Playing in the Triple Crown
I have a big summer planned, as far as chess tournaments go. In my mind, we have a Triple Crown in the American chess scene –the triumvirate of the National Open in Las Vegas, Nevada, the World Open in Philadelphia, which is in the greatest state in the Union, and the US Open in Norfolk, VA. As pointed out in the links, I’m registered for each already, U2300, U2200, and Open, respectively; and I’ve already arranged travel and lodging. This is happening. Aside from dancing about a couple of obligations at Harvard University this summer, I’m set to participate in the Triple Crown. It’s really quite exciting.
I have some lofty objectives to achieve in 15 months, but, assuming everything goes well, I hope that this summer serves as preparation for a Euro trip in 2018. My idea is to head to Europe to play in FIDE tournaments, just as soon as I’m anywhere near a FIDE title. 2018 is most likely unrealistic, but some of the trends and projections I have for 2017, alone, infuse me with optimism. I view this summer as preparation, because being on the road for chess changes a lot of things. I see many players’ game suffers when they are on the road. This is more true for amateurs than semi-pro- and pro-level players; but I think my game has been swingy at times, when on the road. Sometimes the quaint quiet, uninteresting surroundings help me focus, such as in Battle Creek, Michigan or Madison, Wisconsin this past year, but I’m also sometimes completely distracted, such as at my first World Open in Philly, when I played in the U1400 section. The longer one is on the road, the harder it is to “be normal,” let’s say. No matter what, the comforts of mind that being at home supplies will be something I have to learn to do without. There is also a general sort of fatigue that comes with travelling. Having read so much of Williams James, I kind of wonder whether travel fatigue isn’t a matter of using much more mental energy for basic things: James maintained that people are able to devote much more mental energy and sustain a higher level of happiness (which allays fatigue) by having a daily routine. With all thinking devoted to non-routine tasks, one gives higher quality thought to those limited few items, whereas having a chaotic schedule reduces mental energy, possibly even fatiguing the mind and bringing about unhappiness. This is very much connected to my blog post on decision fatigue. Instead of a million little decisions associated with decision fatigue, travelling requires significantly more decisions than usual, but also running your mind over temporal plan (e.g., I have to change flights at X, then pick up the rental at Y) and running your mind over whether you have everything you need or whether you’ve forgotten to do some necessary step. I hope to develop some kind of routine, while on the road this year.
Aside from the Triple Crown, I’ll be on the road a bunch, anyways. I’m hitting Dayton, OH and New Haven, CT in the coming month or so. It’s very likely that I’ll hit Seattle, Portland, OR, the Fatherland (Pittsburgh), Austin, Chicago, Indy, and some of the surrounding states of MA; but the focus is trying to do well at high-stakes tournaments that have a lengthy duration. If you also plan on doing the Triple Crown, let me know beforehand, and we can get together at the events and chat chess, etc.
When one takes flight for battle, beware!
Word to your moms, I come to drop bombs. I got more tactics than Mangeshkar got songs.