What is Your Plan?

Can you imagine a sea captain who tries to reach a distant land without a map? Can you imagine a motorist driving with closed eyes? Of course not.
If you want to achieve a certain distant goal, you need to have a map that will show you the right way. This relates to your chess goals as well.
Most players study chess rather haphazardly. They watch the videos that look nice, and read books that are popular or seem good to them.
I have to confess that I used the same way till… International Master level! This was my terrible mistake. Luckily, after that I met a good coach. Then I realized that I’m going, but I’m going nowhere…
Chess teaches us strategic thinking. You’ve probably heard that you must have a PLAN while playing. And it’s better to have a bad plan than not to have any plan at all.
It would be wise to use this rule while playing chess and in other situations as well.
So here’s my question to you:
What is your PLAN for chess progress in 2013?
I’ll give you some hints in the next issue, but I’d like that you think about it by yourself first.
A plan should contain:
+ your overall goal;
+ steps/stages of moving towards that goal;
+ schedule of training.
If you have a PLAN it doesn’t guarantee your success, but gives you a chance for it.
If you don’t have a PLAN you have almost an absolute guarantee of failure.
Give it a try. And remember: it’s better to have a bad plan than not to have any plan at all.
What is your PLAN for chess progress in 2013?
To conclude, I’d like to give you 2 cool puzzles. As usual, your task is to find the best move and calculate the resulting variations.
Topalov – Dominguez
White to Move
White’s turn
Central squares are usually very good for a knight. This time, however, White’s centralized knight is suddenly trapped! Can you see any way to escape?
Anand – Nakamura
White to Move
White’s turn
Black puts pressure over the c-file and is trying to develop a king-side attack. What should White do?
After you come up with your solutions in both games, download the commented games here:LINK