Chess Mastery -- Kind of anyway
One of the interesting thing about intellectual pursuits is that "the more you know, the more know you need to know". Chess really isn't any different. While I've always known I have a lot to learn in chess, I have stumbled into a world of epiphanies here on chess.com.
First off, as I began playing here I found the entertainment factor. I had no idea what it would be like to play slow games against humans online. I had only seen speed chess on Yahoo's chess and this was a huge pardigm shift for me regarding online chess.
But more importantly, I've discovered a lot about me and my own game. I've only played against computers over the years. Now that I'm playing humans, I'm really seeing things regarding style, mistakes, and strategies that I never knew I would see.
My friend, podcasting101, is a bulldozer. His unconventional agressiveness will keep you off guard and he takes advantage of that. My brother plays a more conventional game as I see it. We usually end up with a stronger middle board. My uncle George is sneaky and is always watching for the alternative attacks elsewhere on the board. Never take your eyes off the rest of the board with him.
The point is, my game has grown immensely just by studying real humans and tactics and I've really learned to see things I've never seen. Rarely is there a move that's "just a move". My game has moved from "don't make mistakes" to "play both sides of the board" in a very short time. Far from excellent, I'm truly enjoying the adventure and the growth of my chess game.
What next? I really need to learn about book openings, study some master games, and work through some puzzles, drills, etc. I'm always open to ideas on how to do that. If you have suggestions on how to take my game to the 1700+ levels, let me know.