On Chess.com...

Nov 16, 2011, 2:10 PM |

...and how it has helped my game.

I first got started on Chess.com when I was in England, visiting my relatives. My Uncle (Pongotwist) and Cousin (KissofChaos) were playing chess on the website and I, being a chess enthusiast, joined as soon as I could get online. For about two months, I didn't play very much (maybe 4 games total). But then my Uncle started a small, 4-person tournament. I downloaded the android app and I was soon hooked (just ask my wife!).

The big area where I find I've grown as a chess player are in patience. When I play live chess, I jump to moves that seem good, without properly examining the board. Playing online, I have the ability to consider the position, use the analysis tool to examine positions fully and make better decisions. I find that I unfortunately don't use the analysis tool until I start to approach the endgame, so that's an area where I need to continue to work on, but it's helped me be more decisive in my endgame strategies, and win games which I might have previously frittered away leads.

Doing the daily puzzle and maxing out my basic member's uses of the training sessions has also helped give me more exposure to chess positions, though I find that the middle game examples are still tricky. And doing the computer analysis of completed games has been helpful in understanding what moves I should be making in certain situations - though I find the flaw in that is that the computer is telling me what the best move in theory is, not the best move against the opponent (so it tells me to move a piece away from a threat into one square, when I know the opposing player will just move a piece to continue to attack in that square). I suppose it's nice to know the best move in any given position, but I think it shows the value of playing the player as well as the board.

Anyway, I'm having a blast improving my chess game on Chess.com. And I'm always ready for more games!