Learner Series #16 – Jesse D.

Learner Sequence #16 characteristics Jesse D. who is an adult improver that has not long ago joined the munity. He has a mentor, is energetic on Twitter with the #chesspunks, and is the head moderator for the Chessgoals Discord server. Jesse has a incredibly analytical tactic and brings his encounter from the TCG neighborhood to the chess improvement world.

I’m 34 decades aged and learned chess as a kid playing with my dad and uncles. I by no means seriously went outside of that. A person day in December of 2020, I was browsing YouTube and the algorithm served me up a “Grandmaster performs beginners” video clip. Staying a life span video clip gamer myself, I wished to see what the chess model of “smurfing” is (smurfing is generally actively playing far under your ability stage and commonly is really one-sided). I clicked and it was a Danya video and it was not what I envisioned at all. The movie was super instructive from both of those sides of enjoy, and it is genuinely what bought me fascinated in chess. 

I used some time viewing videos right here and there. The game’s strategic depth in mix with acquiring comprehensive data was so intriguing for me. I have performed TCG’s (Magic: The Collecting) for 20+ yrs and generally have been equipped to lean on bluffing/hiding info/luck of the attract. Chess has none of that. My losses are mine on your own. That implies there’s normally one thing to master.

I performed a very small little bit in December and did ways. Then the WoW growth came out and I stop for quite a few months to waste my daily life absent on that for a bit. I’ve since returned to chess as of late March 2021.

Ever because I arrived back with some authentic target, I’ve been placing about 15 hrs or so a 7 days on chess on regular.

Jaytronzero on chess.com and lichess 

I’m not as excellent as most of the people today you’ve interviewed, but I a short while ago broke 1200 speedy on lichess (+200 or so ranking in the past month or so). At some level, I’ll perform on my Chess.com rating as perfectly.


I had my 1st OTB games a several weeks back when a friend came around because we’re now both equally vaccinated. I have to say, it’s a absolutely various game. We performed no time controls and managed to do 3 video games in 5 several hours?


I participate in typically on lichess. The UI is a no-frills, clean UI and I’m a major fan of that. I also like that the techniques really do not penalize me for using my time and calculating totally.

I made use of to do 5 blitz game titles a working day, and 1 swift. I’ve been carrying out a 3/2 break up of blitz/fast these days, at the advice of my coach. Any game titles further than these are swift or slower.

I know most individuals have a tendency to advise beginners stay away from blitz, but we use them in little quantities to exercise openings (and develop your repertoire), and mainly have a personalised practices generator.

I try to invest 6+ hours a week on game titles a 7 days (~50m/working day).

Game Analysis

This is probably the greatest reason to get a mentor, IMO. Using the engine is high-quality to spot poor moves and which are the ideal ones is ordinarily doable. Even so, actually comprehension the strategies guiding your openings, how to formulate a very good system, and why some seemingly nonsensical pc moves are the finest moves are genuinely great to have a mentor for. Mine has actually aided establish themes of in which my recreation is weak, and how to handle them particularly. Something that I may well have figured out myself, ultimately, but I sense like spending for a mentor is primarily getting time. I truly feel like I have sped up my progress pretty a bit as a outcome.

My assessment process commonly begins by first incorporating the sport to a review, then heading by means of and commenting on all the reasons I manufactured specific moves Prior to turning on the assessment/engine. Then I try out to see what the engine suggests about my tips/options and consider a nearer appear at thoughts that weren’t even on my radar.

Immediately after analysis, I enjoy by way of my blunders (Discover from your problems element on Lichess). I then just take them and make those into flashcards (shoutout to #chesspunks Stacia Pugh & Neal Bruce for the notion). I made the decision to go the digital route myself and leverage Chessable to make them. On top of the mistakes that Lichess finds, I test to insert in suggestions that I favored that I missed, and skipped forced mate sequences that feel fair for me to see at my level. 


For methods, I commonly do a warm-up operate of Puzzle Streak ahead of video games. I also test to hit my flashcards each and every day, and if I want to do “extra credit” I’ll review some Chessable strategies guides, or do common puzzles on Lichess or Chess.com. My mentor states there are some diminishing returns on ways, so we have dialed practices time back a bit in favor of additional games. Can make sense, if your actual gameplay is so at the rear of, you will not get into very good positions exactly where methods come up.

I check out to hit 3-4 hours of ways a week total (30m/day).


I really do not devote way too a great deal time on openings currently. Before on I was fascinated by them so I put in a large amount of time. Now I go via the “e4, a thorough white repertoire” intro chapters so I know what to do on a standard degree. I also shell out time on the openings that my coach recommended I master. Most of my opening time is just making certain my Chessable things every day assessment stays workable.

This is about 2hr a week (15~20m/working day).


I do not shell out a ton of time on endgames because frankly at my level, it’s scarce for me to attain an equivalent endgame in which it matters. I know some essential ladder mates/queen+king/rook+king. At some stage, I’ll get started performing by means of Silman’s Endgame Course as it begins to make any difference far more.


I expend most system time functioning by Logical Chess: Transfer by Go, and The Amateur’s Mind. Will start out to work in Being familiar with Chess Shift by Transfer and How to Reassess Your Chess just after I end these two.


I do watch some YouTube video clips in this article and there, not a ton anymore even though. I really appreciate Danya’s articles and John Bartholomew’s articles.

I largely limit observing time simply because if I have minimal time, I want to be executing anything a lot more lively. Twitch streams are entertaining, but I don’t genuinely get considerably from them in conditions of advancement/learning.

The ideal guidance that I’ve read is to really just take the “Win or learn” solution. We all have our off times, or times where our vision just isn’t up to par. That is ok! Consider some time to just take some positives and some learnings from online games (even the wins). Attempt to respect the journey, and never get also substantially place fixation.

Another a single is to be acutely aware about how you commit your time. Chessgoals has a lot of great strategies (both equally cost-free and paid) with direction on how to expend your time finding out. As GM Noel Studer states, “Checking out some chess tweets or viewing twitch should really not rely as instruction! This is free of charge time!”. If you love spreadsheets, you can make a sweet monitoring spreadsheet that will help you retain by yourself honest. Also, quite spreadsheets are just entertaining to seem at.

Previous a person: really do not neglect to have enjoyment. Chess is a video game following all. 🙂

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