Learner Series #5

The 5th installment of the learner series features Antoine, a 32 year old who improved from 1797 to 1893 chess.com rapid in 2018. Antoine is a translator for chess.com and has his own twitch page https://www.twitch.tv/patatorjunior. The next few learner series posts will focus on players above 1700 and over the age of 20.

General Overview

How old are you and how long have you been playing chess?

I’m 32 and started playing chess at 27.

How many hours per week do you spend on chess?

A lot. More than 2 hrs a day probably, but not much studying now. Mostly blitzing and watching pro games.

Chess website usernames?

Patatorjunior on Chess.com

What’s your current skill level or rating?

1758 FIDE (Highest : 1791, January 2020)

Playing Overview

OTB

About 30 classical games a year (when there is no virus). Time control in France is usually 1h30mn+30mn at move 40 with a 30s increment. There are a lot of different events for my skill range in the west of France (Opens, Team events, Regional qualifiers…) Sometimes I’ll throw in a little rapid tournament here and there.

Online

About 10 blitz games a day on Chess.com. Focusing on having fun and trying out new stuff.

Studying Overview

Game Analysis

I use the Arena Chess GUI with Stockfish 9 (don’t like version 10)

Tactics

Chess.com’s training tool and Romain Edouard’s books. [Editor’s Note: He prefers advanced tactics and spends as much time as needed.]

Openings

Old books, databases and my GUI with Stockfish to find new ideas.

Endgames

I don’t practice endgames (I should, though !)

Strategy

Classes with an IM once a week through my club (€150 a year)

Other Useful Tidbits

I watch a lot of streams, mostly Blitzstream’s and Chess 24 in French. I don’t play variants as I don’t really enjoy them, except hand and brain (would love to play that online, btw !) Sometimes I commentate amateur tournaments online on my Twitch page, it’s good fun. The sense of community from being in a club helps a lot. A very friendly rivalry has developped with my buddies there, we’re all improving and helping each other out, while still trying to keep a few secrets for whenever we’ll play each other in competitive play, that’s fun and exciting. We meet at least once a week at the club (when there is no virus, obv).