In my last post I took a slightly deeper look at my past performance than perhaps I have done before. In the next 2 or 3 posts I will cover a little more of my analysis and see where it takes us. I have identified that I play too many games, I know this because I have often been short of time when the game allows a lot of time for each ten moves.
The rate of play varies but is usually 30, 40 or 50 days per 10 moves. It Is not difficult to see how some players amass well over a hundred days in hand for their next moves. This fact has occasionally come under fire from players wishing the game to get a move on, but usually it comes under fire when a player in a lost position simply sits on their hands and allows their time to tick lower. This practice is known as ‘dead mans defence’ because the losing player is perceived as hoping the other player will get bored and resign.
Whatever the reason it is not something that usually affects my games, often I am happy for my opponent to take a little extra time between moves as I need that time for my own thinking. Anyway, onto the real topic here which is how many games I should be playing.
My notional figure is a maximum of 40 games at any one time. In the past I have played 85 or more at a time and that was when we had to pay for postage stamps! Interestingly my actual games per year is much lower than I had thought.
The figures are distorted due to being limited to only ICCF games but going forward they will provide me with a base upon which to monitor how I am doing. I am going to aim for a max of 40 games but even that may be too many as I am spending much more time on my moves.
I am averaging 32 games completed per year although in 2013 there were 99 games completed and in 2014 another 87 games completed. In 2016 the total was another hefty 82. Of course today the games are completed much faster due to the Internet but this also makes It easy to take on too many games at one time.
By the way, I am using games completed as this is how ICCF records things. Traditionally the start date for an event is the date used for games databases but that is not very practical for grading purposes as games can remain open for a long time.