How do you study chess?

Its been an exciting first week at ChessJournal as development started and news broke to the world!  Ive been pleased to see the initial response despite very little content to show for mine and Matt’s (everyone say hello to developer Matt, my partner in crime) efforts so far.  We have amassed a whopping 74 followers on Twitter and had some positive affirmations of the ChessJournal concept.  A good start!

As I sit here on a lazy Sunday morning drinking coffee, the thought occurred to me that everyone studies chess differently.  Its a very unique endeavour often accompanied by strange looks from partners, friends and family as we mutter to ourselves in the corner via candlelight (Ok. so its not 19th century London but you get the gist).

Personally I’ve probably spent too many hours changing and studying openings, looking for the killer start to every game even though I really need to focus on finishing them. A common amateurs mistake as every player over 2000 will tell you. I can think of two instances in my life where a shift from opening study to tactics paid off almost instantly with improved league performances and a Major tournament win in my local city of Bristol.  In my opinion, its tactics that decide most games at the amateur league level at which I currently compete.  Getting to an endgame would be nice…

So we know that there are primarily the three stages to a chess game we could study, openings, middle games endgames, and we can also look at tactical improvements vs. positional strategic endeavours.  I can spend a lot of money on books and a lot of hours reading them hunched over a board studying these concepts (nodding along pretending I understand them).  But the question becomes how do you know what to study and who decides what your personal weaknesses are?

Chessbooks.jpg

ChessJournal is intended to help you with this question by making it easy to analyse your games (alone or with friends), record your personal thoughts about hard lessons learned, and spot trends and patterns which can guide your future self-study.

But there are other aspects to study that we want ChessJournal to address.  We are not just talking about openings vs. endgames or tactics vs. strategy.  Where do you study?  When?  Who with? What little tricks have you learnt that helps the knowledge leave the pages of the book and enter you brain ready for the next competition?!  What desperate bit of information are you looking for in your games? Maybe its when on average in a game you tend to go wrong? Maybe its the impact of time of day?  Please do tell us how you study chess.

Now is the time to talk to myself and Matt. We want you, the chess players, to help guide ChessJournal’s development. As I said in my last post, its all about your game.  You aren’t going to play anyone else’s!

UPDATE: We are delighted to say that since this blog post was written, ChessJournal is now available on the App Store. You can download it here: 

http://itunes.com/apps/chessjournal

Thank you for your support.

 

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