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Retired manager in forestry for utility company; and running my own business as a certified arborist.
Was born in Quebec, Canada and began playing chess when eight years old.
Interest was so-so until high school, at which time I began to study chess in every spare moment. Reading chess books, studying openings, and playing every morning at school (and when chess club met). As school had over 4,000 students, there were are few in the chess club, making it a good place to learn and practice. During high school (last 2 years) I won one tournament and came 2nd the year before. (the person who I had come 2nd to had graduated or I may have been 2nd the last year as well!)
Entering University in Montreal I kept it up, and did well in tournaments there as well. I was also involved in some local chess clubs in Montreal at the time, and if not having moved to Ontario was considering in moving into more challenging forums of chess.
After moving to Ontario, was accepted at University of Toronto (science program with plans to major in physics); but was subsequently hired and did not return to university.
I continued to play on and off but was married a couple of years later and put chess on back burner. I taught my children how to play (and it was my older daughter (26) who sparked my interest in chess again. I once again opened up some older books, bought a couple of newer ones and entered back into the game. From an opening perspective; I was amazed at how many I had actually remembered. Strategy suffered a lot - as I can tell from the online computer practice items here. Have dropped considerably in level.. although some decent moves do come up. Realistically not a bad player I guess, but no where near where I was (especially in the faster games where I can not think it out as much). But depending on how much time I have, and how much I put into it, will determine if I improve again or simply sit at a somewhat mediocre level.
I do however enjoy this site; and am thankful to my daughter for getting me back into chess. However, my daughter and son both have become somewhat interested again as well. Therefore I am spending time with them as well; and find the tactics trainer on here very useful/beneficial in working with them. Better than any of the books I have in my own library on chess (which number a few dozen).
However, the down side I guess - the tactics trainer rating gets beat up a bit depending upon how it is being used! Guess that does not matter much for now, as they can learn as well. If they get interested enough, who knows maybe I can talk them each into their own account..!!
Have also been sitting down with my oldest son watching some of the video trainers; very good information and thought provoking. A lot of material on here to help build areas such as pattern recgonition - which is vital to a lot of the games (in particular the faster ones). While personally I am doing well on most of them; my daughter is a bit more challenged (and I will honestly admit that unless I focus properly (which sometimes I do not as am trying to multi-task) I do overlook at times some very easy and stupid options in the trainer that are so obvious it is sickening. Wondering how one can in one training session get what is rated as a fairly difficult one with not too much difficulty and then miss one of much easier level in very next round. Likey thinking one is so easy you do not need the focus; it will kill you every time!
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