Monday, December 28, 2015

My Chess Year

Chess Cake celebrating the year in chess!
Year ends are a good time to reflect on how things have been going and where you'd like things to go. S here's a quick reflection on my chess year in 2015, and some of the goals for 2016.

The lounge of a hotel I stayed at in Orleans, France. Chess seems to follow me around!
From a playing point of view I've had a pretty good year. I started 2015 with a FIDE rating of 2085 and an ACF rating of 2113. I have finished the year with a FIDE rating of 2166 (+79) and an ACF of 2202 (+89). The highlight of the year was winning the City of Melbourne Open at the MCC, but there were also good performances at the MCC ch (4th) and the Glen Eira CC ch (=2nd).

My recent performance in the Australasian Masters was ok, but nothing special. The big problem here I think was lack of practice. In the first half of the year I was playing regularly, at least once a week, which kept me sharp. I then played little chess during September, October, November and felt a bit rusty going into the Masters.

Another chess cake, seeing how I'm celebrating.
So overall I'm pretty happy with my play this year, and hope to keep it up next year. I intend to play regularly through the year at the MCC, and possibly at a couple of weekenders. I plan to work on a stronger opening repertoire, better calculation, and more strategic thinking. (I'll probably end up working on some crazy endgames, a bunch of nineteenth century miniatures, and a few games I see on websites as they happen!) I'd like to establish myself as a 2200+ player, though I know this isn't easy. Actually, I'd really like to get to 2300, but that might be beyond me now. I'd also like to write a book about chess. I've never even tried to do this before, as I've never felt qualified to write about anything. I think I might have a subject now, so I'll see how far this project goes.

Hopefully I'll be able to study some modern theory in 2016!
Does this mean this blog will suffer? Possibly, at times, if I'm busy. But I enjoy writing here, so I intend to continue. I'll be keeping the content personal to me, specifically things about Melbourne, Australia, England, and some of the people I've come across, and things I find interesting.

I am also a chess coach, though the majority of my students are young children at a beginner level. I'm always looking for materials to show which are both educative and entertaining, and hopefully I'll see some students breaking through this year.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year

Is this enough? I think so. I hope you all had a great Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, and have a great New Year and that 2016 is a good one for you. I'll be starting this blog up again in January when I'll be playing in the 2016 Australian Chess Championship.

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