Typically, something I’ve done in the past, a couple of weeks in advance of a Candidates Tournament, was to address each player’s recent play, try to predict a winner, then write a summary. I would also offer projections for the rest of the year, including the Championship Match as well. I'm not doing that this year, mainly because I’ve become so biased towards Carlsen, as a couple of my past blogs have shown and I’m thinking that's not a bridge we need to cross again.
Instead, this year I'm just going to talk turkey—er—chess, maybe a bit about my own dealings with chess (online and off), and the Chess.com/TV Group Tournaments. Yeah, that sounds about right. Let's do that.
Since returning more regularly to this site, I've redirected much of my focus towards chess rather than my shoot-em-up games like CoD, Borderlands and Dead Space or playing “global emperor” on Civ 4/5, Europa Universalis 3 and Victoria II. Thankfully, my computer issues with Steam aided in that switch of focus. I've played more Correspondence games (all against my girlfriend who is, admittedly, not a learned chess player), and again got back into downloading the TWICs and analyzing my games through Chessbase 11. My addiction to video games can upset me, but what upsets me most is I haven't touched Fritz 12 in 14 months! The last game I played was a draw. Speaking of which, here it is:
I look back at this game and can see how much my chess play had improved at that time, though with my long break from the game, I'm sure I lost whatever progress I made. (Also, this is Fritz 12 Friend Mode, not a full blown rated game.)
Speaking of rated games, my girlfriend and I recently played a game where, towards the end of it, my “stupid” button was on overdrive. I rushed a move at the end, somehow not following my planned moves, and blundered-the first stalemate I never want to repeat! Check it out:
I haven't analyzed this game yet and, quite frankly, I don't want to. I definitely learned what to do and what not to do after looking at it. I've yet to play LIVE Chess, knowing I will probably buckle with time constraints or make silly moves with unnecessary pushing of pieces across the board.
I chose not to take part in the two Chess.com/TV Group Tournaments, not just because I wanted to run them without added pressure, but I also felt confident I wouldn’t play well, turning 3 day/move games into blitz due to my impatient nature. Ultimately, playing 8 games that way would result in 8 goose eggs. I’m happy to report the TV Tournaments are going well with the first round going strongly. The group is over a thousand members and all is well. But my own personal chess play needs some TLC.
One thing I’m thoroughly enjoying is a long-time hobby—a league I created using Chessmaster 10 in which I have the chess personalities within the program compete. I also have a separate tournament in which I compete against the CPU personalities; this is also going well. I’m very content again having chess in my life more, along with several other interests I need to focus on too. It all comes down to what my mood and/or health issues (typically sleep or lack of) allow on any given day. I doubt I'll ever be a solid, decent player, but I know I will most likely remain a top-notch patzer! At least I can be proud of that.
Another thing I know is-I never want to "stalemate" in my chess life again.
Thanks for reading.