Friday, January 2

Happy New Year 2009!

Dear readers,

First of all, I wish all of you a Happy New Year 2009!

The beginning of each calendar year is a good time to reflect on your chess goals. Do you want to reach a certain rating? Or win a specific championship? Maybe you want to study tactics for 30 minutes four times a week, or learn a new opening repertoire? Perhaps you hope to overcome your mental weaknesses, e.g. poor play against lower rated opponents. Whatever your goal, it must be something reasonable. For example, it might be a reasonable challenge to aim for 2000 if you're 1800 today, but jumping all the way to master within a year is unlikely.

I have a few exciting ideas to expand my blog for the new year.
  1. Annotated Game of the Week. (probably not every single week)
  2. More short reports from super-GM tournaments.
  3. NorCal Player of the Month.
  4. Fpawn Student of the Month.
I hope to post the POTM awards within the first week of each month, but I reserve the right to maintain some flexibility. The NorCal recognition will normally go to one of the elite juniors in Northern California, whether they are my student or not. Naturally, the Student of the Month award will be limited to private students, including those with lower ratings. A player may not win a second POTM award within 12 months unless they achieve something remarkable, e.g. winning a national or international tournament.

(Undoubtedly some of you are waiting for my final report from North American Open. I was feeling ill for half of my trip to Las Vegas and have slowly recovered since then. Strangely, my performance was decent--but not quite as good as some local juniors.)

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