Learner Series #15 – Jeff Z.

Learner Collection #15 capabilities member Jeff Z. He’s a 33-12 months-old who just obtained back again into chess soon after viewing the Queen’s Gambit Netflix collection, and he’s utilizing the Intermediate Grownup Improver prepare with some modifications.


How aged are you and how extended have you been actively playing chess?

33. I discovered the activity in quality college and “knew” just one opening: the just one exactly where the two beginners go king’s pawn two spaces and carry out all their knights. Just after a 20-some calendar year crack, next Queen’s Gambit, I resumed participate in. Goal: receive a lifelong hobby.
As an M&A/transactions lawyer by day (and night), I get quite fast paced and from time to time daydream about retiring early. Subsequent that considered to its reasonable conclusion, I could not specify the pursuits that would exchange the very long perform hrs. See, e.g., Hearth neighborhood posts about the risks of early retirement. 1 trouble is that your sizeable other and your buddies would nevertheless be doing the job though you are “early retired,” so you need a solo exercise like chess to fill the gap.
I made use of to compete in online video video games (together with prime 5 planet in Warcraft 3) but could not preserve a aggressive edge though balancing law firm get the job done. I’m utilizing chess as a aggressive outlet and difficult myself to see what rankings I can achieve. Chess is wonderful in that it’s generally there, and you can shell out a small or a lot of time playing/studying, and occur back again to it. No equilibrium patches to maintain up with (deep opening concept is the closest point but does not have an affect on us mere casuals).

How numerous hours for every week do you commit on chess?

15-25. Perhaps a further 5-10 passively seeing chess Youtube movies.

Chess website usernames?

– synikall at chess.com

What is your current talent level or ranking?

– On chess.com: 1400 blitz, 1560 fast

Playing OVERVIEW — describe exactly where you perform, time controls, how frequently, and so on


In no way. The website means for how to come across these are lackluster. The state USCF page has hyperlinks to community clubs that are shut or have not been up-to-date in decades.

On the net

On Chess.com, I perform 5+5 in blitz, 15+10 in fast, and 3-5 daily game titles. When work receives chaotic, the imagined of playing a 15+10 game feels brutal. That’s when I enjoy extra blitz than is constructive. It’s extremely simple to get caught up in spamming blitz game titles that change into vacant energy for chess expansion. I am significantly weaker in blitz than for a longer time time controls — appears to be like I’m always the 1 down in time. I expend as well a great deal time hoping to locate the very best shift in blitz, whilst opponents at my level will just make the noticeable a person-move threats sort and set the question and clock back to me. I then invest even far more time seeking to establish that their a single-mover is not supporting their placement very long expression, but turns out that I don’t have the potential to punish them in the allotted time.

Studying OVERVIEW — speak about what web pages you use, how typically you devote, ideas

Game Assessment

I use the chess.com analysis function and try out to obtain a single lesson learned from the activity. At my level, the lesson is generally anything like be a lot more aggressive when ahead in advancement, really do not pawn get prior to your king is harmless, or an individual manufactured a one move blunder or skipped a profitable tactic.


Puzzle rush on chess.com.- Operating via some puzzle publications on chessable (Simon’s Strategies, Tune your Chess Techniques Antenna, Mating the Castled King). So much, I assume Simon’s Tactics and Mating the Castled King are as well complicated for my degree. The styles of positions that arise there do not occur in my video games. Tune Tactics Antenna has assisted me realize some of the fundamental designs extra quickly. There are some pretty complicated styles in there, as well.
I need to commit far more time finding the methods alternatively of providing up and producing an uncalculated move. It’s painful although.


Working via opening courses on chessable. I glimpse at opening deviations following each individual activity.
I spend too considerably time on openings for my stage. It’s uncomplicated to spam chessable and not as distressing as placing in the tough work of calculating out tactics puzzles. The chessable life span repertoires go way too deep in variations and are far too considerably for my level.


100 Endgames you ought to know on chessable and many Youtube movies. I have been using this very little by little. I panic endgames and assume most people at my stage is rubbish at them. We just never have enough follow as most of our games do not transform into any balanced endgame.


1on1 weekly chess lessons for about two months now. Have learned about: weak squares/pawns, knight vs bishop (or vice versa) endings, how to locate superior squares for the bishop and the knight. The weak squares/pawns strategy was quite instructive for me, as a typical novice who has no midgame prepare following subsequent the opening ideas of “knights prior to bishops” and “move every single piece the moment.”
I also have the recommended technique textbooks (just look for for “top chess books”), but no time to perform through them!

OTHER Helpful TIDBITS — Do you enjoy streams/movies, engage in variants, any distinctive issues you do that other players can understand from?

Leading Youtube channels/collection I can advocate for beginners: GothamChess (generally almost everything apart from the meme vids), Andras Toth (every thing), Chessbrah (the Habits sequence), and John Bartholomew (Chess Fundamentals sequence, Climbing the Ranking Ladder collection). And of program, is up and coming!
I come across GM video games impossible to comply with (just being truthful), so I avoid all the tournament games and recaps/assessment of them. There are hardly any multi-layered positions in my games as a substitute, what I get is mainly “see piece, attack piece” or “trade to do something” or “develop this piece somewhere, everywhere, due to the fact it hasn’t nonetheless moved.”

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