My chess "adventures" (Part 1)
Hello guys, girls, and anyone in between !
I haven't been posting blogs as you may know it, so I am guessing I should start it again, as I had some free time to study some chess. I should start from analyzing my "old games". Eventhough I had played chess when I was 7, where my dad taught me the moves, pieces, etc and so on.. After a few upsetting moments I finally able to consistently beat my dad . I believe all of us had felt this
, and only to be crushed by some random dude out of nowhere .
Sadly, it happened with this game
Yes, after this game, I went to a hiatus basicly, just becoming a spectator of the game, but never played a game for the next 10 YEARS ! I have no idea why, but looking back now, I think chess was boring, and remembering what Tal once wrote in his book, I haven't been 'infected' yet by chess .
Then in 2nd year of highschool, I was strolling around the school, when I saw the economy teacher bringing a chessboard, teaching the 1st years how to play chess. He says it has relation with economy (the reasons I understand now, but back then I didn't.), and after watching the 1st years play and lost to the teacher, me for some reason, was intrigued. How come this teacher so good ? Then I remembered that 4 move mate game I had a long time ago. Damn, I should try beating this guy with that ! I didn't know from where that thought came from, but I guess it was my subconscious trying to 'get even' with a strong player been buried all those years ! I challenged the teacher and played chess (for the first time in 10 years !)
Instead of feeling dejected and completely forget about chess, this time even though I didn't realised it at the time, I was 'hooked'. At the words of Tal from his amazing book "Life & Games of Mikhail Tal",
'.... When one of us first plays chess, he is like a man who has already caught a dose of microbes of, say, Hong Kong flu. Such a man walks along the street, and he does not yet know that he is ill. He is healthy, he feels fine, but the microbes are doing their work.
Something similar. though less harmful, occurs in chess. ........ You lose the first game. But at the same time if your father or elder brother or simply an old friend wants to be kind to you, then you win, and as a resuly feel very proud of yourself. A few days pass, and suddenly you involuntarily begin to sense that, without chess, there is something missing in your life. Then you may rejoice: you belong to that group of people without a natural immunity to the chess disease...'
And so on, from that moment, I start to play more, against anyone, a friend of mine at class was very good, and he won a lot of games against me at the start. I played against the lab's assistant who likes to play online at yahoo!, again i was beaten. Then when I went to the teacher's office, I saw the economy teacher (the one who utterly destroyed me before), was holding his head, his expression was enough to see that he was the one on the receiving end. Some teachers were watching the game, and so I did. He was playing against one teacher I didn't knew (and later found out he was the chemistry teacher for the seniors, more info on that later.) Out of 4 games, the economy teacher only manage to draw the final game and lost the first 3 !! From that point on, my focus point changed from beating not only the economy teacher, but also beating that chemistry teacher !
The months passed, I started to beat some other teachers (although losing a few as well to the economy teacher.), finally I managed to beat him ! Still, the hardest ones I couldn't beat are the top 3, my friend, the lab assistant, and the chemistry teacher (which I got a huge lifetime minus score :( )
I went around my neighbourhood, playing any one who wants to play, from truck drivers to security guards ! I win some and lose more than I can count, but I was racking up experiences. For me, chess was an addiction ! I even borrowed the board from the teacher's office and sometimes forget to brought it back ! When I was in the final year, I even got in trouble for playing in class, in which I forgot 'the time limit' and played on, in an K+B+N vs K ending, and when we realised, we had 'overstepped' the limit by almost 30 minutes (!) and ran to our next class. Alas, our crimes were known easily and got swiftly punished, by a small but so painful pinch !
Finally as time progressed, I start to beat some of the opponents I thought was impossible to beat, including winning for the first time against the chemistry teacher ! It turns out he used to play as a kid, and he had won a tournament held in his municipality (It's 'Kabupaten', incase the Indonesians reading are wondering ) beating old people. Then he had to stop, his parent saying playing chess won't give you money ! And he quit and studies to become a teacher. If only he had continued.. Maybe he could have become a GM !
During this one time we had a field trip, when most of my friends went around, I was playing chess against this teacher ! We were at 3-3 each, each game was full of crazy sacrifices, combinations, and volatile positions ! As it was the last night, we played the last game and reach the following position that looks similar to this (I forgot the exact position) :
When I saw the move played, I thought I had an escape square, in which to my horror, I didn't find anything !
Is there something to be learn ? Yes of course ! Especially on the final year, our school had a sports competition in which a lot of schools are participating. For some reason, we had chess inside as well. I was looking forward to this, and practiced a lot a month before the competition. Then on the day...
TD: blablablablabla... we'll be using a 2 minute thinking time for each move.
Everyone else : Okay, where's the clock ?
TD : We'll use STOPWATCH to record it.
Everyone else, including other school's coaches :
Any how... It got underway anyway. The unbelieveable part was most of my opponents didn't even show up for the games after the technical meeting ! It was a group stage, with each players playing five times ! I guess the (see above image) was too much. I ended up only playing 1 guy (in which I won) and 4 defaults. A guy from my school even progressed without any of his opponents show up at all !
After all of that finished, it was the knockout stages, and there were only me, my classmate, and a 1st year (the one who wins all the games by defaults). Like I said, in here, I was paired against a girl, and my friend playing the girl's friend on the next board. Just six moves into the game, I heard someone said "checkmate !" Everybody turned their heads and I saw the first year, already gone. Oh well. In my games, I played the sicilian and we exchanged a few pieces, and battling for the only open file, the c file. Then at one point in the game, she was intending to castle, but touched the rook first ! I pointed out this to the TD, and immidiately thought now I could go all out and attack ! That was my first and probably the one that caused me to blunder later on and lost the game.
Everybody was suprised that I lost. I don't know why, when she was paired against my friend, she was playing below of what both of us usually play ! (No offense), but it seems my friend was playing somewhat limply, missing a chance to grab a free pawn and was outplayed in the rook endgame. Probably the news of me losing to this opponent was another 'psychological blow' .
Looking back on it now, I realised she was the same level as me back then, but my carelessness and weak play due to not used to this kind of STOPWATCH clock (we usually play without time for training, no chess clocks ever being rented. Just a huge load of stopwatches. We never thought they'll use it.) cost me dearly.
After the tournament, I keep playing chess, losing mostly to a lot of people, but I still kept my 'need for chess' alive, even after I finish Highschool, as I went overseas to start college. And that is end of part 1 ! :D
Life & Games of Mikhail Tal (http://www.amazon.com/Life-Games-Mikhail-Tal/dp/1857442024)