Overdue Chess Update

So, it’s been awhile since my last blog post, and I have a lot to update you all on. I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll hit the highlights.

I have decided to try a chess coach again. After some conversation with others on Twitter, I finally found a coach that I think will work out. He is National Master James Canty III. We have only had one session so far, but I have a good feeling about it. I’m looking forward to our next session. Based on his recommendations, I need to create a new study schedule that will work for me. I’ll try to keep you all updated on that.

Recently my tactics rating on chess.com reached 2088, a new high for me. However, as usually happens periodically, it tanked to just over 1800 over the past few days. History proves that it will go back up, but I am perplexed at why this happens. As I told my coach, one day I am solving 2400 rated positions with no problem, then the next day I can’t solve a position rated 1000+. I am very confused about this and am keen to diagnose the problem and get it fixed as soon as possible.

Another issue I’ve run into is the failure of my tactical ability to translate into winning my games. As I said, my chess.com tactics rating has been as high as 2088, and my lichess.org tactical rating currently sits at 2183. My coach has answered this question: My tactical ability is not translating into my games because I am weak in other areas. We have identified opening play as a major weakness at the moment, leading to uncomfortable middle game positions within which my positional/strategic weaknesses are amplified. Thus, I am now using http://www.chessable.com to work on learning opening plans and theory as well as working more deeply with Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca to get a better foundation in positional play. My only gripe with chessable so far is that some of the courses I’m trying to study have very little explanation of the plans and focus more on the learning of moves and move orders. Other courses provide very good explanations. I’m sure I can supplement the courses that do not with other sources of explanation concerning plans. Right now, I am focusing on the Italian Game as white, the French Defense against 1. e4 and the Nimzo-Indian against 1. d4. I am looking at the Rossolimo Variation as white against the Sicilian (1…c5) but I’m not yet sure about that one. I am also going to continue working with Yusupov’s series to help boost my progress.

I also had to deal with yet another person citing my age (42) as reason to believe that I have no potential to reach my chess goals. All I have to say at this point to people who don’t believe I can do it is, “Watch me.”

That’s all for now. More later.

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