Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

November competition

I will make a little competition every month.

Theme of November's competition is "How does chess help me in life".It could be a short article or story.Authors of 3 more interesting stories(IMHO) will get prizes.

Prizes:

1st place - 4 (15min) games against me with analysis (on chess.com).

2nd place - 2 (15min) games against me with short analysis (on chess.com).

3rd place - 2 (5min) games against me (on chess.com).

 

Send your stories to sportchess@gmail.com or post it here.

Results will be announced on December,4.

 

P.s.Next month will be with money prizes.

Take care,

Aleksandr.

Comments


  • 3 years ago

    1boardplayer

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 years ago

    GM Rakhmanator

    Thank you everybody for participation.Here is my decision.

    1.Mimchi

    2.Chessisgood

    3-5.ruby7, PureJay, K_Einzenberg

     My congratulations!

  • 3 years ago

    Twobit

    Is this a writers' workshop here or what? Man, you should have limited the word count in this competition. Just sayin'...
  • 3 years ago

    davidmelbourne

    A dark and stormy Knight

    I had played, a bit, for the school chess team. I knew the beginings of the Ruy, of course, and played for a Stonewall with White; that was the extent of my opening repetiore. He played first board, for the University. And the team, we all knew from the University newsletter, was winning in the national comp. 

    The party was at his house. His interest in chess was obvious: two chess sets, set up, one in the lounge, the other on the deck. There were chess books laying about; things I had looked at in libraries, before passing by.  His labrador was called Caissia. 

    She was regal; long hair, swishing about, confident in her prettiness and beauty, luaghing generously. She held court on the deck, surrounded by pawns, getting her drinks and nibbles. 

    A game of suicide chess started (the first person to lose all their pieces wins). She played a couple of games, and won! Not just a pretty face. 'C'mon', she then said, 'lets see a proper game. Who will challenge our host?' 

    It was foolish, of course. No one wanted to be his bunny, not in front of everyone, not in front of her. But I found myself at the board anyway, figuring it was better to be seen, even if losing, than to be not seen at all. 

    He patronizingly offered me White, at least to my ear. I handed her a white and black pawn, she juggled them behind her back, invited us to choose a hand. She was enjoying it; these two men duelling for her favour.

    I ended up with Black. A portent of the humilating loss I would soon be facing?

     He opened 1. e4. Phew, the darklands of d4 avoided. I immediately played1...e5, hoping to see Nf3, but instead saw: 2. f4. 

    I knew it was called the King's Gambit. But that was the extent of my knowledge. I vaguely remembered someone telling me that Fischer had refuted the King's Gambit, but I had no idea how.  

    'Free pawn, why not?', I said, and played 2...exf4. Out came 3. Nf3, followed by the natural 3 ...g5. He immediately played 4. Bc4, eying my f2 pawn. I paused and thought: well, try for initiative. Don't let him bake me slow. So: 4....g4, it was. 

    His turn to pause, before playing 5. Ne5, double attacking my little f7 pawn. I didnt think too long, just banged out 5...Qh4, and said 'check' a little too agressively. 6. Kf1 was essentially forced, and now the initiative lay with me.  

    The crowd's loyalty was split: I was the underdog, but he was our host. She, I noticed, was being even-handed, but following the moves closely.

    What to do? Defend e7 with Nh6? That seemed obvious enough, but too slow, too obvious. It didnt threaten anything. Retain the initiative, I reminded myself, and threw out 6...Nc3,  putting the question to his hanging N. 

    When he played 7. Nxf7, the crowd groaned a little - they were on my side after all. I heard someone explain in a low voice to a novice, that Black had lost the R, and had an open K, all for no compensation. But, strangely, I felt okay, as I banged out 7. ...Bc5. After all, I was threatening an immediate checkmate with Qf2#. I saw her look at me, with a little smile.   

