Monday, July 13, 2009

Measures of improvement

To review your own games is excellent training. I like to look back at old games to get a better understanding of my improvement. Recently, I started to create a “Top 5 list” of all my OTB (“Over-the-Board”) games. I think such a list might be useful as a measure of your improvement. How? Well, one idea is to set goals such as: “At least one of my next ten games should make it into my Top 5 List”

Rating Improvement is of course a simply measure of improvement but the thing is that you can play the best chess of your life without winning a single game! The Top 5 List does not necessarily consist of won games.

Please note that making in into the Top 5 List is quite demanding if you have played a lot of games. A simple but crude estimate of the chance for a single game to make it into the list is “5/N”, where N = the total number of your games from where the Top 5 is created


  1. This is a great idea. I have been thinking of begining to create a list of my 300 most important positions like Alburt says to do in Chess Training Pocket Book (Book 6 of the Comprehensive Chess Course).

  2. Thank you! I have started a Chessbase based Training Journal which is supposed to include both my Top 5 games and my Hall of Shame archetypical errors. The idea is to get a confidence boost out of the nice games and to have a chance to remove some negatives by avoiding to do the same type of errors over and over...

  3. Very good! I recently posted my first four "Memorable Games," the only trouble being that they are all from the 1980s. No reason i can't play some newer ones. And yes, a loss or draw should be included soon.

    I really like the suggestion that "one of my next ten games should make it into the Top 5 list"!

  4. Wahrheit! Thank you! It is hard to break into the Top 5 if you have played a lot of games!

  5. Nice to see you, David Korn Seattle

  6. DK, nice to hear from you. I tried to respond to your Twitter messages but failed since you don not follow me. Hint-hint!

  7. i am trying very, very hard to keep my follows below 100, and after tour de france, will cut way back. also added a bunch of seattle news follows temporarily to follow a serious shooting three four hours ago...

    i looked for your old email, offering to help you with your chess. i apologize for not responding, i lost my job in november, economics are serious for those without jobs in seattle--or anywhere.

    if you make a comment at any of my blogs, you can give me your email address again, and promise to write back. no one will see it, because A. i wont post it, and B. have comment moderating.

    at twitter, i will easily get to 200/300 but must keep follows at 100. remember, we want to actually read who we follow. i added you temporarily so we can exch messages.

    god bless, and thank you, David Korn