A War Game With The Games Of War
A lot of things have occupied my life over the last year and a half. Some things had to do with chess, some with health, and some just plain stupid and nonsensical. I'm not going to cover all of it; I'm saving it for my autobiography, so you'll get to read it eventually. (Just kidding, there is no book, but there should be. My life has been interesting.)
During that time chess has taken a distant backseat to the drama and day-to-day health issues that plague my life. Most of the time (and this has gone on for years), I haven't been able to sleep well, if at all, most nights. I often require meds (tranquilizers/mood stabilizers) to do so, and even that sometimes doesn't do the job. It's factors like that which can hinder me from my chess life. Other things, like the blasted Steam with its updates, patches and incessant advertising of new games have also severely blocked my path to studying and playing chess.
Steam has been my go-to for enjoyment ever since I got Civilization V in October 2010--and never looked back. I've amassed a library of games that would make Nintendo look like an obsolete vending machine. Most of the games are FPS (First Person Shooter e.g. Call of Duty, Borderlands, etc), or Strategy-based, whether real-time like Company of Heroes or turn-based like Civilization V. The games by Paradox Interactive, like Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV, feed my strategy needs as well. Interspersed have been transitional games, most of which I've played for a few hours total before moving on to something else.
My mentioning Steam might seem pointless on a site that's devoted to chess, but that's just the thing—it’s because of Steam—this dreaded game distribution giant—that's been keeping me from chess for almost four years. When I’d gotten Steam back in 2010, I purchased Fritz a few months later. I was playing, analyzing and watching chess constantly because of it. I got involved on Chess.com with IM Danny Rensch and IM David Pruess and the creation of the Official Chess.com/TV group shortly after. I was blogging for the group, doing recaps, tournaments, show announcements and things of that nature. I was constantly busy, up all hours of the day and night watching and live-blogging tourneys, which became quite popular on this site. Unfortunately, life threw me a few nasty curves that ultimately threw me off the Chess.com road, so my activity and presence on Chess.com dwindled drastically after that.
I attempted comebacks a time or two (or three or four perhaps) and it just wouldn't stick. The pull of Steam beat me into submission; I’d limp away each time, back to my war games to run over countries with my tanks. Recently, I added looting town after town in the Arma 2 DayZ Epoch Mod with my clan-mates (at the time), was added to the mix. The war I was addicted to playing through computer games became my own personal “War Game” between Steam and Chess. It had to be one or the other because it seems I can't have both; one would keep me away from the other.
About six weeks ago, what helped me make the decision, was an e-mail. An unexpected turn of events helped pieces fall into place; things were lining up and my personal chaos was becoming order. I've once again returned to the site that meant—and still means—so much to me. Though painful now, as is the quitting of any addiction with my lust for maps, changing borders and shifting controls of war still lingering, Steam will gradually become a memory because I expect Chess to win this personal war. My plan is to get my level of activity here on Chess.com. back to what it was in the past.
Thanks for reading my little personal testament. There will be more blogs—more chess-focused blogs—to come in the near future, and I hope you’ll come along! Shall we play a game?