    Our host quickly responded with the forced 8. Qe1, since g3 was obviously hopeless, and just as quickly I avoided any Q exchange with my own 8...g3. Quite a career my g-pawn had had, only 8 moves into the game. 

    His hand came to his face. 'Interesting', he said, sincerely. I knew then that he was at least as interested in the game as he was in the outcome, and that he was out of book. 'Well, I don't think I want that B coming to f2', he said, before playing 9. d4. 

    What to do? Capture d4 with the B or the N? I tried to figure things out. Capture with the B, and I could then follow up with ...Be7. But then what? He said he didnt want that, but maybe he was leading me on? If I captured with the N, I was threatening Nxc2, with the possibility of getting his R on a1, to counter the inevitable loss of my R on h8. That looked better, so 9...Nxd4 it was. 

    He got up from the table and asked if I wanted a beer. Sure, thanks. He headed to the kitchen, but not before saying: 'No helping him! He doesn't need any!' I saw her grin. 'Don't believe him for a second', I said,  'he's gunna crush me soon enough'. But I said this without conviction. I saw that I had more than enough counter-play, that maybe I was even ahead. What was he going to do? Play Na3, I decided, to protect his c2 pawn. But then I had ...f3, maybe after ...d5 to get my B out; seemed to me that would cause all sorts of mayhem for White. 

    He returned with our drinks, looked as if to confirm a decision he had already made, and played - not Na3 - but 10. Nd2. Why?? Now I could just fork his Q and R, with ...Nxc2. He moves his Q, and I grab the R. Simple. I am about to play this when I see her looking at me, eyes squinting. Think, she was saying to me, with her eyes. I paused and looked again. Of course! If I play...Nxc2 then he has Ne3, chasing my Q away, since exchanging Qs would just leave me down in material. Okay, that N is staying on d4! After I play 10...d4, I look at my opponent. He is nodding, as if to say, good move, but his response is immediate: 11. Bxd4.  

    For the first time in the game, I start to feel anxious. I know why: I feel as if I am winning, or have winning chances at least, and this makes me much more nervous than losing, for some reason. I knuckle down, and do some serious thinking for the next five minutes. I see his B has few squares. If I could separate his B from his N, then I could capture that N, save my R, and be ahead. I play 11....c6, thinking that if he retreats his B to b4, I will push it again with b5. If he plays Bb3 immediately, I capture it with my N, and win a piece.

    His reply shocks me:  12. Nxh8! Only then do I see that 12...cxd5? will result in 13...exd5+, opening his Q, giving him the e-file with tempo, and probably the game. No way was I going to open the e-file. Swollowing my pride, I played what I should have played the previous move: 12....Bg4. 

    There were fewer people around the board, now that the game has slowed and my opponent and I have become more intensely focused. But she stays. I see my N(g) is hanging, but that I have Nxc2, and his Q would be en prise. Also, I dream of 0-0-0, bringing my R into the game, and achieving safety for my K. I decide that if he grabbed my N it would probably be a mistake. He picks up the B, and I think, this is gunna be good. But then he looks at her, and she is giving him the eye treatment. He smiles at her, says, 'don't worry', and plays 13. Bf7+. 

    Damn. I don't know what is going on. But I know I have to move my K. I rule out Kd8 immediately, on the grounds that it would be walking into a future Ne7+. Other squares look dodgy too, so I play the natural 13. ...Kf1. He then retreats his B - not to the obvious Bb3, protecting his c2 pawn - but rather: 14.Bc4! 

    Only then do I notice that his e2 square is very dangerous, for him. After...Qh4, I would have real mating threats. He saw this, way ahead of me, and positioned his B to cover that square. He had now played two moves in a row that I felt were seriously superior; he was a much better player than me. But my position was good, and I now finally played the obvious 14....Nxc2.

    The next few moves were forced: 15. Nf3, Bxf3 16. Qc3. I could now have grabbed his R, but instinctively knew that his R was out of the game, and my N was deep in it, and so played 16...Bxe4, protecting my N and grabbing another, important, pawn. I did a count, and found we were equal in material, but his hanging R, and my activity, meant that Black was ahead. 

