Hello ! I have only started seriously playing chess this year. I have never really played much as a youth, but have always been curious about the game. My chess goals, while perhaps lofty, are based on Lasker's statement that anyone of average intelligence could become a chess master in five years. He even outlined a study plan to that effect. With today's technology and computer databases, not to mention the wealth of books published in the last 80 years since he made that statement, I suspect that it should not even take three years to become a master in chess, with availability of strong chess players being the only limiting factor.
Outside of chess, I am trying to finish a Computer Science degree, although I may switch over to architecture at some point (maybe grad school). In the meantime, I also have interests in music (listening, playing, and composing), art, literature, computer programming, internet, video games, history, language(s), furry animals (don't own any), etc.
Inside of chess, I favour queen pawn openings as white, and Caro-Kann as black. I like the "slow, boring" stuff, because I once played a much stronger player the last time I tried to learn chess, and he steered me into the wide open games where I would always lose.... I won't say "never", but king pawn openings have left a bad taste in my mouth ever since... I have not yet quite settled on the exact opening I would like to play with white, and repretoire work continues... as soon as I plug the spread eagle tactical holes in my games !
At some point, Ken Smith (of Chess Digest) recommends that people pick two GMs to be chess "heroes" - one living and one dead guy. For the living, I choose Korchnoi, as he has a reputation for eating younger grandmasters for lunch, even at his advanced age ! Surely he knows somthing that we younger people miss. For the dead great, I choose Capablanca. Never really could get into Fischer, but to each his own...