My Chess Studying Schedule

6 03 2010

As someone who has gone up very rabidly, many people ask me: Do I study, and if so, how much?

Of course, I study; if I didn’t, I can only imagine how low I would be. As my ambition for chess has grown, so has the amount of time I study. It depends on the player and their personal goals (for example, my goal to become World Champion is most likely higher than your goals). Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about studying.

Here is my current study schedule:

  • Monday: Two Hours of Openings

These days, openings are crucial to know. I get my main opening studying out of the way early on Monday morning before school. Because I have a Monday night game every week, I often work on the opening that I expect to happen.

  • Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: An Hour and a Half of Tactics/Strategy/Position

These factors are definitely the most important in chess game, as virtually nothing can be done without them. I study these the most.

  • Friday: An Hour of Theory

What I mean by this is what chess is and what determines wins and losses. Revolutionize Your Chess is a prime example.

  • Saturday: Two Hours of¬†End-Games

If both players play correctly, an endgame will often result. End-games are very important, and I set aside two hours a week to freshen up on the many, many end-games.

  • Sunday: Free Day

On Sunday, I don’t do anything particular; just anything that I want. Sometimes, I just take the day off and spend it with different activities.

Most likely, a pretty vigorous training schedule compared to yours. As I said, it all depends on the person. Later in the day, I’ll tell you more about studying.





Studying

6 03 2010

Earlier in the day, I told you my studying schedule. Now, I want to talk about studying for you.

Should You Study?

Yes! If you want to get better, there is no better way to do it than studying. If you study openings, you will probably get a better position about the opening, etc.

I know of some people who don’t study yet are very strong; instead, they learn by playing an amazing number of games, and learning from those. Will that is possible, I don’t recommend it, because it’s faster to just get the answers from a book rather than finding them yourself.

How much Time?

How much time you study depends on your chess goal (something I’m going to post about tomorrow) and how much time you have. First, the goal.

If your goal is to get to 1600 in sixth months, for example, and you’re 1450 at the moment, then you need to be more specific; decide how good you’ll have to get at openings, middle-games, and end-games and look at how good you are now. Then choose a certain goal to help you get there.

So, let’s say you want to completely learn the Grunfeld and the Ruy Lopez. Choose what material you’ll have to study to get there and estimate how much time it will take. Perhaps you want to get through a book about strategy. It’s impossible to know how much your rating will go up, so you have to break it into these¬†separate categories (expect more on this tomorrow).

If you don’t have the time, you’ll either have to scale back your goals, or (depending on how much you like chess) you might cut into things such as watching TV or going fishing. This will be a tough decision.

Breaking it Up and Being Consistent

I recommend you make a consistent study schedule, as if you’re flying all over the place, you will be probably not get very far as you might forget the material or go through curves. I think it’s much better to stick to a schedule.

Not just a time schedule, but a schedule that breaks down into separate opening categories. For example, openings on Monday’s, end-games on Tuesdays.

So to help you study, I will be telling you what I study, reviewing it, and giving you my own material for you to study. I can’t wait to tell you about some excellent books.