    That is, until he then played 17. Qe5! With one move, both my Bs were hanging, as was my f-pawn. I sucked in deep, thought, 'all good things come to and end'. Looked at her, whistfully. But she gave me a glare! Don't be stupid, you have a great response, is what I heard her eyes saying. Oh, okay, alright. I looked again and yes, my response was obvious: 17...Qe7!

    I don't know why he responded with 18. Ne7. I'm not good enough to know whether this was his best try or not. I would have played 18. Qxf4+, probably. Perhaps he wanted h8 free for his Q? Because I had been anticipating the loss of my f-pawn, the next moves seemed to make themselves: 19....f3! 20. gxf3 Bxf3 21. hxg3 BxR1. Now I was simply a clear piece up, and had the better position. 

    He streched back in his chair. She said, 'Well done, both of you". But she was looking at me when she said it. He leaned forward and, lathargically, casually, played 22. Be6!

    It was a great try. But it was too unusual a move, and forced me to look for the rationale. Then I saw it: if Black fell for 22...Rxh8, it would be curtains after 23. Bg5! I decided to end any such trickery, with 22....Qf6+, forcing the exchange of Qs, and extinguishing White's chances of swindling himself back into the game. 

    He smiled, and offered me his hand. 'Time to rejoin the party', he said, 'well played'. 

    Looking back, what did I learn? I learned that chess is a valued social accomplishment, even by those who don't play. A bit like being able to play a musical instrument. 

    I learned that, as in the game of life, there is luck in the game of chess, no matter the claims made that chess is pure skill. My opponent understood the game better than I did, played better moves, but - only because he overplayed his hand with 5. Ne5 - I managed to come out on top. 

    I learned that I tend to freeze up when I am ahead, and that I should beware a tendency of expecting to lose.

    I learned that the game is not over until its over; his last move had been very tricky!

    Did I go on to win the hand of the lady? Well, as it turned out, she was the host's sister, so my fantasies about a chess duel were all of my own making. Later in the evening, I did make a move, offerred her White, but she played 1. d4 and I did not last long. Turned out she was as good as her brother. And no, I didn't win her hand, sadly. But, I also learned that if you aren't in the game, you are not in the game. 

  • 3 years ago

    1boardplayer

    erynda2!!

  • 3 years ago

    dcremisi

    i remember the time back in 2nd grade when i used to be a very poor academic student and didnt like to read and didnt like maths. During reading time i would just sit there but one day my teacher recomended that i read Harry Potter. I didnt like the book at first but the teacher insisted i forge through until a come to a part that involved chess. I was instantly curious and since than my D's have turned A's all due to chess.

  • 3 years ago

    Mimchi

    Anyone who has child with a learning disability knows the pain they go through on a daily basis. The frustration, the aggravation, and the desire to try all get whirled together until there is nothing left but a burned-out pre-teen upset at the world and academia. Being one such child (with extreme dyslexia), I had been through the mill. Shunted between classes since I was old enough to read (or not to read), I was fed to this tutor and that tutor. Nothing really helped, and I started to resent the entire foundation called "school". I was tired of being the "special" kid; tired of not having any respect from my peers; most of all, I was tired of trying. I had fought so hard to read. I had concentrated until my head hurt. But at 11 years old, already in the 5th grade, I was getting nowhere. My parents were obviously supportive, but they didn't really know anybody who could help me. I was becoming emotionally drained by the run-around. I began to believe I was stupid and that I could never be successful.

    One day, my parents invited a private tutor over to my house; a man who (supposedly) specialized in dyslexic learning. I wasn't looking forward to our rendezvous. I knew what it would entail: looking inside, watching the letters and words shift into a jumble of nonsense. Being told to "concentrate" and "work harder". I was already in a depressed mood when I heard the doorbell ring.

