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N.J., United States
Submitted by ChessMarkstheSpot on August 16, 2014 at 8:53 AM.
Hello again everyone! I know it's been a while since I put up a blog and for those few that follow my blogging activities here, I hope you're happy to finally see another entry up.
I know this is probably old news to mo...Read more »
posted in Neither Here nor There
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Former 2-Time #1 Ranked Chess.com Top-Blogger!
Member of The Chess Journalists of America.
Co-Creator and Super Admin/News Reporter of The Official Chess.com/TV Group
Now, a quote or two:
"Chess is art. Chess is sport. But it's also war. You have to master on the order of a hundred thousand different chess ideas and concepts, patterns of pawns and pieces. That takes work. And you're going to lose a lot of games in the process, so you'll have to be able to make your peace with that, which isn't easy. Because there's no luck involved in the game, you have to face the fact that you lost because your opponent outwitted you." -- Bruce Pandolfini
"You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances." -- Bobby Fischer
I first learned Chess at a young age because my mother taught me the basic moves of each of the pieces. From then on, I was fascinated by the game, but not enough to where I would want to make it one of my main focuses in life. Chess returned a few times on and off since then; playing with friends in college, or playing chess software like Kasparov's Gambit and Battle Chess back in the late 80s and early 90s. I then became a collector of chess sets, ranging from the basic plastic chess set from the Pressman Toy Company to a hand carved marble set that I got in Mexico during a cruise and many magnetic travel sets as well. But still then I never really "studied" the game. I just had the sets to "have them," never delving deeper into strategy and opening theory at all.
I came back to chess again just about three years ago, when my girlfriend bought me the New York Times Hand-held Excalibur Chess Computer, something I still play against today and have never beaten. But chess would soon become a big part of my life in late April of 2010.
For some reason, I wanted to look at the list of past World Chess Champions so I went on Wikipedia to look around, and somehow stumbled across the link for the World Chess Championship Match between Vishwanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov, held in Sofia, Bulgaria. It had live video coverage and the commentators occasionally spoke English during the games. It was already Game 5 at the time, but I was glued to the computer until the match was over, not missing a single move from Game 5 on. I then began my final journey with chess, which has lead me to this wonderful site. I had Chessmaster 10 for quite a long time at this point, about 5 or 6 years now, so I re-installed it and seriously started to study the game, knowing that chess would never leave my life again. Before I knew it, I had 7 chess sets and a Diamond Membership here. I was in chess heaven.
That heaven was only increased in August of 2010 when my girlfriend went 50/50 with me to get Fritz 12, a program that I amconstantly using along with Chessmaster 10, to increase my knowledge of chess. I also have a small shelf in my bedroom of chess books (see my "Chess Central" photo album) and am also running a Chessmaster 10 computer league as well that keeps me entertained. I have a MASSIVE database of over 5.5 million games including the complete careers of 40+ greatest chess players of all time, and I am constantly downloading PGNs of every major tournament like the recent 39th Chess Olympiad, Nanjing/Bilbao, and every single game ever played of the U.S.C.L. I have become a very active member of this site and its community by reporting on chess events in the community forums and, along with my girlfriend Donna (RookedOnChess), and William Smitham, have built the Official Chess.com/TV Group with the backing of IMs Danny Rensch and David Pruess. I joined the USCF on 2/11/2011 and although I may never compete OTB, the option is now there. Now the knowledge of this wonderful game must increase.
In the last few days of March 2011, I decided to not pursue my dream of becoming a professional chess player but be a Chess Journalist, reporting on chess events, tournaments, doing recaps for the Official Chess.com/TV Group, blogging, and writing articles to perfect my craft. The stress level lifted from this decision went away almost immediately. I decided to blend two things I enjoy: Chess and writing. And my overall goal in doing this is to get a volunteer STAFF position here at Chess.com. I told myself I am not going to stress over this, it'll be business as usual, but it is my goal to accomplish this great quest.In late April into May of 2011, I decided I was going to cover the 2011 Candidates Matches in my blog instead of doing chess event coverage in the forums like I used to (Olympiad, Bilbao). Over the course of those few weeks, I covered every game of every match with long blog entries as I covered the games in real-time, writing the news as it happened instead of summarizing it after the day's games were over. This is when I began Live-Blogging. On some days, I sat down behind my computer screen for more than 6 or 7, even 8 hours doing each entry. It was a lot of work but it was an awesome experience, and those entries is what made me Chess.com's Most Active Blogger. I then covered, at David's request, the Chess.com/GM Challenge followed by the 64th Russian Championship "Superfinals" and the final rounds of the 2011 World Cup.
As the months went on from 2011 and now into 2012, a few new things have happened. I joined the Chess Journalists of America, got even more involved with the Chess.com/TV Group and have now become a Chess.com/TV Chat Moderator along with Donna. Being a part of this site in such a capacity means so much to Donna and I. My blogging is getting back in gear and if I can maintain it steadily, it could and should be amazing. I want to thank Danny and David, as well as Chess.com, for allowing me to do all of this and for recognizing me as Chess.com's "other" Chess Journalist, next to Ryan (SonofPearl). It really means a lot to me.
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