The Journey Begins

I got reintroduced to chess about a year ago. It was accidental; I remarked how badly I lost to one of my friends when my roommate had gotten his chess set to the hostel. Seeing the remark, one of them challenged me to a game, which I promptly lost. The guy then sent me a video about the opening I played because he hadn’t seen it before. And thus began my foray into the world of 64 squares.

[White "Goirik"]
[Black "adch99"]
[Termination "Time forfeit"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 Ne7 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. h3 Bh5 6. g4 Nxd5 7. exd5 e4 8. Qe2 Qf6 9. gxh5 Be7 10. Bg5 exf3 11. Qxe7+ Kxe7 12. Bxf6+ gxf6 13. Rg1 Na6 14. Bxa6 bxa6 15. Nd2 Kd7 16. O-O-O Rhe8 17. Rge1 f5 18. Nxf3 f6 19. Nd4 a5 20. Nxf5 a4 21. a3 Rab8 22. Ng7 1-0
GIF animation of the game.
The game that started it all. I’m black here. The 1338 rating is misleading as I just started out.

The chess boom in the lockdown has helped. I have learnt a lot from various content creators. They have made it so easy for beginners to understand the game without needing a coach. But time and again, I keep getting stuck. And I’m currently stuck too! I play too much bullet but don’t really progress in it. I understand pawn structures and weaknesses a bit but end up hanging my queen anyway. This is going to be a series of posts where I journal about my path to reaching 1500.

In my posts, I will analyse my games and write my thoughts on openings and lines. Sometimes I’ll put up videos/resources that helped me overcome some aspect of the game. I hope this can help you with your games too. And while this journey is about improving in chess, it is also about getting off something close to an addiction. Bullet is addictive, and after a point, you stop progressing and understanding the game. You just play whatever comes to your mind. You make plans of your own but don’t look at your opponent’s plans because there’s just no time. And we are going to overcome that here.

This is the road to 1500. We are going to play mainly on lichess; chess.com is our testing ground for trying out various openings. Here’s the deal:

  • Play 2 games of 10+0 on lichess every day. Minimum is 1. Maximum is 3.
  • Play not more than 2 games of 2+1 per day. These are going to be warm-up sessions before hitting the 10+0s.
  • Solve 10-15 puzzles per day on lichess. Not more, not less.
  • Analyse both the rapid games played and make notes after the matches.
  • If there’s a tournament (generally blitz and online) from my club, we are done for the day. Nothing more on that day.
  • Lichess username: adch99 and Chess.com username: adch99

And so we begin, 1. e4.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao Tzu

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