Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Set Goals or Not to Set Goals

There is a lot of tools, ideas and dogmas about how to reach your goals. Does it work to your advantage to make your goals public or does it work the other way around? I have no strong opinion and if I have to guess then "whatever makes you happy" gets my vote.

One huge advantage with public goals is that they might help you to find you some company on your way to Greatness. There are a number of wonderful chess blogger who have helped me a great deal and in all sorts of ways.

My Long Term Goal is to reach approximately 1750ELO before turning into an even grumpier 50yo. Is it doable? Well, it will be a struggle but I think that I am just a slight underdog to reach my goal. I try to find comfort in IM Andrew Martin's statement that fifteen minutes of quality training per day is enough for a gain of one ELO-point per week.

Approximately fifteen to thirty minutes of tactics training is part of my daily routine. The huge challenge is to make room for more slow games in the calender.

The Short Term Goal will be to play and analyze ten slow games before the Holiday Season. That does not sound like much but ad two lovely kids into the equation and you realize you will have to rescale 24/7 into 48/7 or worse.

I am very optimistic about the Smart Chess iPhone application soon to be released. I just sound sweet to have quality chess study material available in your cell phone.


  1. Personally I think that playing over master games (especially solitaire chess) is a great alternative to just doing tactical drills. Pretty much every game is full of tactical problems, at least threatened if not executed. But in addition to tactics you're getting strategy, openings, endings etc too. I think it's one of the more fun ways to "study" too.

  2. Agreed! It can be very funny. I also think you need more time to carefully study master games. In my experience, it is much more rewarding to carefully study a master game in a single session.

  3. For me, public goals really helping to focus my daily activities. When it's hard to squeeze in everything you want to do in a day, having a high-level goal really help to set priorities and stay committed.

    And yes, I am also eagerly awaiting the Smart Chess app...

  4. Is this a cop-out? --> http://zenhabits.net/no-goal/