My Journey in Chess

Jun 1, 2015, 5:25 AM |

I figure it's time for my readers to know a little bit more about myself (apart from just my games) and how I came to love Chess.

My father and mother both introduced me to Chess when I was 5-6 years old. I never took it seriously, and played it more as a means to past the time.

At 13, chess was a board game that I played after the yearly school exams were over. A strange lifechanging event occured when I happened to be browsing in a bookstore after school (waiting for my parents) and stumbled upon 'hobbies and games' section. Looking around, I was astonished at the no of books which focused on chess. (This was back in the 90's when the internet wasn't around yet)

I decided to buy 'Idiot's Guide To Chess, by GM Patrick Wolf'- a book which really felt was suited to my level of chess understanding at that time. As it turns out, it was a pretty good buy.

Through the book, I was introduced to the concept of tactics, the importance of development in the opening (including castling) and basic chess strategy. Somehow something in me just clicked. My eyes were now opened to various combinations and moves which I had previously not considered.  I remember after that weekend of  reading and finished the majority of the book I was like a different chess player. Classmates which I previously couldn't beat I was crushing with ease (except off course, the chess club players.. to them I was still a patzer). 

The sad thing about it is, I decided to stop pursuing chess soon after because I felt that it was a sport which didn't really  gain me much 'creed'. I'll admit, I really wanted to be popular with the girls and so decided to pursue swimming instead.  The students who were in chess club, well... they didn't seem too popular.  Choosing swimming wasn't such a bad 'move', I did managed to become a decent swimmer (although nowhere near national level, just inter-schools) 

I didn't entirely stopped playing chess completely. The internet was starting to become mainstream and with i came internet board games (yahoo chess anyone?). I played on and off online at various sites for many years, read some books here and there and finally even open my own chess club during my university days (after I had decided to call time on my swimming).  

Currently, chess is my main hobby and I think it's probably for life. I'ts a perfect hobby for me who has to juggle work and family because it's so convenient and time efficient. No need to travel far, no major equipment, just log onto the internet. It's a timeless game and every child should learn how to play it. It mirrors many aspects of life. The importance of decision making, being patience, the consequences of a mistake.. I could go on and on. I can't wait to teach my son someday. (Hopefully he'll like it as much as I do. ) 

I think my chess dream at present would be to get a FIDE rating of 2000 ELO and beyond. Meanwhile my realistic chess goals are to reach an internet rating of 1800 and above by the end of this year. However, I must remind myself that it's not always about the ELO, it's also about enjoying the beauty of the game, which I am at present. 

Dear Readers, wishing you all the best for your chess games and may you always have fun playing this beautiful game.