    My parents let the teacher in. His name was Mr. Allen, and he seemed like a jovial man. He had a large, bald head, and a white beard. His blue eyes shone behind a large pair of thick black glasses. He wore a tweed suit, behind which I could see a large stomach. "Oh, is this little Alex?" he greeted me with a deep voice. "My name is Mr. Allen. Let's sit down here, shall we?" he said, making his way into the  dining room. I followed suspiciously.

    Mr. Allen made himself comfortable on a chair. He motioned for me to sit across from him. I did.

    "So, Alex," he said to me. "I'm sure you've been through alot in school in the past few years." I nodded. What was there to say?

    "But you know something?" he said, his eyes sparkling mischeviously, "I don't want to teach you how to read just yet."

    When he said that, I perked up. See, that's not something you hear from a tutor every day. "Well, then what are we going to do?" I asked somewhat demandingly.

    He smiled. "All I want is to play a game," he explained, taking out a small board from his bag. "This is chess." He opened the board and set up 32 pieces upon the squares. It all looked very pretty to me, but I had never seen a chess board up close, and I certainly didn't know the rules! "So ... how do you play?" I asked.

    Under a normal teacher's guidance, learning chess would be a dull exercise. Under Mr. Allen's instruction ... well, that's another story. With every rule, with every piece's movement, Mr. Allen explained ideas to me, plans about life, and little anecdotes. "See, Alex," Mr. Allen explained enthusiastically, "People think the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board ... but a tiny pawn can mature into a Queen! All he has to do is keep marching forward ... and never give up!"

    "If you take care of your pieces, your pieces will take care of you ..."

    "The bishop is stubborn ... he refuses to leave his own color, and so he is doomed to never absorb new knowledge."

    "An horrendous horde of pieces on the queenside cannot defend mate from a single pawn on the kingside."

    I was spellbound, and before long I was playing pretty well. Mr. Allen's lessons slowly became more philosophical than practical, and pretty soon, as we played out games, I found we were discussing life.

    "How can it be that some people in life are gifted with intelligence, while others are dumb?" I asked him one day, shifting my bishop down a long diagonal.

    "Alex - both the Queen and the pawn defend the King," he smiled. "They just accomplish the same goal in two different ways." He centralized his knight.

    "But it's not fair that the Queen starts off a Queen," I pouted, attacking his knight with a pawn push.

    He eyed me with amusement, then retreated to a better square. "The game would not exist without the Queen ... but neither would it exist without a single pawn," he said gently. "Furthermore ... " he gestured to a pawn that was about to promote, "Perhaps that pawn will graduate to a Queen. Or maybe a knight? Who knows? Sometimes it is not the best thing to be a Queen ... "

    After a few of these lessons, I was starting to really enjoy Mr. Allen's visits. I was getting better at chess, as well. One day, Mr. Allen showed up. We sat down. I jumped on my chair, eagerly awaiting the chess set ... and he pulled out a book. I was a little confused. "Mr. Allen ... where's the chess set?" Mr. Allen's smiled. "You see, Alex, chess is a wonderful game. I will continue to play you, and I want you to always play the game. Reading is just as wonderful, and by reading you will be able to better understand chess ... the world ... and anything you choose to learn about!"

    I eyed the book. I suddenly felt like it wouldn't be so difficult to tackle those words and letters. Mr. Allen's eyes sparkled. "All those lessons from the chess board? They are pertinent to real life. I've given you the understanding that you can succeed in anything you choose to ... show me how you can analyze this 'position' ..." He opened the book up before me. I looked at the words. I realized if I could play a game of chess, these letters should be nothing to me. I began to read ... began to focus ... after a paragraph, I realized I could see clearer. I had finished without a single mistake. I looked at Mr. Allen. He had tears in his eyes. My parents, listening by the doorway, were overcome as well. He got up and gave me a hug. I couldn't believe what I had actually done. As he stood there, I felt I needed to do a specific type of move. "Mr. Allen?" I said innocently. He nodded questioningly. "Thank you, Mr. Allen ... thank you."

