Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Structure of My Struggle

I am approaching my personal improvement in this way:
  • Un-learning: 
    I have spent years trying to learn stuff way too fancy for my own good. Right now I am working on unlearning that stuff a la Heisman (home page), as channeled by Goldowsky (Mongoose Times). I started with "Logical Chess Move by Move" (Chernev) [done] and "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played" (Chernev) [in progress]. I will follow this up with "Understanding Chess Move by Move" (Nunn), "Learn Chess Tactics" (Nunn), "The Amateur's Mind" (Silman), and "Chess Visualization Course" (Anderson).
  • Praxis:
    I'm back to regular Tuesday night play at MetroWest Chess Club, when not traveling for work. Also, I play the occasional game on ICC (Internet Chess Club), but no blitz. In the ICC games my goal is to develop properly to enter a decent middlegame.
  • Analysis:
    Take each of my weekly MetroWest CC games and seek advice, let Fritz run through it, and give it it my own blood sweat and tears. My goal will be to analyze all games somewhat, and analyze some of them deeply, with a post to this blog.
  • Attitude:
    This video of Josh Waitzkin giving a talk at Google sums up what I aspire to. Everyone needs to have their personal mountain to climb.
  • Competition:
    In addition to Club tournaments at MetroWest CC, I will play in two or three big tournaments during the year. Right now I am entered in the Eastern Class and Foxwoods CCA tournaments.
My goal is to use this blog to keep me on the path to improvment.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have Adult Onset of Chess

I am a recovering chess novice. 

I dabbled in chess starting in school, and "got serious" in the '90s when I started playing rated chess. I thought I would get better by reading theory and fancy books, and never progressed very far. Sure I've occasionally bagged an 1800 USCF ELO player, but for the most part, I've vacillated between 1100 and 1500 USCF ELO. My correspondence varies between 1300 and 1700.

Aside from competition, I have contributed to several chess organizations and this has been very fulfilling. If you have never volunteered for your chess organization, you should consider it. It is usually hard work, necessary work, and it improves the lives of many including children, the future of our country. Please consider volunteering.

The last couple of years I traveled extensively and pulled back on OTB chess. Now that I can start playing somewhat consistently again, I want to actually get better. 

This blog is my quest.

Harvey Reed
Clerk and Marketing Director, MetroWest Chess Club
Director, Correspondence Chess League of America