I decided to shift my training plan a little to perhaps increase my chances of sticking to the plan and to attend to my current needs. First, I am simplifying my schedule a little, as I'm finding with my two kids, wife and business, that I don't always get the specific time allotments I strive for. In any case, my plan will focus on the following areas:
1. Tactical training on Chess Tempo. Currently, my focus is on tactical pattern recognition (as opposed to an emphasis on deep calculation) so I'm using their blitz settings.
2. Playing long games against good competition and then analyzing those games deeply. The analysis will focus on finding the best moves I should have played as well as identifying the reasons behind any mistakes I might make - for example, was my error due to time pressure, laziness in calculation, lack of knowledge, not formulating a plan, etc. This analysis would also include looking up my openings.
3. Studying master games: This includes games from books, videos, and games I find in my database. I'm not going to specify at this point a specific schedule, as I think the key is just getting through the games. For example, one day I may be in a mood to study a master game from a video on ICC or on www.chessvideos.tv (one of my new favorite chess sites), or I might feel like delving into one of my chess books, such as Chess: The Art of Logical Thinking by Neil McDonald. I'll try to find "relevant" games to study - e.g. a game with an opening I just played - but again the key is to study games and positions and seeing how the masters did it. I usually will also try to stay engaged in the material. For example, when watching a video and the commentator says, "and on this next move Polgar found a powerful tactic" I will pause the video and try to figure out the move. I am a big fan of solitaire chess and this type of work I think helps in the long run.
I think I've spent a little too much time trying to "perfect" my training schedule and not enough time actually working on it. I think by having these areas of focus and staying a little flexible, I get out of the rut of getting disappointed if I miss a day, or feeling like I'm not optimizing my training. The benefits of enjoying the training and actually engaging in the training will overcome any detriment due to not "structuring" the training perfectly I believe.
Also, I'm going to move my specific training journal to www.chessvideos.tv's forums. Here is a link to my training journal. On this blog, I will focus on my game annotations, philosophy of chess training, cool positions I find, etc. Those who wish to delve into the details of my chess training can do so in my training journal.
Well, my kids and wife just got up, so off I go. Have a beautiful day!