I first saw a chess set when I was eight years old. While spending two weeks at my grandparents’ house, my grandpa decided I needed something worthwhile to do. Having played the game often between his kids when he was much younger, I guess he figured he would introduce it to me as well.
After learning all of the basic piece moves, I was immediately hooked on chess and its intricacies. I played a game against grandpa every morning and every morning I endured a dismal defeat. But, with every loss I gained a small amount of skill in return. By the time I came back home I was already good enough to beat most, if not all, of my peers. Through the ages of eight and fourteen, I had participated in about six scholastic tournaments championing 1.d4 and 1…Nf6 with fair results. Though, I must admit, the older I got the worse I performed due to a lack of self-improvement in the game.
After taking a three year break from chess and not playing a single game during that timespan for personal reasons, I am back to playing regularly again. Chess is my means of mental improvement. By actively playing chess, I am able to keep my memory sharp and also improve my imagination so that it may run even wilder outside of the game! 😀
But this time around is different. I’m not playing chess for fun anymore. Alone, playing chess is not fun – I don’t get the same thrill out of it I used to. Winning is fun, therefore I play to win. Right now, my current blitz (15 + 0 only) rating on PlayChess (which at the time of writing this is approximately 1250) is all but depressing. I don’t even have a 0.5 ratio – but that’s going to change!
My “official” comeback to chess began on September 19th, 2007 (or so my database says). Once again I was regularly playing 1.d4 and 1…Nf6 on PlayChess with horrendously bad results. My rating on PlayChess after about a week’s worth of active play was approximately 1050 – pathetically weak by any standard. Then I got fed up and decided it was time to once and for all improve!
I am currently developing an opening repertoire which plays 1.e4 and 1…c6. This is because I am trying to bring about more tactical positions and opportunities, and it obviously is working quite well. After I am done playing a game on PlayChess, it goes to the database for Fritz11 to analyze it overnight. I am also now going through CTB religiously to improve my tactical vision. Once I’ve finished it, I’ll move to CTI, CT-Art, and lastly Strategy 2.0 for positional play. I also have PCT which I go through units with for study on the side.
My ultimate goal is to reach a PlayChess blitz rating of 2000, which will put me around the level of those who are an expert of the game. Will rigorous study with all of these programs help? I’m dedicated enough to find out!