Category Archives: Chess

Chess Club Championship Recap

A couple of weeks ago I finished first place in the club championship at the strongest chess club in the county! The tournament ran seven consecutive Friday nights, one game each week, starting at 7pm and finishing at or before 11pm.

Although I was the third seed in a field of forty or so, all of the top seeds were close enough in playing strength so that it could have been anyone’s tournament. Nevertheless, this was a major win psychologically – before I used to stress out too much about making the right move not to blow it in positions where I “should” end up winning. Now I’ve just focused on making the best move every time, enjoying the game, and not being focused on the result – and due to all this I have been playing better!

The game by game recap follows. Continue reading

Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!

One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.

Un-retiring from Chess, Twenty Years Later!

(April 2022 – My thinking on this has evolved quite a bit since I first wrote this – someday I will update, but right now it reads as I originally wrote it.)

I haven’t spoken much here about my past life as a tournament chess player. To sum up my prior post on the topic: I started playing in the early 1980s, rose to NM (National Master) level (a rating over 2200 – the top 1% of tournament players in the US), and then a short time later, abruptly left the game in the early 1990s when other things in life became a priority.

I’ve never really had the game seriously call me back, but on occasion I have given it some thought. Then I remember that in my latter years of playing, I had some holes in my opening repertoire which needed plugging. With the passing of time and with increased knowledge due to computers, those holes would be major breaches, and I might be lucky to make it out of the opening alive. The thought of retooling my entire opening repertoire just to be able to sit in the tournament hall would be a major disincentive to return after a long absence. Continue reading

The Rise and Retirement of a Chess Master

(April 2022 – My thinking on this has evolved quite a bit since I first wrote this – someday I will update, but right now it reads as I originally wrote it.)

I don’t recall exactly how I learned to move the chess pieces. Given that I lived in a small suburb on the East Coast in the late 1970s, I’m sure it was from reading a book in the local library. Around the time I was in fifth grade, my dad saw something in the newspaper about a local children’s chess club which met on Friday nights. He took me there every week, and he’d also take me to the occasional Saturday scholastic chess tournament. The story ends here for most people who learn chess as a child, but my path would be different. Continue reading