My Chess story
A little over 20 years ago My brother in law asked me to play him a game of Chess. I did not want to , however, I was living in his basement and not paying rent. I did not feel I could say no under those circumstances. I explained to him that I had seen Chess only a few times and had no idea how to play. He sat down with me at the board and started to explain to me the basic idea's of Checkmate and controlling the center and reminded me how the pieces move. He may have also explained how to Castle. I was surprised that I actually beat him and suddenly found myself interested in this game. He beat me the next game of course. I'll never know if he let me win the first one. The damage was done.
In the town I am from there is little activity for chess.I did find a few people to play, mostly players like me who knew next to nothing about the game. I somehow met a few decent players. One was a guy who was about a 1600 player and another was a guy who was probably rated about 1900. I wanted the 1900 guy to coach me , but, he suggested the 1600 should coach me.I had been playing and my older brother came in. My older brother had learned some things about Chess in prison. When he played he had no Chess etiquette. He talked trash and encouraged me to move faster and after he checkmated me he called me names that can't be used here because if I did that this would be flagged and removed. I was upset , but, with a fire.
Right after that game with my brother is when I asked the 1600 player to be my coach. He agreed and started to teach me the basics. My brother in law gave me a radio shack electronic chess board. I think it was a 2150L which was endorsed by Kasparov. I thought the lowest level would be easy because I was beating the guys who didn't know anything. I found out quickly that even on the lowest level I had to think and move carefully. Slowly , I progressed through 8 stages over a few months.
My Brother in law wanted to have a match and told me he thought I had grown to be a stronger player than him. I was not looking forward to it. We sat down and I beat him 4 out of 5 games which shocked me. The next spring I got revenge on my brother and, btw, My brother never beat me in chess again . He could have beat me once , but, he missed the move.
I think about 6 years later I got my first draw off of the guy who was a 1900 player and in the next few years I managed a win against him about 9 times.We started a little Chess Club that eventually was abandoned, but, we had a good time for a while.
This guy.. the 1900 player was the best player around here.One time I watched him do a rating test on Chessmaster and he scored as a master. He understood so much about this game. Unfortunately, he is not with us anymore.
His name was Martin Schmidt. He was a member of the USCF. His first tournament was played after he had read one book on the Pirc and he won his category. He was never allowed to play in that range again and his win caused some suspicion , but eventually, they were forced to give him the trophy. The main trouble was that he just had to much natural talent.
Recently I lost my little book with some old games in it from the time we had a little chess club. The part that bothered me the most was not being able to look at any games where Marty played. recently I watched a GM play on live chess and his moved reminded me of Marty. You may not care at all about any of this. It was part of my experience before Chess.com. I just wanted to say something about Marty because he is not with us anymore.
There is a bit more to my story. After the Chess club wained off I found Chess.com. The experience here is much more rich in comparison.I lost interest at some point and basically played a little here and there but stopped trying to be better or train. In the last ten weeks I have started to train again. I also started a legitimate Course that will last at least the next 12 months. I have been watching Video's. I can't say that I can calculate 5 moves ahead like I use to be able to , but, strangely enough. It might not matter. I developed some bad habits that I am trying to work out. One of the things was that I played a weaker opponent to much and it hurt my game. I am looking for better players to play with. Another thing that hurt my Chess was focusing on improving my rating. I am not concerned about that now really. I am more interested now in improving my positional understanding ( which means the ability to evaluate a position ), my tactical ability, and over all a few other things but mainly.. the main idea is a fight against myself to become better and work for it rather than giving up or settling for average at best. The real enemy of my Chess is Me.