Stepping Away from Chess Again
Since I came back for tournaments in March 2015 for USCF tournaments, I gained some rating to get back to around USCF 2100 by playing several really fine games and tournaments against players rated sub-2000 and masters as well. However, in April 2015, specifically in 2015 Bill Wright St. Louis Open and 2015 Greater Peoria Open, I made two incredible pieces blunders in two games against USCF 2000+ and 1500+, as well as one unprecedented queen blunder (against a USCF 1500) I never had for my entire chess career even back to I participated in tournaments as a beginner. Besides never made a blunder like this in tournaments, I have not lost or drew to players rated below USCF 1800+ for two years and neither lost or drew players rated below USCF 1700+ for 3 years (for over like 50 games I played against the sub Class-A players). Check out my USCF official profile games statistics right before I played in 2015 Greater Peoria Open in April 25, 2015:
Even though I know I am learning more chess expertise every day and my coach had told me how he can recognize my progress from my games played in last few months, for some unknown psychological problem and known health problem, I had failed to converted my progress into new rating point and didn't manage to get to USCF 2200 in last 8 months or so on. I always have some passion for competitive chess, and that's why I had ever started to work on my chess every day since 2012 and managed to jump from a USCF 1600+ player to a USCF 2100+ Expert within less than 2 years. If those two relatively smaller blunders against the 2000+ and 1500+ players still have some explanation, I can't find any explanation to my queen blunder rather than the sudden illusion. Nevertheless, I recognized my ridiculous pieces blunders in those three tournament games as a sign from God that I have to stop the game at least for now, and perhaps tells me to put full attention to the upcoming undergraduate core courses instead of pursuit chess or any other huge goals.
For last two years, I often have severe psychological issue (sudden failure to focus any bit at all due to tiredness) and health problem (occasion illusion and dizziness, etc.) that I still couldn't figure out to solve. My daily routine chess training as a result don't get paid off at all for a year(it does from a chess expertise perspective, but not visible rating gain). Moreover, I have several upcoming critical undergraduate major courses to take in next two, three semesters, which means I really don't have time for chess journey any more. Well, maybe I could if I really desire, but not more than 30 minutes a day in average, but the point is if I want to scored many A+ in the core courses, than I will need 200% concentration and can no longer think of chess or any other pursuit during this period.
Thus, I decided to quit regular tournament chess schedule until the end of 2016. I might play one big tournament in each summer and winter vocation, which means only 2 big tournaments a year, and I decided never to play in a tournament unless the top section is for player over 2000. In my last few tournaments, I find it's quiet unpleasant to play player more than 300 points lower rated because essentially, playing much lower rated players didn't help to practice. In addition, it still takes some constant caution to play against them. and if I win, I gain like only 1 point or no point, while when I ocassionally draw or lose, I lose a bunch of rating points, which is purely a deal of wasting time and energy.
I'll basically quit my chess journey and goal before I obtain my biology bachelor degree in 2016. Will I quit it forever? Possibly on one day, but if I can solve my psychological and health problem completely and find real fun back in chess instead of just stress and goals, then I will be back in a fully motivated status probably in 2 or 3 years. I severely doubt if the competitive stress of OTB chess will ever surpass my passion for the game itself though, which means that could be the factor that will one day forever stops me from playing chess again.
I admit I have never liked school too much ever since I get into college, but it has nothing to do with my chess though because even I don't play chess at all, I still don't enjoy it regardless. My mom was correct as she pointed out to me long time ago no matter how I deny, I would have spent more hours to study textbook and get higher GPA if it wasn't because I have the crazy passion for chess. This time, I will listen to her and work on all of my school subjects harder than the way I used to work on chess. If I ever quit from chess forever long, I will never regret I ever worked so hard on the game to achieve some accomplishment (if not full ideal accomplishment). Also, I will eventually forgive myself for my queen blunder against a 1500+ (not now obviously, but what to do with sudden illusion).
Before I closely to completely "retire" from chess tournaments, I want to share my unprecedented queen blunder game against a poor USCF 1500+, under a circumstance I already obtained nice development and strategic edge right in the opening and already up a clear pawn. I was black in the game, and the 1500+ player played for a checkmate right from the beginning with the Macrozy Bind (which was simply against the theory and formed nothing else but a superficial attack): his aggression and skill obviously don't work, but his fortune or my misfortune in the game worked out for him.
I don't mind if you want to laugh all loud for my unbelieveable queen blunder. In 2013 US Chess Championship, a FIDE 2600+ Grand Master blundered a queen right in the opening as well; if it can happen to a top GM, it can happen to me, just a normal chess National Expert who occasionally has illusion during tournament games.