I'm a novice with a rating of 837, up from the last ratings period from 817. A mere 20 points. I've come to the conclusion that I am not good at chess.
That's a really startling discovery, because before I started club I used to beat all-comers. It's not just that many players are booked-up, but that they have natural ability that helps them solve things OTB. I'm one of those stupid adults who just won't give up.
I'm simplifying things now.
My new repertoire:
1.e4. Looking to follow up with 2.Nf3 3.d4 then later Bc4 or d3 or e2, then 0-0.
A bit worried about my queenside, but the other knight and bishop can come out soon after... though I'll likely go Re1 first! This is how I learned chess before confusing myself, so I'm going back to it.
To 1.e4 Nc6
To most everything else 1...Nf6
Then I move the other Knight, i.e. 1.e4 Nc6 2. d4 Nf6. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6. It's called the Mexican Defense and I'm happy with it. My 3rd move depends on White... it's basically develop both knights and then whatever comes through the gate I react.
Notes: I'm going to study the King's Gambit with 3.Bc4 and also the Falkbeer and other KGD lines.. but not playing it until 2014 at the earliest.
The Mexican replaces the Najdorf Sicilian; the better players all know it.
If I can't get to 1200 by September 2012 I think I should pack it in. It is very time consuming. I'd then make a comeback in 2040 or something, when I'm an old fart. But who knows? If I have a breakout tournament and I enjoy things, I'll continue.