  • 3 years ago

    madhacker

    I always put that I am a chess player on my CV when I apply for jobs, and a lot of companies are impressed by it. I'm sure it's helped me get at least one job in the past.

    There's this general idea in the world that all chess players must have really huge brains. Of course, it's not in our interests to rebuff this myth! The fact that I am a 2000-rated amateur patzer is irrelevant to an employer, they don't know the difference between me and a grandmaster.

  • 3 years ago

    InuriKahanda

    wow......good opppertunity for me............

  • 3 years ago

    Mimchi

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 3 years ago

    1boardplayer

    erynda!

  • 3 years ago

    DeathScepter

    The most important thing chess has taught me that I apply to everyday life is truthful, objective analysis of myself. When you are willing to really look at your shortcomings, and put forth effort to correct them, you will be stronger in chess and life. I have also learned to look for multiple solutions to challenges, because the first answer you find may not be the best or only answer.
  • 3 years ago

    FM VPA

    I think, if I win a prize you will have a chance to play World Champion AvariLaughing

  • 3 years ago

    ruby7

    Chess has helped me in more ways that one. From a very young age I have been fascinated by chess, as my father taught me how to play Chinese chess to help me learn Chinese characters. As I grey up this passion of chess and competition has led me to a hobby of playing games which require critical thinking and calculation, among them Settlers of Catan, Diplomacy, Risk, Othello, Blokus, Sequence, and more, and chess is the epicenter of my love for strategy games.

    Throughout my life, I have encountered chess in many forms: I have played for my school team in elementary school (we were a part of a Advanced Learning Class) and although scheduling conflicts prevented me from playing in tournaments I made the second team without much problem. Our first team had a stack of strong players; First and second board were two brothers who were ranked 13 in the U-15 section and ranked 2 in the U-13 section, respectively. Board 3 was a strong player whose father was the coach of the team...playing with them gave me much valuable experience and exposed me to many principles. I still fondly remember losing to a bank-rank mate, and I'm proud to say I have never lost another game through a bank-rank mate after that!

    In high school, although there was no chess team, I played in the games club and expanded my chess skills. It was also the time I encountered chess.com and reading through all the articles really helped me...I started with a 1300-1400 rating and now have improved to 1800. Other than my rating, chess became the epicenter of my universe...

    My friend (also a strong chess player, we've had a ton of Ruy Lopez games because he loved e4 and I loved e5) and myself created a project about Canadian history using chess to explain it (it got us a 100% and my socials teacher has only given two other 100% before in his whole teaching career - one for a Hitler speech and another for a mideval manor project). We also raised money for homelessness in our city by playing chess (ironic we have an Occupy movement in our city...)

    Now that I've graduated my only connection to chess is probably the few friends of mine who play chess and chess.com, where I've been steadily improving my rating slowly but surely and learning more and more concepts. But perhaps the most important thing playing chess has done for me is refining my personality...

    My two idols of chess, without a doubt, has got to be Mikhail Tal and Tigran Petrosian. Yes, perhaps the most opposite of styles...Tal was my first favorite with his dashing games and I tried creating the same fire as he did because I too believed that it is hard to find a proper defense under the stares of the game clock. Perhaps it also taught me to have fun and let things go...take things as it is and just play the move despite not knowing the exact outcome. Things will go as they go. Later on I studied much of Petrosian's games and tried to play defensively...I was always a fan of defense over attack, and Petrosian was the perfect master to learn from. From him I learned not only how to defend and prevent ideas from your opponents, but also how to plan things out and ensure the safety of your most important treasure.

    In summary, perhaps what chess has given me is the phrase "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst." So far chess has been correct. :)

  • 3 years ago

    Warren9

    Вот это да. )

Back to Top

Post your reply: