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Normal Topic How many games should an improving player play? (Read 1015 times)
Laramonet
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #7 - 05/19/17 at 19:51:12
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For me the average of one game per week is about right. Playing two evening games in a week is too much but averaging one a week allows for odd weeks when I can't make it, mixed with weekend congresses and if I'm really lucky a week of competition abroad like the European Club Cup.
  
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Stigma
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #6 - 05/18/17 at 00:47:46
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I'm in a similar situation in that my rating hasn't seen sustained improvement for many years. Even so, I played quite a lot in many of those years.

My takeaway from that is it's easy fall into a pattern of playing a lot but remaining stuck on the same level, making the same kinds of mistakes over and over. With that many games played, I don't think the solution is to analyse them more deeply; I believe I am quite objective about this and know what kinds of mistakes I'm making as well as where my strengths are.

So my advice if you're really trying to improve and you already know your own strengths and weaknesses well:

Training comes first.
It should be specifically targeted to your needs. If playing takes away time that could be better spent training, play less. And analyzing one's own games is often overrated for experienced tourmament players who have an objective view of themselves.

The time for playing a lot is after you have trained well for some time and feel like you have made real progress. Then you can expect to be rusty, and your brain may even be confused that you're trying to do some things differently. So you may do worse at first before you hopefully acclimatize and eventually stabilize on a new, higher level. When that happens, you analyze all those recent games for patterns of strengths and weaknesses, create a new, targeted training plan, and go into training mode for a while. And so on up to GM level Smiley

In addition to this cycle of training mode > playing mode > analysis > training mode ... it's of course a good idea to avoid going a long time without any games at all, to avoid some of the rust problems. I've had so little time for chess lately that I've hardly managed to play or train at all. But I believe regular tactics training and looking at high-level games can compensate to some extent through or even just at the end of a long stretch without play.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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ReneDescartes
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #5 - 05/17/17 at 23:43:00
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First, I strongly belIeve the games should be at classical time controls--you can find slow onine games, slower than 45 45, if nothing else then by agreement with individual players. Second, I think 40 games that you analyze well (without a computer, listing mistakes and searching for patterns, etc.), are better than 75 games with no time to go over them. Third, I think playing one game a week is better than a pattern of six weeks off and then six games in a weekend tournament. I improved fastest as an adult during a period when I was playing maybe 75 games a year--about two per week fairly steadily with some interruptions--AND analyzing them.
  
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brabo
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #4 - 05/17/17 at 12:22:22
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I touched this topic in my article http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2016/12/ambities-deel-2.html
An experienced player was able to increase his rating further by playing more games. Fide rated games 2014: 33, 2015: 76 and 2016: 94.

Another interesting article to this topic is http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2017/02/ervaring.html
Experience has a direct link with playing strength but you shouldn't expect magic.
  
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Jupp53
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #3 - 05/17/17 at 10:56:28
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Interesting.

Probably it depends on how someone works over the games and the other parts of the training. What do you think?
  

Medical textbooks say I should be dead since April 2002.
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ErictheRed
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #2 - 05/15/17 at 19:29:32
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I think that one serious game a week is a pretty good pace.  Of course, some weekends you'll play in a tournament with multiple games.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: How many games should an improving player play?
Reply #1 - 05/15/17 at 17:14:26
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I believe I know this one! I found that playing one slow *rated* game per week I could not maintain sharpness. Playing two games per week I could maintain. Playing three games per week I could improve. These are midweek games, and by sharpness I mean the ease with which I could play on the weekend. It was quite noticeable to me both subjectively and in rating.

At the same time, I was of course daily studying chess, teaching chess, researching openings, etc. All this is necessary. But there is something extra about risking the rating over the board. Compared to physical exercise, I can liken the rated game to a hard workout, as opposed to the easy effort which my usual daily study entailed. And the required frequency of effort also corresponds closely with physical exercise programs.

The bad news is that I did not have a full-time job outside of chess at the time. These days I would never be able to play three rated games midweek. Even one such game wrecks me at work for the next day. I don't think outside employment is compatible with chess improvement.
  
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tipau
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How many games should an improving player play?
05/15/17 at 15:11:54
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Hi all,

The last couple of months I've been working more on chess, mostly going through the Yusupov series and a couple of other books. I've been enjoying the study and consider it the start of a serious attempt at increasing my playing level from 2100 FIDE, where it's been for the last 10 years.

I'm happy with my personal study plan. Apart from book work I have a few other ideas. My local chess club has quite a few players in the 2100-2250 range and I'm hopeful I can partner with some of them to work on chess together.

My question is around how much people recommend playing serious slow games, both volume and frequency? Especially those who have successfully improved as adults in full time employment. The traditional advice is to play as much and as often as possible but personally I am wary of playing too much. I find I do much better if I look forward to events and therefore am in the habit of being at least a bit selective. My current plan for the next year is as follows:

Weekend Open in July = 5 games
League Games (4NCL) = 11 games
London Chess Classic Open = 9 games (I don't think it's announced but I'm hopeful!)
Reykjavik Open next year = 10 games

Overall that's 35 games. There is also a local league but I'm considering withdrawing from that, as playing after work is too much a lot of the time. Instead I've signed up for an online tournament with 1 game a week, where I can negotiate a playing time with my opponent. The time control is 30+30, so quick but with the same increment as OTB tournaments. There's another online league with a 45+45 time control, which I may join in future as well.

What are people's thoughts: should I aim to play more, or is it enough to study carefully the games I do play, alongside my other study?

Thanks in advance
  

FIDE: ~2100
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