In game #19, I get into my standard time trouble, get a better position and fail to find several good moves to secure the win.
In game #20, I miss two elementary tactics that would have resulted in an instantly won game and only manage a draw.
In game #21 I just screw up big time when analyzing a series of captures.
In game #22, a simple piece placement error followed by doing everything possible to make my bishops the worst in the history of chess leads to a suffocating position capped off by a glaring oversight.
In game #23 I learn another way to get cramped in the Caro-Kann then miss multiple drawing opportunities with a small clock advantage.
In game #24, I end with a pick me up to show all is not lost. Here's a miniature on the Black side of the Caro-Kann.
March was definitely not my best month of chess. I also went on sort of a blitz spree. I went from about 50 games of blitz played to over 700 in about 2 weeks. It's definitely addictive. It's helped me in some ways and hurt in others. In some of my games I've played a little too quickly and speculative like I would in a blitz game. Heisman says you should never get bad habits from blitz games. In a standard game you just look at the clock and realize you have more time to play the positions and do that.
The good news is that I've gone from a sub 1000 blitz player on chess.com to 1300+. I'm now in the 81st percentile, whereas I was in the bottom 25% before. I've also learned how to play some positions I struggled with before and have learned more about my opening repertoire. It's been a frustrating month of bad play and missed tactics, but you have to lose thousands of games in order to get good. Hopefully I don't keep repeating the same mistakes. I'm starting to get a little better with my time management, but it's still my biggest issue. I'm still using a scattered thinking process during games. Even after annotating and coming away with eureka moments for my process, I go back to doing the same thing in my next game.
My focus after each move is what does that move do?, CCT, list of candidate moves, then choosing a move. Sometimes I'm even repeating it in my head over and over to force myself to do it. I can't wait until it becomes second nature.
Class E +3 -1 =0 75%
Class D +6 -0 -0 100%
Class C +3 -4 =3 45%
Class B +3 =6 =0 33.3%
Class A +1 -4 =0 20%
Expert +0 -0 =0 0%
37 standard games played, and I finally hit my 20 game mark on ICC to qualify for the Team 45/45 league so I should be getting an additional standard game in each week when T61 starts. I now have an official rating of over 1600 @ ICC and looking at my stats that looks about right. If that means I'm only a 1400-1500 player USCF so be it. That's still a huge jump up from my high school days. I need to get into an OTB tournament at some point but I feel like I'm not ready. Am I really as good as I've been playing or will I fold the first time I sit down at the board to a 1100 player? I'm afraid of being overconfident, although this past month should've been a reality check for my ego.
For the next month I want to refocus on playing 4-5 standard games per week, annotated game collections and finishing the Howell endgame book (I've said that before). I've been playing so much blitz I've neglected everything else except going through my tactics training.