workbooks.

What could have gone better?

  • Playing more games is great. But playing too many games is a problem. There were some games I started knowing they would not have my full concentration or energy. Not surprising, I did not do well. I either need to not play games when I’m tired/distracted, or I need a way to focus more before I start a game.

What will I try next?

  • I just started working on The Checkmate Patterns Manual on Chessable. I think this is an area of improvement for me. Now I just need to figure out the best way to actually study this in Chessable.
  • I just bought Weapons of Chess by Bruce Pandolfini as something to read before bed. It is a book that doesn’t need a board and it is not filled with variations to keep track of.

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