Saturday, December 24, 2016

The New Years Resolution

As the new year dawns I had only one wish for myself personally. I had played well for the past several months as I returned to over-the-board tournaments after a five year hiatus. By "playing well" I do not mean I was dominating my competition. I was playing poorly and skating by with barely my skin attached and blundering all around. That's how I knew I was about to improve beyond anything I had previously accomplished. If you look at your games and say to yourself "I'm such a genius" then there are two things wrong with that scenario: Firstly, your pride will hit a wall. Everyone loses, it's inevitable and secondly, you're not playing against strong enough players.

In short, over half the moves I was making in tournaments were sub-par to horrible blunders. The fact that I was playing wildly complicated enough to blunder, escape, and even win all the while tearing myself apart in home analysis was a clear indication of successful home practice and room for future improvement.

"The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake." - Savielly Tartakower

Knowing that you have a capacity to be or do something and proving it are not two different things. I am resolved to prove that within me is a chess master ready to emerge. The idea to do such a thing in one year when you're not even rated 1900 USCF at the start is quite crazy. But there it is, I put it in writing to seal it in ritual. I will break the 2200 barrier this coming year (2017).

The purpose of this blog is to take people along for the ride. This blog will be public but as secret as I can keep it. I want to share my experience with others, expose my training and post-mortem methods, give away the secrets of my preparation, and make a road map for you. However, I have to keep it a secret from most players, especially those in Kentucky. One of the secrets of preparation is to see previous games your opponent has played to understand them and how they think and play. If my primary competition found this work the result would be disastrous and enough ammunition to execute me OTB. Let's keep things between you and me, shall we?

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