I’m told you need to play chess nearly as much as you study chess. I’m currently studying a chess openings book while using an accompanying small portable magnetic chess set on the bus ride to and from my office each workday. Once there, I’ll go over a game out of the same book before I get my work day started. It’s been a few weeks since I studied out of any one of my endgames books (shout out to Mr. Silman and Mr. De La Villa for giving me preparation to squeak out a draw in the last round to my most recent tournament). It’s been months since I spent any time reading a middle game book. The question for me is which middle game book in my slowly expanding chess book collection to choose. I own five books with middle game in the title. Two of those I’ve previously read. I want to pick one of the skinny books so I can soon add a little white round sticker which I use to remind myself I’ve read it. Something deep inside me which I don’t want to listen to is telling me chose the thickest book. Argh! It’ll take me months to get through. Fine, I’ll go through ten pages today and work it into the hours I’ve set aside for chess study. Somehow I’ll start another endgame book to round out the 20/40/40 rule in chess for myself (20% chess openings 40% middle game 40% endgame).

I’ve recently started playing games on chess.com. I play two per day at 15 minutes plus an increment. I’m not really focused on winning or losing at this point. I have been playing at night after dinner. Though I’d like to win, I’m focused on learning to manage my time better and getting match tough. The wins will come more frequently later.

I do own multiple vehicles. Taking the bus over the last three weeks has allowed me to gain additional chess study time, has helped me to become more active, has helped me to lose weight walking to the bus stops while dropping a pants size and saves me about five dollars a day over driving one of my vehicles. Another benefit is I don’t get upset when I see the gas price increase seemingly every week.

Well, it’s Saturday afternoon and I’ve put off starting on that middle game book long enough.

What are your study routines?