Journey of a Chess Patzer

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Commentary Articles
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I began playing chess many years ago.  First it was against my dad when I was a child, and getting crushed.  Then in high school, I joined the chess team as a freshman.  I went from the worst on the team to the best in the district in one year.  That was mainly due to the help of a friend of mine who is now a National Master.

Probably the most exciting point of playing chess when I was learning was finally beating my dad.  He never once allowed me to win, even though my mom had asked him a few times to just let me win.  I’m glad he didn’t, you don’t really learn from your wins as much as your losses.

In high school I would lose maybe one or two games all year.  That was due to one person that I remain friends with today.  He was from a rival school, and to this day is still much better than I am.  I was only able to take the helm of best player in the district when he graduated.

Well years passed and I stopped playing chess.  I lost a lot of what I knew, and I haven’t really gotten it back, but I’m working on it.

Online play has allowed me to play and learn in the comfort of my own home.  Any time control you want, from blazing fast 1 minute bullet games, to more standard time controls of 60-120 minute games.

While my blitz games are horrendous, my longer games have gotten a whole lot better.  My rating, while not among the elite has steadily risen from 1500 to the 1700’s over the past couple months.  I don’t know if things are clicking for me again and I’m getting into the swing of things, or if I’m just getting lucky and facing sub-par opponents of the rating.  I’ve been able to beat players as high as 2003 in correspondence chess, and 1950 in live online tournament games.

This blog will serve as a record of my journey to try and hit the 1800 mark.  I’ve taken to a bit of studying, and analyzing my losses, as well as just conversing with a lot of higher rated players about the game itself.  It will feature my great games, and my horrible games, and offer some thoughts on different software, apps, high level games, etc.

I hope you stick around for the ride, and any and all comments are welcome for the discussion!

–Joe

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