In tournament chess the spectre of Arpad Elo hangs over us all, gnawing at the back of our minds.
So the temptation, as we approach that old holiday/New Year time of reflection and resolution, is to define the year in terms of results. So many masters or experts beaten or drawn. So many rating points gained (or lost).
But good players (I’m told) focus on the game, the positions, not the results.
So how did your game grow this year? And how will it grow next year?
I learned a good deal about complex endings, and I demonstrated that knowledge in at least one specific game, winning a clearly drawn pawn-up endgame by consciously applying principles learned from Aagard & Shereshevsky. One small step for mankind.
I also significantly expanded my knowledge and understanding of positions arising from the Alekhine and a couple of other semirespectable openings. I began the journey toward understanding two specific very classical openings, one for each color. That journey will continue this year as I bring those openings to OTB play for the first time. (I accept the inevitable bumps and bruises.) Note that this is not mainly about memorization. This is about understanding the structures and positions that typically arise.
I evidently failed to grasp the …e6 Sicilian in any significant way, which you may rest assured I will address for the coming year. I will in fact become so prepared that opponents who specialize in …e6 Sicilians will chicken out and play the Caro Kann.
I suffered several breakdowns of objectivity with clear impact on my results in specific games. Hammering out that ingrained habit is another to-do.
My time management remains horrible. Not sure how to fix that. (“Move faster!” Yeah. Duh.)