So far this blog has been mostly just about updates on this website but kind of want to also write about other topics. So I thought I’d write a recap on my chess progress over the last year and how I’m planning to work on improving my chess in the future.
I made my account on Lichess in February of 2017 but only played 2 or 3 games on there before giving up on it. Then in spring/summer of 2020, partially due to the pandemic & the lockdowns, chess became really popular on Twitch & YouTube and the Chess.com website actually hosted an online chess tournament with some popular Twitch streamers called PogChamps.
This made me give chess a second try & I actually started enjoying it a lot. It has now become a big hobby for me & I play a couple of games pretty much daily.
Lichess to Chess.com & back to Lichess
When I started playing again, I played around 130 games or so on Lichess, but then decided to switch to Chess.com as my main site (in part because those tournaments were all played on that site). So roughly from September 2020 to April 2021, I played pretty much exclusively on Chess.com. I even bought the Diamond premium membership which gave me unlimited puzzles and unlimited computer analysis of my games. Overall I played 390 games on there, mostly Rapid & Blitz games.
After a while I noticed that actually overall prefered the UI on Lichess & basically all the features on the Diamond memberchip on Chess.com (unlimited puzzles, unlimited analysis, puzzle rush/streak) were available on Lichess for free so I decided not to continue my premium membership on Chess.com and switch back to Lichess.
Another thing that I love about Lichess is that it’s completely open source, has no paid features at all & is actually funded by a non-profit so they literally don’t need to try & monetize the features on the site.
As far as I know pretty much all new changes on the Lichess GitHub page are now written in Rust - maybe if I improve my Rust skills I’ll be able to help out there sometime. That would at least be an open source project that I’m really passionate about.
My progress over the last year
On April 5th 2021 - right around the time when I switched back to Lichess, my ratings were:
- Rapid: 1029
- Blitz: 851
- Puzzles: 1202
- Bullet: 1029 (didn’t play Bullet for the first couple months)
My ratings today, on 7th of May 2022 are:
- Rapid: 1637 (+603) - my currently highest Rapid rating ever
- Blitz: 1327 (+476) - almost my highest ever (1330)
- Puzzles: 1773 (+571)
- Bullet: 1077 (+48)
So in Rapid & Blitz I have been steadily making progress and improving my rating. I have the most games in Rapid (495 rated games), then Blitz (365 rated games) and then Bullet (210 rated games).
Overall I’m putting my focus on Rapid chess, playing both the 10+5 & the 15+10 time controls. With Rapid chess I at least feel like my wins are actually earned because with the increment, games hardly ever end in flagging my opponent & winning on time.
Recently I’ve however also enjoyed Bullet chess, but this is mostly just for the adrenaline of the quick time control ( I play 2+1) - I know that playing Bullet won’t really help me to improve a lot.
What I’m working on currently
While I have been improving overall, I feel like I’m often getting out of the opening in a worse position than my opponent because I’m mostly winging it and just playing moves that look good & develop my pieces.
This is why I’ve decided to start actually working on my openings. I want to find at least one opening for white and one for black on which I can focus and really learn well. My notes while learning the openings can be found here.
Unrelated, but today I found this fun website made by a fan of one of my favorite chess streamers/youtubers, Eric Rosen that analyzes all your games on Lichess and gives you a score based on how many fancy types of checkmates you managed to do, stalemate tricks, weird pawn structures and just generally fun achievements. It’s called Rosen Score. I got 27 “Rosen trophies” there :D