My ACIS Improvement Plan

Several bloggers have posted their improvement plan for the ACIS “project”; the links can be found at BlunderProne. For my own ACIS improvement plan, I shall focus on the following:

  • watching my gifs repeatedly before every serious game or whenever I feel like it (I might add a website to that end)
  • churning out new gifs illustrating mostly middlegame and endgame piece placements and move sequences
  • studying the opening (reading and rereading introductions and annotated games about my repertoire; watching videos on unfamiliar openings; no memorising)
  • studying the endgame (reading and rereading Silman, practising with the Endgame Simulator, studying positions with the Nalimov Endgame Tablebase; memorising certain endgame positions with the help of gifs)
  • no tactics puzzles except the occasional once-a-week-5-puzzles-in-a-row on ChessTempo whenever I feel like it
  • practising calculation (replaying one master game per week by choosing the White or Black pieces, covering up the other side’s moves and giving myself about 1-15 minutes to calculate and decide on my own move before uncovering the text)
  • playing as many serious OTB games at the club as possible
  • collecting my serious OTB games in a database, giving them a computer run-down and quick annotations, revisiting them every now and then
  • playing occasional long-time games online (if you’re up for this, do let me know!)
  • occasional 15-30 minutes of blitzing on FICS whenever I feel like it

That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing and what I will continue doing until I feel my progress is stalling. Comments as always are very welcome, especially from fellow ACIS people who’re looking for a long FICS game.


10 Responses to My ACIS Improvement Plan

  1. CMoB says:

    “collecting my serious OTB games in a database, giving them a computer run-down and quick annotations…”

    No going over them yourself first? That’s bad.

  2. chunkyrook says:

    What exactly do you mean by “going over them yourself first”? You mean stopping at important junctures and calculating other alternatives first again, and only then using the computer?

  3. blunderprone says:

    Going over the games yourself is an important part of improvement ( at least for me). In the opening I look for the variation and attempt to understand it. I use a book increase my knowledge of that openign and check to see where either I or my opponent goes out of book. Then in the middlegame I comment and try to recall what I was thinking. If I did a post mortem with my opponent and wrote down that analysis, I will also enter that information. I will also try to evaluate the position in terms of White is better becasue of XYZ or Black has equalized because of ABC…and stay away from terms using “I” or “Him” because I want to be as objective as possible about the position.

    After I do all that, then I will fritz or Rybka hte game checking my analysis with the computer’s. A very good way to improve your ability to analyze a position for OTB is to self annotate.

    • CMoB says:

      “Going over the games yourself is an important part of improvement (at least for me).”

      Analyzing your own games by yourself is important for every serious chess player. And not just your losses.

  4. chunkyrook says:

    Great input, thanks. I’ve been doing similar things and I love annotating my own games. I just don’t add much by way of in-depth analysis and variations (only the occasional alternative move at crucial junctions). I add my own games to my opening repertoire databases for opening annotation, and I do try and derive gifs / patterns from post-mortems or my own opening/middlegame/endgame analysis. However, I tend to use the computer right from the beginning in all of that. But I think I’ll pay closer attention to how I annotate my own games in the future.

    • chunkyrook says:

      I should add that the only computer engine I have is Crafty from BabaChess… I’ve been thinking about purchasing Fritz 12, but at this stage I’m not sure whether it’s worth investing all that money as long as I’m still such a patzer.

      • chesstiger says:

        If you still have to purchase a chess enginge i would recommend you make a thoroughly study of Rybka and Fritz and only then make decision which program to buy. My personal preference goes towards Rybka.

        • Chunky Rook says:

          Fritz seemed like the natural choice because everybody’s using it here and because a new version’s just come out. I do believe Rybka is the better chess engine, and I have been using AquariumDemo for a while now and it’s been great. So I might go for Rybka 3 and Aquarium in the end.

  5. chesstiger says:

    It’s a nice plan but like i commented in a previous post one also have to work on one self image/confidence so that one believes in oneselfs without becomming an obnoxious twit that doesn’t respect his/hers opponent.

    • Chunky Rook says:

      Absolutely. In my experience, quite a few chess players are “obnoxious twits” that exude an air of antipathy, smugness or just plain old disdain. Not sure where that comes from. Personally, I very much enjoy being nice to people, especially when we share a common interest (such as chess).

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