1800+? So much grass to be mowed down. 1350 to 1500? Halp!!!

Jan 7, 2016, 8:22 AM |

That's the story of my chess career on chess dot com.

For some reason, the moment I see 1426 or 1385 against my opponent's rating, I breAK out in a cold sweat, and my instinct almost from the very first move is to try and save my skin. Forget attacking ideas, and dashing combinations, it's a battle for my survival as far as I am concerned. The novice is like Bobby Fischer for me. Like Fischer, his persona floats across the continents and paralyzes my chess thinking. On occasion, having made a move, and sitting back in relief for a few moments respite, I am jolted by that deafening double click, that informs me that I have been mated.

Give me a high rated player any day; I rub my hands in anticipation of a crushing victory over the poor fellow, I get into my stride fast, my killer instinct comes fully alive. My brain is teeming with ideas of how to get under his guard and deliver that delicious, bone-crunching blow. 

Actually, they too can throw my game off if they play badly enough. An exchange or a piece up, if not fully earned, my game starts going to pieces. I have actually lost a game to a gentleman called chess-sage, fair and square, despite being 2 rooks up. I wept.

There should be a name for this malady (other than "lousy chess player"). I can say this: chess is a mind game, and that means many, many things, other than the brain and logic components. An important quality is the ability to adjust to situations on the board, including those which dull one's senses. Einstein, with refernce to Laskar, called it "elasticity" of chess players.

I have been called rigid by many, but never taken it seriously, but Einstein is a different matter altogether. So there is no question that my real life intransigence is reflected in my chess. I must have my kind of opponent, who plays the kind of chess which stimulates me. Otherwise, I will play badly, and that's it, come what may.

"Low threshold of boredom"? "Limited attention span"? "Lack of patience"?."Lack of persistence"? "Lousy player"?

Whatever it is, I am going to keep at it. All I have to do is master to the art of overcoming the fellow when I am functioning on low battery. I'm not arguing with Einstein. He says I'm rigid, so be it. However, I am tweaking my style ever so slightly; I intend to go for the kill from the very first move. Let's see.