I recently made a mindmap (using Freemind) about what I wanted to learn in chess. It included things like what I wanted to learn about openings, the types of performance skills I would need - such as concentration, time management, endurance - as well as the types of general knowledge I would need - such as strategic elements and the endgame. It was quite overwhelming for me and deciding where to start has been an incredibly difficult thing for me to do. So I decided to take a page from my fitness and health program and break it down into bite-size pieces. Instead of scientifically trying to develop the most efficient training program possible, I'll work on different aspects (utilizing as much as possible the deliberate practice principles I mentioned in a previous post) and "enjoy" the journey. With that in mind, I submit a little training plan I will work on this summer.
1. Continue to develop the big picture of where my chess training should go by continuing to work on my model of chess knowledge.
2. Work on overall tactical and calculation ability.
3. Systematically work on my opening repertoire - focusing on understanding moves and not just memorizing.
1. Chess Tempo tactical training: Use standard rating training until Standard Tactical Rating exceeds 2000 (then reassess plan).
2. Chess Tempo Endgame training: Do endgame training until Practice rating reaches 2000.
3. Opening repertoire map: Use Freemind to map out overall opening repertoire.
4. King's Indian Defense: Samisch Variation: Memorize main line and variations from Gallagher book. Study illustrative games from book. Complete 5 Solitaire Chess games with analysis.
5. Queen's Gambit Declined (from White's point of view): Memorize main line and variation from Cox. Study illustrative games from book. Complete 5 Solitaire Chess games with analysis.
6. Sicilian Defense, Keres Attack (from Black's point of view): Memorize main line and variation from Pritchett. Study illustrative games from book. Complete 5 Solitaire Chess games with analysis.
7. chess9030 tournament: Prepare, play and analyze games.
This is the general goal for my schedule. However, I want to remain flexible as family and work responsibilities sometimes makes it tough to follow strictly.
Monday - Chess Tempo Tactics, King's Indian Defense
Tuesday - Chess Tempo Endgame, QGD
Wednesday - Chess Tempo Tactics, Sicilian Defense
Thursday - Chess Tempo Endgame, King's Indian Defense
Friday - Chess Tempo Tactics, QGD
Saturday - Chess Tempo Endgame, Sicilian Defense
Sunday - Off
Playing tournament games: Whenever I can schedule with my opponent.
Opening Repertoire Map: Whenever I can fit it in. This is something I can work on for say 10 minutes here an there.
Big Picture Training Map: Whenever I can fit it in.
Monitoring and Review:
I will be posting my training log with any interesting insights or positions I come up with. Also, as each project is completed, I will update the training program. For example, once I've finished this initial work with one of my openings (more work to come later of course), I will pick a new opening variation from my repertoire to work on.
I've been contemplating how to go about things for a while, so it is good to get something down on paper (or at least the computer screen).