Chess Challenge – Day 3 – ELO: 356


  • Tactics, Chess King Tactics for Beginners (30m)
  • Short&Sweet Black Lion (30m)
  • Game & Analysis

Game 3 – 28.02.2024 – B – win

  • Opening theory: Blunder by opponent turn 3
  • 3. Should have just taken the free pawn
  • 4. Take free pawn or c6
  • 9. Move Q to attack pawn or move N away from d7
  • Around 21 Endgame
  • 31. M8 missed → g5 not considered
  • 32 “blundered B”
  • Overall quite nice, missed the pawn in the opening and “blundered the B” (was still ok to trade for pawn) but executed well overall

Chess Challenge – Day 2 – ELO: 256

For now I’ll just post the training I did and the games with a short analysis for each day and possibly a weekly or bi-weekly summary. Bulk posting after about two weeks. I also figured out afterwards that you can see the ELO as of after the game so I’ll use end of day ELO in the title. The tactics training is basically grinding through Chess King Tactics for Beginners then repeating it (woodpecker style).


  • Tactics, Chess King Tactics for Beginners (30m)
  • Game & Analysis

Game 2 – 27.02.2024 – W – draw

  • Accuracy about 70%
  • 6. Standard Colle move but computer likes Nc3
  • 7. Unsure here/out of prep
  • 8. Seems like I lose material here, should have played Nbd2 (9.gxf3 Bh3 10. Nc3 Bxf1 Be5 because if we move the rook → Ne4)
    • If double N in center by villain, protect N with N
  • 9. Queen takes seems to blunder the Q (→Bg4)
  • 14. B takes is a blunder → g6 wins the Q
  • Summary: Blunders, got into a strong attacking position but didn’t find the right moves, unsure in the opening

Chess Challenge Day 1: Too Fast & Too Furious

Initially, my plan was to work through the book “Back To Basics: Tactics” and do it Woodpecker like in a couple of cycles as my tactics component. However, I found that I didn’t quite like working with the book. I did some puzzles on and liked that more. The CT-ART 4.0 app was recommended a lot so I downloaded it, did some puzzles and recognized quickly that they are too advanced for me. I did however find the “Chess Tactics for Beginners” app from the same company which suits me better. I did all of this during my “diddling around” week and so on day 1 of the challenge, I was already in the flow of doing 30 minutes of tactics daily in that app. Additionally, I do the daily free “Puzzle Rush” 5 minutes and decided to do Lichess “Puzzle Storm” before playing my daily game to get into the right mindset. I picked this idea up from Youtuber Kamryn, she’s doing Puzzle Rush before each game and doesn’t allow herself to play before reaching some puzzle target.

I also did some lines of the “Black Lion – Short&Sweet” on Chessable and liked this quite a bit. I’ll use it in conjunction with the book “The Black Lion – The Chess Predator’s Choice Against Both 1.e4 and 1.d4”. I also quickly reread the rough move order and move order checklist in “The Moment of Zuke” and played the openings against Antonio the bot. My goal was to have at least some sort of opening to feel a bit more confident with the idea of resorting to opening principles once I ran out of “prep” or faced responses I didn’t know.

I also watched the Video Beyond Material by Irina Kush because it looked like the most interesting topic in my recommended videos list. Quite interesting but I’m not sure I’m capable of these thought processes yet.

Game 1 – 26.02.2024

With all of that out of the way it was finally time to dive into my first game. I played a couple of rounds of Puzzle Storm on Lichess before switching to I picked a rapid game of 10 minutes and was off to the races. First rated game on let us gogogo. I got the black pieces and also learned that the initial rating is not 800 but rather unrated. Ok good, tick tock it was time for my first move….and…

10 minutes later I had lost on time. I felt like I actually played better than expected but the time crunch had me panicking at the end. Immediate lesson before jumping into the analysis…this is too fast for me, I’ll do 15/10 next time.

Game 1 – Analysis

The next step was my post-game analysis. I simply used the Learn/Analysis feature and wrote down some notes and thoughts. Here’s the raw dump:

  • 1. e3 opening something I’m not prepared for → still go with Lion’s first move, otherwise play opening principles
  • 3. Qa4+ → can’t be good, check for traps → develop B with tempo
  • 4. The attack isn’t really threatening, considered Nc6, c6, takes and just developing (other knight)
  • 5. Considered kicking the bishop with a6, f5 to grab center before developing the knight on g8
  • 6. Took with the bishop to not mess up my pawns and kick the Q
  • 7. Protect and develop the knight
  • 8. Surprised by the move, thought I lost the pawn on f5, only considered blocking with Q not B
  • 9. Surprised villain didn’t take the pawn, d5 to take more center, lock out the Q
  • 10. The N is not really threatening, figured 0-0-0 can’t be bad
  • 11. a6 to get the N either on a3 where it’s bad or onto f3 to kick it with e4
  • 12. Decided I’d rather kick with g5→g6 because I didn’t want to block my B
  • 13. Double checked I’m not missing anything and took the free N
  • 14. figured e4 is a strong outpost
  • 15. Immediately regretted not going to e6 after I played the move, because I blocked the diagonal for my B
  • 16. Didn’t take on c4 because I didn’t want to open the lane up for the Q, figured I could open up the e-file where my own Q was
  • 17. Recaptured quite quickly, didn’t reconsider dxc4
  • 18. Took with B, seeing villain has to move the Q and I have a potential attack on g2 later
  • 19. Moved K away, already with the idea that something on the g-file + B g2 would be good
  • 20. Get the R onto the open file
  • 21 Glad to see the move, time to strike with the B
  • 22. Missed the mate in 2, I even thought at the time…I can go anywhere with the B
  • Rest of the game → panic in time trouble (no move preset, figure out how to configure that)
  • Key takeaways => 15+10 next game! By and large ok, not hanging any pieces, acceptable moves. Missed mate and time trouble are takeaways as is being surprised by the Q check and not seeing it.

Notes & Outlook

Overall, I’m happy with day 1. Quickly learned the 10 minute time setting is too fast for me and played reasonably well. Even could have won if I hadn’t missed the M2. Overall training time for the day was around 90 minutes.