Conventional Wisdom says that against much weaker players we should just play a simple game because there is very little risk involved. I wanted to be somewhere 3 hours after this game started so I decided to complicate things. This game was really hard; I had so much fun. I definitely didn't know how to evaluate a lot of the positions, the material swings wildly around and both of our kings are open. My position is fragile and very time sensitive, but I was up to the challenge and I put some great moves together. It's just not my style to play a boring game.
I'm seriously considering switching to 1.d4 with white; also getting rid of 1...c5 and 1...d5 against e4 and d4 respectively. Some of the positions I get into I hate so much. Plus it would give me a good excuse to study chess all the time. Then after I was done I would be able to play 2 openings at any time which would be very nice in the match phase. I think the only reason I didn't switch lines a long time ago (especially the Accelerated Dragon) is that I put so much work into my lines I feel like I have to stick with them now. But that's not true, I really like learning new positions and I think it's the kick I need.
The study plan is a distant goal at this point. Right now I am playing a lot of blitz, you can probably find me on ICC I'll play whoever. I'm having fun.
I won my game on Thursday, the whole thing lasted about 25 minutes. I played the Scotch it was a gametime decision I didn't prepare any lines. If I knew enough theory to just play whatever I wanted every game that would make me very happy. Work, work, work...
I could make a lot of excuses for why I haven't been posting or playing or studying for the last six months but the truth of the matter is I was just bored of chess. I was considering not playing in the club championship but I'm sure I would have regretted it and I am glad that I decided to play. I also found inspiration to play in a very unexpected place and I feel like I am ready for some serious work at this game.
I am not happy with the format of the championship. I do not feel like we should have to play a 15 week round robin to decide who should move forward. I wish that this stage would have been limited to only 16 players, which would have taken half the time. I should not be having to play games with players rated 800 points lower than me. They don't have a chance. I'm glad to eat my words if one of these players moves forward but the chances of this happening are so slim that I feel comfortable saying that they should not be allowed to participate. Or at least should have to qualify in a tournament in December against other lower rated players. What I would suggest is only the top 16 rated players in the club (who want to play) get to play. I understand this is 'unfair' to players who are not rated in the top 16. Get over it, work harder, play next year.
That being said I do not have a really challenging game for 2 months and that gives me plenty of time to get back into the habit of studying. I figured I would lay down a plan since maybe that will make me more accountable.
Openings: I feel like my openings are in relatively good shape. I need to freshen up a few lines and maybe inject a few new ideas into my lines for Black. I don't think I need to change any lines, but if I find something I like I am not opposed to learning it. Also I haven't really been liking the White side of the Ruy lately so maybe I'll play the Scotch. In the past I have been very open about divulging opening choices and secrets on this blog, this year I really want to end that. I don't know if I will be posting games for the next 6 months. I know that's weak, I'll think about it. Anyways for openings I think to start 3-4 hours a week should be alright.
Middlegame: I have felt lost in the middlegame too much, I think the remedy for this is 5-10 games a day in my openings from strong players that I like. This will help me internalize the plans and concepts that stronger players are using in my favorite positions. It will also help me learn my openings, win-win.
Endgame: This is where I'm going to put most of my time. I want to be able to put an hour a day in but I don't know if I'm going to be able to actually do that. Maybe a post every day about my endgame training will keep me focused.
General Ideas: In the past I have read books, I think this year I'm going to move more to my database. I have so many resources on my computer that are untapped. I also want to start playing Fritz on a regular basis just for fun. I have been playing more blitz but my Standard rating on ICC is at what seems like an all-time low. So playing 1-2 Standard games a day should help bring that back up to an acceptable level.
I want to win this championship. I'm really worried about Garingo and Straver but I feel like if I stick to this plan throughout the round robin phase I will be playing at a higher level than I have ever played before. Which is all I can really ask for. I think that I can win I just need to put in the time to make it happen.