You now are going to discover a brand new way to study chess. A way that you have never seen before. A way that no GM, knows about, or will you find any information or reference about it in books or any other place as well, because it has never existed before until now.
This idea is of my own making, a unique concept that I have been thinking about for sometime because of the same problems we all have in trying to stay on track and stay focused for any length of time in a program that you do not have to go to school for and maintain a specified schedule that the school provides for you.
Have you not wondered how GM's or other high rated player ever got to the top? Do you think they just did it on their own with out any help from others? Not very likely, because human nature is such that no one short of a very unusual disciplined person is able to do it. If you have the money to hire some one to coach you then you may be able to do what most of the top players have done. All the top GM's have done it this way. Every GM has done it this way in the past, even Bobby Fisher has had coaches. The Polgar Sisters had their parents to spur them on and even in Russia they have chess instruction in their schools to teach then on a regular basis.
But what chance do you have on your own to keep at some program of study for any length of time? The odds are not in your favor to do it. Proof of how hard it is to do so is the statistics of how many fail at self study courses. Have you any idea of how many people succeed? I am sure you must have some idea of it, that it's not very many. Trying to stay with any program for longer than a few months is futile and most likely will end in frustration with the lack of motivation you will develop shortly and all of the excuses you will find to procrastinate in doing it later.
The problem is that whenever you undertake a lengthy program of study you fail to see any short-term goals. Instead you see the whole program as one that you will have to work on for some time in order to succeed.
This is where you need to get to the specifics on how to break it down into small chunks that you can handle into completing just a small lesson successfully. How you break it down may depend on your attention span, and the motivation you have that you want to complete the task.
You need to decide on three important things.
1. The Frequency:
You will have to decide on how often you want to study.
The frequency is determined by your goals. The higher is your desire or the more competitive you would like to be the more often you will want to study.
2, The Intensity
How long should you spend on each lesson and how long the lesson should be for a given amount of difficulty.
The intensity in which you spend on your studies will be determined by the amount of stress you can take with out getting tired and lose interest.
3. Duration: The duration is better measured in how much time it will take to complete some desired goal. For example if you wish to increase your skill level in some desired area you know that only spending a few minutes a day will most likely result in you forgetting most of what you learnt shortly latter. So that in order to accomplish something worth while you should spend at least one hour a day while others may feel that two hours is something that they can handle. Or you may very the times as how you feel like studying.
But in any case in order to progress, the prudent way to succeed is to spend some serious time in regular study each day.
What you will find if you study each day for an hour or more is that what will happen is that you will begin to feel an adaptation that will occur in your brain and it will begin to adapt to the stresses of study and grow more stronger in accepting that stress and soon it will just accept what ever time you spend in study much like you might spend in jogging.
If you are unaccustomed to using sustained and vigorous study habits, you may find that trying now to engage into a intensified study program will be most difficult for you.
Few of us after leaving school can find the motivation to drive ourselves this way short of having a gun at our heads. Even the most willing and dedicated will have a lot of trouble trying to find the motivation to stay focused for any length of time and after a while will start feeling sorry for themselves and question their sanity.
What is Priodization ?
This is where you need to use my system called Periodization. This means dividing your total study time into short periods, each with a specific physiological purpose. By doing this, your going to build confidence and increase your motivation to stay with the program. Your endurance to not get tired quickly will increase and your desire to learn will improve as you see your self improving.
You start with the Base period to improve general knowledge. The base period involves study in Chess Basics. The is the most important period for lower rated players, because this is what is needed to learn in order to build on for more advanced chess theory.
1. The Base Period
The base period should emphasize intensity on concentrating your memorization into knowing basic ideas such that you can write down the basic principles from memory. With out being able to do that means that you really do not know them well enough to progress to the next steps in more advanced materials.
The base period should last at least one week and more if you feel up to it. That means at least one hour a day in concentrated study every day for seven days
2. The Build Period
The build period develops your memory of what you learnt by using review. With out doing this you will have forgot most of all that you learnt.
In fact studies by professors in leaning theory have found that soon after reading something the chances are that you will remember no more than 30% to 50% of the most important points in it. And after one day you will have forgot a lot more and remember no more than 25% to 30%. And after only two weeks you probably will remember no more than a measly 10% of what you studied and thought you learnt.
So all of that intense study will have been for naught if you fail to review it in order to burn it deeply into your memory banks.
The Build period is about going over the more important points with more intensity and carefully with the emphasis on increasing and building your memory of these points. Look at them and then close your eyes and repeat them with out looking, doing this with each point in each paragraph and doing this again with all of the points when you complete the page. The more times you review this way the longer will be the time you remember them and more complete is going to be your memory of these points.
The total time you spend on this Build period will be just as you did In the base period, or as long a time is needed to ensure that you are satisfied that you are sure that you know the material well from memory. Which means that you will be able to write down all of the more important points with out looking at them just from your memory of them.
3. The Peak Period
The peak period is putting to use what you have learnt in order to test what you have learnt. This means to engage in competition in games and then afterwards to analyze your games to see how much of what you learnt was actually used in your games. If in your games you see things that you are failing to put to use what you have learnt then this will show you what materials you will need to spend more time on.
This is going to be a very important period in so much that now you are going to see if the things you have learnt are in fact being used. You now will find out what things you need to study again and spend more time in your build period of them to remember then to the point that in your following games you will remember to put them to use.
4. The Recovery Period
The recovery period is for rest and recovery for your mental and physical well being to relieve you from the stresses of intense study. The emphasis is on unstructured activity in a variety of pursuits. This period is necessary so that you don't get stressed out and lose your motivation. You now are just going to have fun playing games and relieve your brain from the stress of intense memorization and study.
With out doing this you may just lose interest and feel that its no longer worth it to spend so much time doing something that is not going to give you any feelings of accomplishment.
How much time you feel is necessary for this period is entirely up to you of course, but not so much time that you may begin to forget what you have learnt. Remember that practice makes perfect.
A few days or even a week may be necessary, and only you will be able to determine what you think is best for you for this period of recovery.
After you recover period, is the time to start all over again with the Base period on new material. And so now you just repeat again what you have done before and continue on this way for as long a time as you feel confident that you have conquered the basics to the point that you are outplaying your opponents in the basics by at least 75%.
Remember you are only trying to win an advantage in so far as you are outplaying your opponents in the basics. Your emphasis in not in trying to win games yet, although if you succeed in outplaying your opponents in the basics you have an excellent chance of doing so.
You may win but only if you don't make any blunders or commit any serious mistakes and also if you don't play short games and lose on time. The mark of patzers is to not use increments and play short games, so don't play like the patzers do.
Only then do you go on to more advanced material and increase your skills.