Hello my name is not Bill Williams,
My friends refer to me as ChessMaster, but as you can tell by my rating I am not an actual chess master (no offical title, no ELO if 2000). They call me this mainly because at the college I used to go to, I would be the only person with a chess board set up in front of the campus cafe. This, and that I can be beat on a regular basis all of my friends.
I started playing when I was 13, I think. I don't remember very well. My Dad signed me up for a scholastic chess tournament at the downtown chess club (Sacramento Chess Club if anyone knows it). I lost my first game pretty badly. Until after this tournament, I had never had any chess instruction. I played online at yahoo.com, which is how I got interested. Growing up my family had a chess board that was always out with the pieces set up. It was in a room next to a brown grand piano. I think it was for show mainly because from what I remember everyone played either the a- or h- pawn first with the goal of moving the rook to the third rank (I use these terms now, looking back on it). My father was no Dr.Polgar, training his prodgeny to become elite chess wizards. After my very first rated tournament loss I must of felt badly. To this day I feel very bad when I lose. My father met one of the club players and the nice man agreed to chess lessons. It was a good job for him. I needed a lot of work and my father payed him very well.
I improved a little bit with this guy. Not very much, but it was something new. I played a couple of scholastic tournament and didn't do very well (I was very upset). I wanted to play chess, but I didn't feel like I was improving and I couldn't take it to put so much desire-to-win into something to do poorly. I moved on to a better instructor. This guy was a Fide Master. He had several students. His training was much better then my prior instructor's training. He actually gave me chess homework! Which was great. I really wish I would have done more of it. I guess I'm prone to frustration. I had difficulties completing the homework. It was probably part of the reason it was given. I think it is important to take on challenges we can't do with a level of ease. I think that now. Then, around 14, I didn't think that way. I would just get frustrated and quit. Sometimes I still do. I'm working on not getting so frustrated, but it's also good because it reminds me I care. The Fide Master taught me the moves of The Scotch Game and some of the basic strategy. I had already learned many of the basic endings from my first instructor. This guy was trying to teach the next level of endgame study. It was hard and I'm still not very good at it. I don't remember a lot of what he was trying to teach me. I gave up trying to become a good chess player after stopping lessons with him. Not forever! But for a time, I did stop. No rating of note. No accomplishments.
The Internet Chess Club renewed my interest. The ICC is great (chess.com is great too). Tons of titled-players to learn from. A decent interface and tools. A number of live events. Good stuff. Dad was still paying my chess lessons too! I learned a little bit from an International Master. It was good training. My problem has always been that I don't play enough games and I don't analyze my games often. I'm working on doing that more, here at chess.com. It wasn't on the internet that I started to build a better foundation. It was with Mr. Nimzowitsch's book My System that I leapt to a better skill level. After hunkering down and studying the contents of My System by Nimzo, I was able to win my first tournament. Tied-first at the North American Open in Las Vegas, u1400 section. I am very happy with this, but have not entered a tourny like that since.
Long-story-short, I want to improve. I have not really studied in a long time. I need to play more games and analyze them. Also, I need to study more winning ways. Anyone that wants to become a regular chess opponent of mine, please let me know. However, I want to do it in the spirit of learning and improving my skills (yours too if I can help). 5 min games, 15 min games, 30, 60, whatever.
I hope to one day become a killer at the chess board.