Chess Questionnaire

Jul 25, 2007, 5:29 AM |

Here is a questionnaire suggested by SonofPearl. I also decided to follow the example of Ryan and Chessiq and have completed it.

1. How long have you been playing chess? Have you played it consistently since you started, or were there lulls in your play? How did these lulls affect your performance?

I learned to play chess when I was 8-9 years old. Perhaps “learned” is not a suitable word here, because I only knew how pieces move and that’s all. Then there was a big pause before 1998 ( I was 12 then) when the World Cup in France started. The matches were late in the evening on TV and my elder brother and I were waiting for the matches playing chess. We played a great number of chess games and I was happy if I managed to win at least 1 out of 15 games. I was not a serious opponent for my brother. Then there was even a bigger pause until one day I decided to buy a chess computer game. From then on chess became one of my hobbies. I started to learn to play chess from scratch and I had lost hundreds of games against the computer before I learned to avoid back rank mate and other similar cheap tricks. Little by little I learned to play in the opening, adopted for myself some opening variations, and was gradually gaining experience.

2. Aside from playing games, what is your primary mode of training?

As Ryan I also enjoy myself in chess. I have never wanted to become something more than an amateur.

3. What is the single most helpful method of improvement that you have ever used?

To lose am immense number of games to learn something! Practice was my only improvement method. I think the more you lose – the better you play. When you lose a game you always try to find out why you had lost and you learn from your blunders. But when you win, you are happy and you would hardly analyze your game and find the mistakes.

4. What is your favorite opening to play as white? As black against e4? As black against d4?

I always play e4 as White. I simply don’t know how to play other openings. I play e5 or French Defence against e4 and I never play Sicilian or Caro-Kann (I don’t know how to play these variations as Black). Against d4 I play Knight f6. Although this usually ends up with QGD, but sometimes my opponent gets confused and if he develops his Knight (Knight c3) and blocks his c-pawn there will be no QGD (I don’t like playing against this variation).

5. Who is your favorite chess player and why?

Unfortunately I am not very strong in everything related to chess. I have never been interested in chess that much. So, answering to this question I would say Alexander Alekhine. I watched a few of his games and was very impressed.

6. What is your favorite chess book?

Shame on me again! I haven’t read any chess books.

7. What book would you recommend for a friend who knows only the rules of chess?

Again and again!

8. Do you play in in-person tournaments? What is your favorite tournament experience?

I played only in one tournament that was held in my university and placed second among 8 or 10 participants, I don’t remember (I played only with other amateurs. Players with official rating had their own tournament).

9. Please give us a link to what you consider your best two blog posts (on your own blog).

How to checkmate with King, Bishop and Knight

10. What proportion of total chess time should be spent studying openings for someone at your level?

I think opening is not the most important part of a chessgame, so – 10%

Perhaps other members would like to complete the Questionnaire on their own blogs?