Updated: 01 May 2016
I only started playing serious chess in 2012 though I did play quite a bit in the early 1990's. At that time, I loved playing as Black and my favorite piece was the Queen given its immense power - hence 'BlackQueen2012'. Of course, my chess has moved on quite a bit since and my positional play has been transformed since joining this site in 2012. There's practically not a day without a visit to the checkered board either online or OTB. In 2013, I joined a good local club in Drogheda and continue to get used to OTB play. Later that year, I registered with the Irish Chess Union (ICU) in September and started playing in the classification phase (rated) for the 2014 Championship. With the benefit of a vacancy playoff, I made it into the middle (B) Championship and scored 5 points out of 9 games. In June 2014, I entered into my first open competition (Drogheda June Congress) where I scored 3 credible draws out of 5 games.
Since September 2014, I have been involved with Team Chess and although my game record hadn't been as good as in the Club, I continue to gain experience playing OTB with people from outside the Club - that can only be a good thing. Back in the Club however, I ended my 2014-15 season by winning the Plate trophy (the second knockout competition after the Cup). The final involved a tough theoretical game in which the Prague Variation of the Tarrasch Defense was played out. I played White and exploited a tactical error in the middle game after which there was no way back for my stronger opponent who has beaten me in the past. I also maintained my standing in the B Championship (2015) with 5.5 points out of 9.
The Drogheda June Congress of 2015 was a major disappointment for me with a significant points toll, so I took a summer break from all aspects of chess other than online correspondence games (on Chess.com) and produced some electronic music for a change. Upon the following September however, the new season got underway and I had a great start with 3.5 points from a possible 5 in my Club Championship Qualifiers (rated) with only one defeat recorded (to a stronger opponent) - some points regained there. However, I didn't do so well in my interclub league games this season as being team captain tends to be a distraction. Putting that aside, most of my games up to April 2016 have been submitted and my rating has recovered significantly (1210 up from 1170 - that would be around 1500 in FIDE terms). My rating boost is very much due to the good run I had in the top club championship (A) where I got a respectable 3 points from 7. Here's hoping for next season!