I recently bought the book Chess Exam And Training Guide and I took the whole test in a day (it was a Sunday). The results were eye-opening! Because of those results, I decided to build my training plan so as to focus on my biggest “real” weaknesses first.
Before taking the test, I thought that I was pretty good at tactics and endgames and that I was average at strategy and middlegame. I knew my opening knowledge was not great (I hate studying openings) but I didn’t think it was that bad.
- My biggest weaknesses (where the estimated rating was way lower than my overall rating) are tactics, sacrifices, calculation and openings.
- My other weaknesses are attack, strategy, middlegame and endgame.
- My strengths (where I scored higher than the overall rating) are defense, recognizing threats, standard endgame positions and counterattack.
Here is the big plan :
- Focus on tactics and build an opening repertoire.
Tactics: Manual of Chess Combinations, Vol. 1a, Vol. 1b and Vol. 2 .
Openings: The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory
- Improve my calculation and work on sacrifices.
Calculation: Calculate Till Mate
Sacrifice: The Art of Sacrifice in Chess, 21st Century Edition
- Learn to attack and improve my positional understanding.
attack : I don’t know yet. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment
positional understanding : The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding
- Focus on the middlegame – especially planning.
Winning The Middlegame
Your Winning Plan
- Improve my endgame.
An Endgame Expert
Retake the test and build another training plan focused on my biggest weaknesses
I decided to focus on one or two weaknesses at a time because I want to deeply learn the topics and transform the weaknesses into strengths. However I won’t be studying only these topics, I plan on having fun studying whatever I want some of the time!
If you have any suggestions or observations, please leave a comment (especially if you have a suggestion for the attack part!).