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Month: March 2022

In-Depth Post #3 2022

In-Depth Post #3 2022

Hello and welcome back to my blog. This post will focus on my chess in-depth project.

Since my last post, I have progressed in my lessons on and have continued playing chess, specifically on the rapid setting, on against other people and computers. First I will answer some questions on how my meetings with my mentor have been going.

Mentor Questions

2.  What relationship challenges did you face?  Address some of the sub- questions below

a. Were you communicating effectively with one another? Explain

For the most part, I think that our communication is quite effective. Most of the time I will ask if I don’t understand something. However, I have realized that sometimes language can be a barrier in our communication. I have known my mentor my entire life because he is my parent’s friend, so I have always spoken to him in Russian. Although, during our meetings, I sometimes struggle to find the right words in Russian to express my thoughts.

d. Were you actually listening to each other? Explain

At the end of each meeting, we usually finish our session by playing a game of chess. He can see my progress, and he can also teach me some things along the way. While we are playing he will usually show me some possible moves that I can make and walk me through them. He also often explains the possible moves he can make just so I understand what he’s doing as well. However, I have realized that sometimes he will present me with a bit too many options that it makes it hard for me to follow along and makes me feel a bit overwhelmed. I found that I wouldn’t fully process all of the information that he would give me. However, the next time we meet I will make sure to tell him that it is still hard for me to process all possible scenarios quickly as a beginner, so it would be very helpful for me if he would just slow down a bit, or just present me with fewer scenarios.

3. What learning challenges emerged?

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

Before our meetings, I make sure to play online and with my grandma and complete a few lessons. However, during our previous meeting, I asked my mentor what he thought I should focus on over the next few weeks to further my learning. He said that I shouldn’t focus too much on the lessons right now and just play as much as I can. I can continue completing lessons in the background but it shouldn’t be my main objective.

Progress Report

I’ve been playing online against other people on the rapid setting (each player gets 10 minutes to play), and I realized that I often lose those games because I run out of time. In the next few weeks, I want to play against computers more (you can play without a time limit), as they are more convenient for me as a learner. I have also played against my grandma a few times this week. I hadn’t played with her since early on in my journey. When I was playing with her then, I only knew the basic rules of chess. I won both games that we played, and my grandma says that she can really see how much I’ve improved already. She said that it’s getting a lot more interesting to play with me. Additionally, while playing with her I began noticing when she would make bad/weak moves. As a player, you will grow faster if you begin to not only acknowledge the mistakes that you make but the mistakes that your opponent makes and what stronger moves they could’ve played instead. I think it is helpful to play against a physical person because you can talk with them about the mistakes you made at the end of the game. Since my grandma is a beginner player like me, I found it very helpful when I was able to share some of my thoughts with her at the end of each game and even teach her some things that I learned.

Currently, I have a rating of 167 on the rapid setting on By the next post, I want to bring it up to 230.

Otherwise, since my last post, I have completed more lessons on and made myself an account on Lichess also has lessons. Though all of them are completely free, unfortunately, they don’t have the same instructional format that has, which I enjoy. The lessons on lichess don’t exactly teach you the information, but instead just give you practice problems relating to a specific topic.

On I covered lessons “Protect Your King” and “Active Pieces”. Protecting your king is very important as it is your opponent’s objective to capture it. A key aspect of protecting your king is castling. This article from explains castling very well. After learning about castling and how effective this move is, I began using it very often in my games.

In the upcoming weeks, I want to mostly focus on playing games on a daily basis. Additionally, I want to finish the Opening Principles unit on I want to explore the chess terms section on, looking at terms like blunder, bad bishop, and backward pawn as well. In my next post, I plan on writing about these terms and what I learned about them.

Lastly, for my next meeting with my mentor, I want to create a more specific list of questions and topics for us to discuss to help guide our meetings a bit better because I find that we sometimes jump a lot between topics.

Thanks for reading my in-depth post, see you in the next one.

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