My Chess Journey So Far
I'm pretty new to chess. I only started a few months ago but have developed a deep passion for the game, I play not only to improve my game but also the pure beauty of the game not only in victory but also through loss, showing a critical error in my game can also show a weakness in my personality or way of thinking which I find nothing else in this world able to show such a deep connection. While I am no chess Master I feel that I have had a couple of games that I think are worth sharing. Yes these are all heavily flawed games. But I want to inform you my reader that I have put soul into these games, no matter how good at performing that soul is in this art.
The first game I would like to share is a game that I found incredibly influential in my chess so far. It's a game from my first tournament. I will be honestly forward by stating that I did awful in this tournament. Only scoring 1.5/5. It was a disappointment for me, I had been practicing, studying and playing to the best of my ability before the tournament. I wasn't expecting to place 1st or 2nd, but at least have a decent performance, This wasn't the case. Anyways the person whom I play in this game is a kid whom I would consider one of the best juniors in my state, His name is Micah Marks and he is honestly a very talented player. I have much respect for him, some have egos through chess skill. Micah? Micah is not one of those individuals. Micah was in my opinion the most skilled player at the tournament, not only with a 1500 rating, but also being undefeated to this point, (Except drawing his equally talented sister). Of course I was nervous when I was drawn to play him. I had a poor performance before hand, losing a 100% winning position due to stress and nervousness and awful moves. But I wasn't terrified, doubting my own skill leads to nothing, I knew I wasn't "Great" but I wasn't terrible. My strategy going into the game was to make an extremely complicated position in hopes that I would have a chance to "Out-Tactics" him. Even though that would unlikely anyways. So how did the game go? Well I got crushed, completely crushed. And I'm happy I did. It made me look at chess differently, and I'm not saying that in a way that everyone does. It made me realize that it takes more then "Playing" to get better at chess, you need to read, study and practice! But I got more out of this game also, of which I will talk about after the game.
So there you have it, my first critical chess game, I was very dissapointed in myself of course, along with being frustrated in my performance. And just being angry at myself.....I remember after having to play my friend and fellow Stevens Raider Dalton Eckmann. I lost the game pretty quickly....I remember him telling me that he felt bad that he beat me, I remember telling him that he shouldn't feel bad for winning, All it means is that I need to get better. Which of course I have. I also remember talking to my great coach FM Aleksandar Randjelovic about my poor performance, his motivational words helped to keep me from slumping in my chess loss, Which I have to openly thank him for. . I got a lot out of this short, short, short game. But this helped me become a more motivated, well rounded and developed player, Thank you Micah and Alex.
My next game didn't have much of an impact on my play but I would like to talk briefly about an influential figure in my chess so far. His name is Mr. Robinson and besides being a great teacher to his students, he's also a great Debate Coach and Chess player! And without him I would likely not be as into chess as I am now if at all. He probably is the reason as to why I got into it. Almost everyday I would go to his classroom to play him in chess matches, I ALWAYS lost. Although some people whom play that much and lose would just simply quit in frustration, I found more motivation through loss, that goal to beat him at least once! And eventually I did, he might have let me, but I remember the board, the day, the weather, everything when I checkmated. Some might seem that to be extensive, but I put a lot into beating him and it was a goal that I reached. But after beating him once it became a goal to simply get better them him. I eventually began to win on a semi-regular basis towards the end of the school year. Here is actually one of the last games I played against him, actually before this game I believe I was on a 3 game win streak. Playing quite excellent chess in my opinion. (I play white)
My next game is the first game I played against a Master whom wasn't my coach. This was in a online simul against FM Dan Durham. Although I played a short game against him. I played with no blunders and no big mistakes, and only had one critical error of which you will find.
This game made me feel good, I played against a master and did not get crushed. So where do I go from here? I feel like I have accomplished a good amount in only a few months. I know this is only the beginning! I have found something truly amazing to play, learn and watch that gives much so much joy to also achieve at. I currently am planning on attending the 2017 SD Teams Championship in Pierre and the 2017 US Junior Chess Championship in Minnesota both this month. Along with me working on saving up money to go around the region possibly competing in other tournaments. I want to advance my chess as much as possible, but also learn more about myself through the process.
p.s - the picture featured above is that of Bobby Fischer and Tal, Fischer was the only prominent chess player who would visit Tal in the hospital. I found such interest in this photo, An American whom had a deep hatred for almost every Soviet still visited Tal, forgetting about his deep hatred for the man's nationality. This shows the true connective power of chess.