A Farewell To Seattle Chess

A Farewell To Seattle Chess

NM Flicflac
Jun 18, 2017, 1:14 PM |

Hey guys,

If you told me four months ago that by summer time I'd quit my job and start planning my departure from Seattle, I would tell you that you must be objectively insane. A number of unexpected events happened in the last few months, which forced me to make some hard decisions about what I was doing with my life in terms of my career, relationships, and in Seattle.

It began in February when my girlfriend received an amazing job offer in the Bay Area. I was happy for her, but I had to start thinking about what I was going to do about our relationship. Would we just do long distance for a while? Would I move down? I wasn't opposed to the idea of interviewing with companies in the Bay Area, as there are plenty of career opportunities there. I was also born and raised there, so my friends were all in the Bay, and so was my family.

Furthermore, I had also been considering switching jobs for half a year now. I felt like I learned most of what I had to learn on my current team, and it was time for a fresh challenge career wise. Also I feel like at large companies like Amazon, you are expected to do exactly as you are told in your role, and not much else. Although I enjoy software engineering work, I felt like my role was limited at Amazon to merely coding, and I felt like I had the skillset to do much more. I was interested in coming up with new ideas, doing more creative and inventive design work, and even the business side of these projects, but this was not something my role at Amazon would allow me to do. I also noticed myself losing motivation at my job with every passing day. I started showing up to work later and later every single day, and felt less invested in my work. No one said anything about it, probably because I well-liked among my teammates and managers, and I had been such a star-performer in my job for a long time. But worrying signs like these made it clear that I had to do something about my career.

Long story short, it is with tremendous sadness that I have to announce that my time in Seattle is coming to an end. I accepted a position as a Senior Software Engineer at Netflix, and will be moving down to the Bay Area in mid-July. It was a no-brainer for me: my girlfriend is there, my friends are there, my family is there, and my new job comes with a significant promotion and pay-bump. Furthermore I will definitely have a much broader scope of responsibility there, and expect to grow significantly as a software engineer.

I can say with 100% honesty, the Seattle chess scene will be one of the parts of Seattle that I will miss the most. The competition was top-notch, and the players here so friendly. The Washington Chess Federation has done a tremendous job promoting chess especially for the 2000+ crowd with initiatives like the superbly run Washington State Championship, Kings vs. Princes tournaments, Master Series tournaments, and all the scholastic events. I certainly don't expect events like these to be run with such frequency in California. I will definitely miss the chess community in Seattle, but I hope to see you guys in future national tournaments, especially if it is around Las Vegas or in California.

I started this blog to try and keep myself accountable about my chess progress. I'm happy to announce that I actually managed to finally break a four-year plateau by finally crossing 2200 a fourth time two months ago, and set a new peak rating of 2211. I've always been kind of embarrassed to have an NM title, and have people ask why my rating was in the 2100's, so hopefully I can keep it up permanently above 2200 this time around happy.png  

I also registered for the World Open coming up in a few weeks, and will be playing in the Open Section there, so I hope to see some of you guys there. The last tournament I will play at in Seattle will be the Emerald City Open on 6/23-25, so if I see you there, be sure to say a last goodbye!

Especially because career wise, this move to Netflix represents such an opportunity for me to accelerate my career, I expect to be extremely busy with work, and will probably have to cut down on the amount of time I can devote to chess. I'll still play occasionally, but I won't be training as hard as I have for a while. Hopefully I can make a big impact at the World Open and at the Emerald City Open, before I start this new chapter of my life at Netflix.

I thought I'd end this post with a crazy win I had at the June edition of the Seattle Master Series tournament. This was the first tournament I played after finishing these interviews, and I thought I'd be a little rusty, but I actually played okay, and performed exactly at par so I didn't gain or lose any rating points.