Friday, June 27, 2014

TPS Report #18

Around November 2012, I set a 4-year goal of trying to ratchet my rating from 2018 at the time up to 2100 by November 2016. I had hoped to use a mantra of "Two steps forward, one step back." to allow myself to fail here and there on my way up. But six months later, in May 2013, discouraged all around, I gave up chess again.

But six months after that, I built up enough enthusiasm reserves to come back in November 2013 and try again. With some encouragement from a friend, I found ways in the past eight months to remain excited about chess. My new training regimen is weekly get-togethers with chess friends, Chess Tempo for tactics, and Chess Position Trainer for openings. I generally choose openings that are accessible by transposition, slightly obscure, open, and trappy.

In 2014, I have played 30 games of regular rated, tournament chess without getting burned out. My record is 17 wins, 7 draws, 6 losses. 2014 is only half over and I'm just two games shy of equalling the total number of tournament games I played in all of 2010-2013. Possibly helped by the USCF's new K-factor policy for players in the ratings range of 1900-2100, my rating has risen to an all-time high of 2099. If I were to rate my current 4-game match, my rating would rise to 2104, so I feel that I have already achieved my four-year goal in just 1.5 years. I have also won my third trophy and also earned my fifth and final norm for the USCF Candidate Master norm title. The last time I earned a norm or won a trophy was 10 years ago. And my tournament performance ratings have ranged from 2021 up to 2289.

After a bit of self-congratulation, I move to the next goal. The 2200 summit lies ahead. Before I get there, it would be nice to win an Expert section trophy. I'll give myself a generous four years from now to reach these two goals. Impatient frustration should be minimized with this long horizon.

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