I love playing chess, whether it's serious or for fun. I was Oxfordshire Junior U9 Chess Champion in 1996, but after 5 years of playing I stopped in 1997. I played a few online games in November and Decenber 2009 after a massive 13 years of not playing a single game - something told me to start again but the novelty soon worn off...
However!... at the start of 2011 I played a couple of friends otb and kept winning easily every single game! As well as playing the odd game, I spent Springtime reading chess books, mainly about openings to expand my knowledge, I started creating puzzles too - I had just fell in love with chess again!!
I started playing online daily from July 2011 and will continue to play daily as long as I have access to a computer and a chess board!
I play chess for my local club (Didcot) also and have started playing for my County's U125 and U150 team, I've also began playing in local tournaments and finished =4th place at the 35th Annual Chess Congress in Kidlington on 4th+5th February 2012 - check my blogs for all my rated games
"you only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent"
The Fundamentals of Chess, 1885
This is a philosophy I adopt when selecting opponents in live play - I like playing higher-rated opponents so I always have a tough match! But I will happily play anyone of any rating in a turn-based game or tournament game, rated or unrated.
My 3 favourite chess players of all-time are 1.Kasparov (childhood idol), 2.Nimzovich 3.Alekhine
Here is the link to my best OTB win (by rating) so far... caused a big upset!! It has been improved on though since and is in the next link down after this.
This below is my current favourite upset!! (Game no.2 in the 5-game blog - SO AWESOME!!)
Here is also my best-ever draw to-date! It is game no.4 in the blog where I drew against a 152 ECF (1866)
Where would I like to go with chess? Well now I'm a true chess addict again and I won't be quitting this time, I would love to become a titled player someday... "FM Samuel J Harkins" - sounds epic just thinking about it! I realize that it will and is a lot of hard work if I ever even make it that high up but OMG I just love playing chess!
A smaller goal I do have is to make it to a "respectable" level (over 2000 FIDE) and publish a book on chess puzzles!! I love creating mad and crazy positions! I've currently made well over 100 puzzles and hopefully by the year 2020 I will have reached the high level I wish to attain and probably will have created 500+ puzzles during my "rise" (if I do actually get anywhere lol ) and then I'll select my favourite 101 to publish in a unique book! EVERY puzzle in the book will have been composed by me, and if it sells well, I plan on donating 50% of all the profits to charity, namely the Cystic Fibrosis Trust because I unfortunately have CF. Back to the puzzles - here's the link to my current favourite creation! Feedback is always welcome!
I have just started my third season back in chess since childhood, 2013/14 and my current ECF grade is 122 (1626 FIDE equivalent).