Happy New Year

Fins0905
IM Fins0905
Dec 31, 2011, 1:47 PM |
16

Happy New Year, everyone!  I was planning on writing a longer 2011 recap, but I'm going to the Minnesota Wild (NHL hockey) game tonight, so I'll limit myself.

Some significant events for me in 2011 (most chess-related):

  • Quit law school in January to become a chess professional; moved from Denver back to Minnesota
  • Had knee surgery in March (ACL tear - basketball injury)
  • Moved to NYC in May
  • Started writing for ChessPublishing.com in June
  • Taught the St. Olaf Chess Camp with GMs Kaidanov/Serper, and IM Krush In July (fantastic camp, great experience)
  • Started teaching for Chess-in-the-Schools (NYC non-profit) in September
  • Did a fun video series for chess.com in November/December ("Sensing the Critical Moment")
  • Signed contracts with Everyman Chess to write two opening books in 2012 (both on the Semi-Slav: one on 5.Bg5, the other on 5.e3)
  • Played tournaments in Philly, NYC, Iowa, Michigan, Texas, D.C., and Florida
  • Taught chess to 30+ private students (I went back and counted!)

This last one was - and is - the most fulfilling.  I'm lucky to teach the game I love to a number of awesome and talented students, developing some great and long-lasting relationships in the process.  A younger student of mine, Sam, sent me an awesome and unexpected gift right before Christmas:

This is the kind of thing that makes it worthwhile!  

Becoming a chess professional is probably the best decision I've ever made, and I'm really thankful to the family and friends who have supported and encouraged me.  I've got some big goals for 2012 and beyond, so let's get rolling!  

Best wishes to everyone in the New Year.

John