Saturday, November 04, 2017

Making room for Chess

Two years slipped by and it feels like yesterday. Let’s see, since my last post more “life stuff” happened. My other parent was in her last chapter, I changed jobs, kids got married, and lots of travel. Since my last real active blogging days 4 or 5 years ago, my priorities have changed dramatically in terms of chess. The time it takes to dedicate to this game is all a matter of perspective and what you really want out of it. Let’s face it, the goal of the 2000 rating is a siren call I see from a lot of us “serious players”.  But it requires constant upkeep of skills, self evaluation, and professional help ( coaches, instructions …well maybe even therapists). Where to fit all that in when life creates tsunamis round you making that chess board the lowest of all priorities.

What bothers me, is that the investment of time I committed to in the past, doesn’t just come back over the board like riding a bicycle.  It’s difficult not to fall into a small bit of self-loathing or pity over the  wasted hours spent learning the game only goes atrophy after months of inactivity. How did I used to play this opening? What are the themes going into the middle game? Does the horsey go next to he tower?  ( well not that bad… but you get my drift.)  It makes it harder to say …”THIS TIME I’M GOING TO JUMP BACK IN”.

How to feed my passion for this game when so many other things are demanding my attention?  I am trying out a path through work. I infected some folks at my new company with the passion for a little competition at work in this century old game.   I have started a weekly club  at work and that’s about all the room I have for it.

Do I want to play in tournaments again?… some day… maybe… just not now.  Moderate weekly sparring at work is OK for now. Don’t  I want to go after that 2000 USCF rating?  Right now, I’d rather spend a few cycles having fun in this game again.

So I wax nostalgically with the new players at work. Since my father passed, I inherited all his old sets and those from the days of the Brunswick Chess Club. I spent some time cleaning up 40 year old vintage club sets from the Drueke Player’s choice series ( weighted) and started bring these in for the company chess club.  I feel like I am playing on home turf as these were the pieces I cut my teeth on and learned this game.  Going back to my roots is always a good thing.

No promises, but I may keep you up to date once in a while.




Signalman said...

Always good to read a post from you, especially so when its a positive one.

I can empathise with all you say regarding both the apparent loss of skills after a period away from the board, plus the part about working out to to 'feed the passion',and I think your solution is a neat one, not something that would happen where I work, for sure !

My solution at the moment, when attempting to bring chess into my work-life balance, is to do some daily tactics on the 25-minute train journey to and from work, the occasional blitz game, and then the online chess league for a few weeks every quarter. Just about enough to tick over without impinging too heavily on the things you need to do for daily life !

Look forward to another post soon !

ChessAdmin said...

Welcome back. And those Drueke chess sets rock.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

I feel the last time we had a chess culture on the internet is when we had your blog and knights going, and Polly Wright, Robert Pearson, Rocky Rook, and the chess carnivals, etc.

I post here now: but it's like the last vestige/outpost of a serious chess group on the internet. ;-)