Saturday, January 17, 2009

Finally, a New Post (with a new game!)

So guess what? I won a big $10 in Boca Raton playing chess. I sometimes tell people I'm semi-professional, which is technically true since I play for money. That's how I get them to leave me alone when I study at Panera. I did get to play a Cuban guy (at random) who was not bad, we played some blitz and I think it was +2=3-1 for me. I feel like I'm getting better. Lots of studying. It's funny, in most things I find that getting good is not a question of figuring out some 'secret', but rather of taking the time to learn a whole lot of individual aspects of a topic. In chess for instance, there's not some magic prescription for excellence. You just learn a lot of openings, lots of typical middlegames, lots of endgames, and that's how you get good. Music is the same way. You just learn a lot of songs, progressively raising the difficulty, and 'BOOM' you're good. That's what it means to be good. Just like in chess, being good isn't abstract. You learn how to play a shit ton of different positions, and that IS being good. I'm not really good yet, but I'm getting better. Here's a game I played this week in Boca. It was my first game against an opponent of my level in Florida, but I maintained my unbeaten streak in this state. Next week I think I'll get fed to an A player, and that will probably be the end of that little run. Look through the game and you'll see why I was so pleased with myself after it.


So there you go. I played hard, and even though I blundered and gave away a pawn I didn't give up. I've been a lot better since I started concieving chess as a fight rather than an art. All I have to do is play better than my opponent. Perfection is great, but not necessary. When you stop expecting perfection, you're results improve. Maybe it's just me.


natec said...

The conversation you had with yourself is a familiar concept with me... though I never do it out loud (you freak).

When I get in a worse position especially against lower rated players I tell myself that it is time to will myself a win.

Immediately following a blunder I try to be poker faced and go into "hyper-thought" and find a surprising or complicated follow up and play it immediately.

The psychology at play at the chessboard is often times more interesting and instructive than the moves especially if you can make your opponent think what you want them to.

I found myself in in a horrible position against an FM one time and blundered an exchange. I then went into the above train of thought and he started eating up time on the clock because it seemed to him that I intentionally went into this line. (it was mildly complex)

In our post-mortem around the time that I started to try to will the win he asked me what my assessment was. I told him "I thought I was totally lost and just trying to find reasons not to resign."

But the fact that he was receptive to the psychological cues that I was sending shows that sometimes that chess knowledge isn't the only thing at play.

Caeruleum Canis said...

I prefer complex play, and I have to say that the game was more interesting after I blundered. Does this even need to be a blog, or should i just email games to you? I swear you're the only person who looks at this thing.