What went well?

  • I try not to be too fixated on ratings, but I did have a big jump this week. On September 26 my Chess.com rapid rating was 1086. On October 11 it was 1264. Thats 176 points in 16 days. I am feeling more confident. Some of those games did come from one opponent. We played 8 rapid games in a row, and this person seemed to be tilting. They kept making big blunders, resigning, and then asking for a rematch. After those games I was up about 50 points in one night. But even outside of that, in the past week I played 22 games and only lost 4 (8 wins from that one opponent). Playing with an actual board makes me slow down and think. I think that has had a big impact.

What could have gone better?

  • Being on a hot streak is exciting. Being exciting makes me want to play more chess. Playing more chess means I am not as focused on other areas of my life. The struggle to balance chess with everything else is real. I did not want to slow down because I was worried I would start losing if I missed any opportunity to play.
  • This also meant I was doing less studying and more playing. I can’t argue with the results, but I do not think this is sustainable.

What will I try next?

  • I am thinking of playing in my first tournament in January, covid permitting. Having never played OTB, I need to start thinking about what to do in the next few months to get ready. I am not thinking of some crazy opening prep cram session, more along the lines of things I can do to build up some core skills so I don’t embarrass myself.
  • Start drilling more tactics on Chess.com. I will be using the learning mode to set a rating range so the puzzles are in the “not too hard” category. I want to make sure I have a good grasp of all of these and get better pattern recognition for all these puzzles. Probably get back to more puzzle rush as well, which I have not been doing.