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Chess Life

Chess Life

Apr 1, 2009, 4:39 PM 1

Of course, as most chess players say, I started my chess history when I was about 7 or 8. My uncle taught me how to play, and I have had an on again off again love affair with it ever since. When I was 11, I joined the Chess Club at my elementary school. I quickly became one of the top members, but we never played anyone else other then each other. Once I got into Jr. High, my focus turned from chess to music. My games and skill suffered greatly, going from playing around 2 or 3 games a day to a game a week. (This was before the time of online chess :P)

Near the end of my high school years, I picked up chess once again. This time, playing both offline with friends and family (and the occasional lunch time showdown) and online (via Yahoo! Games) with strangers. My skills became much more developed during this time.

During college I would play everyone that wanted to play. While there was no official chess club at my college, there were many games to be had. Living in the dorms, one could find 5 or 6 really good games any given night, provided midterms and finals were not going on. :) My skills got slightly better, but since I never really studied the game much beyond 'kill kill kill their peices', my skills went stagnated.

And that is where I have been until recently. These days, I am more passionate about chess. Along with playing many games online, I play against the computer, do the puzzles on Chess Master, watch and review old matches, and even learn a lot about the history of the game (youtube and wikipedia are great for this!). 

One of the most important things I have found in developing my skills is the need of a clear mind and healthy body. Much of the same work that goes into a great martial artist or yoga instructor, also goes into making a great chess player.

Sadly, I do not follow that rule ;-) So my games are usually mixed, depending on the status of my uncleared mind and out-of-shape body. I found my way to chess.com through a Facebook application and it is currently the chess site I use most. After checking out the site's wealth of free resources, styles of games, and community, I quickly became addicted. However, this is not my first web based chess site. I have mostly played on the Free Internet Chess Server and in IRC rooms in the past, but in 2005 was introduced to Red Hot Pawn. While I still have an account there, most of my games are played here, on Chess.com, and on the Free Internet Chess Server.

My favorite way to play chess is still on a real life board, sharing coffee or tea and a conversation over a good game of chess. However, I think it would be neat to build a robot that I could integrate into the Fritz program. It would be fun to have it move the pieces on a real board and watch the computer to get an idea of where it is looking via Fritz's 'magic eye' feature. With a bit of web-cam tweaking, I could also use this setup to play friends around the world as if they were right in my home. How cool would that be :-D

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