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Road to 2000 Month 2 Recap

Motivation sometimes is incredibly challenging

Hello Again! It's been a while...

It's been a while, motivation was a bit tough to come across in February. I've been going through a few things at work, and frankly was a bit burnt out after pushing a bit too hard in February. I think I was overextending a bit, trying to do How To Reassess Your Chess, Mastering Endgames Strategy, Survive and Thrive, Chess Tactics for Champions all on top of playing and reviewing games. Chess suddenly stopped feeling fun, more like a chore and if I didn't get through my plan for a week it was weighing on me. Not to mention I was finding myself rating obsessed (I know the title of my quest is Road to 2000), but suddenly it felt as if my rating was rising, what was I studying for.

So I took a bit of a break. I binged some blitz, and just went back to having fun. The Lonewolf season had ended, and there was no real reason for me to push myself for classical and studying. It was actually nice, after burning through some losses, I was having fun again. There is definitely a balance between "studying chess" and "playing chess". I was guilting myself before that playing blitz was hurting my chess, which sure it is, but playing blitz is also fun. If I can separate the two, why not do both.

Then one morning on my commute to work I found myself listening to the Perpetual Chess Podcast episode with NM Jeremy Kane. (Link to podcast episode) The interview really helped rejuvenate my desire. There were a few good takeaways:

  1. Study something you enjoy studying with regards to chess, don't necessarily force yourself to study things you don't enjoy. (With the usual Lucena Position reference)
  2. Active vs inactive studying, try to be active.
  3. Blitz is fine, but not a substitute for studying, it's like playing a different game, can be helpful with a few things, but don't consider it a part of the study plan.

Honestly, that was the episode I needed to hear. Late last year when I started working through Survive and Thrive I was enjoying it and felt my game improving. It was also active, exercise-driven, and forced me to calculate and think about positions. I have found How To Reassess Your Chess helpful, but I'm going to slow down on it a bit. It's a lot of reading, walking through game after game, and sometimes I find myself forced to just get through sections, as opposed to being dedicated and active.

Okay so now what?

Okay, so what does that mean for me going forward. Well for starters I want to spread myself less thin. I'm going to focus most of my studying right now on the following:

  • Finish Mastering Endgames Strategy
  • Tactics, tactics tactics
  • Minimal opening prep for Lonewolf games

Also, stop pushing myself to "finish N chapters" a week. I need to move at a pace where I'm absorbing material effectively and learning. This isn't university if a chapter takes me two weeks because I'm struggling to understand the endgame concepts. I should struggle to take those two weeks as it will help my game. Also lastly, the rating points will come. So going to stop judging my chess value on them as much and go back to doing what I love, playing chess!

So that's all for now, I'm going to try to get back to writing these on at least a biweekly basis, so bye-bye for now!