Returning to Chess

Sep 8, 2007, 11:23 AM |

I've recentely, as of May, returned to playing chess.  Chess has always been an on-again, off-again thing for me.   My first chess games were scattered across my middle school years and pretty much consisted of me getting crushed by my step-father and brother.  I wasn't very encouraged by this, but I liked puzzles and the game was interesting enough that I came back for more every now and then.

When I reached high school I found I could outplay most other kids due to the brutal lessons learned from my family members.  After playing a game against one of the head math teachers and faring pretty well, my math teacher agreed to sponser a chess club at the school (Skyline HS in Dallas, TX).  Somewhere around this time (1987-1988) I played in my first USCF rated tournament.  This was a scolastic tournament.  My performance was mediocre.  I'm not sure what my provisional rating was, but I think it was somewhere around 1200.  I didn't play in any other USCF tournaments during highschool.

After highschool, I joined the Army.  Following bootcamp I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA.  During my first year in the military I played in some local tournaments, including sharing 1st place in an Army-Post tournament.  My non-provisional rating went to just over 1600, just barely a Class B player.  For the next couple of years (1991-1992) I pretty much took a hiatus from chess (in my 3rd year I got married).

After my tour in the military, I returned to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as a student at DeVry.  While at DeVry I met a good friend, Michael Schruf.  He was interested in playing chess, but was really a beginner.  We started a chess club at DeVry.  While at DeVry, there were probably two several month periods (in 1993 and 1994) where I attempted to play chess more seriously, competing in tournaments at the Dallas Chess Club.  Without devoting enough time I didn't really get any better, still around 1600.  However, my friend Mike improved to the point of a decent Class D club player.

Since that time, through this May, over a ten year period, I've played in 3 tournaments.  These were all ill-advised since I wasn't really prepared to play.  These brought my rating down to about 1550. 

Well, I've returned to chess due to the fact that my nephew, who is 13, is playing as good as myself and I thought it would be good to give him a chance to play in tournaments other than just the scholastic ones.  I'll follow-up this post with several more covering our first few tournaments.