Sunday, July 23, 2017 08:36

Posts Tagged ‘Life Balance’

Off for a few days…

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

It’s Tuesday night as I write this. Though you’ll be reading this after Wednesday morning.

I can no longer call myself an unrated player. The four round Quick tournament I played in last month has finally been processed – my Quick Rating is provisionally based on four games at 999. (Four losses, no less!) So I’m on the board, so to speak. It becomes official on the next rating list. In other news….

I will play in in my first regular tournament this upcoming Saturday.

Tomorrow night I’ll be doing some final tactics and openings practice – I do not plan on setting up a blog post for Thursday AM. Thursday and Friday I may be online at the USCF Forums, but pretty much I’ll be giving myself a couple of nights off from Chess, Blogging, and the whole nine yards. (Resting up for Saturday! I’ll just be doing some personal meditation and motivation for myself.)

So, expect a post sometime on Sunday about how I did in the tournament, but not much – or anything! – before then.

Originally I was going to go and play tonight at Colley’s, but after dinner I find myself tired. Paying attention to that is a key in getting myself ready for Saturday. So I’ll be home tonight, mainly just resting up. Maybe a little tactics drilling on the tactics servers (Chess Tempo and Chess Tactics Server on the sidebar.)

I am finding that getting prepped for my first regular tournament is yet another way to enjoy my chess. I hope in the meantime you can

Enjoy your Chess!

Goals and Balance

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

I didn’t get by the club Saturday morning – too busy with other tasks for Chess.

For some people (of the few who will read this,) you might be asking, “What???!!?!” I hope I’m humble enough to believe that most people wouldn’t care so much. But it brings up a rather sensitive topic in the chess-playing world: How much is enough?

It’s not impossible to eat, sleep, drink, and breathe chess. One can devote one’s every waking moment to it. It gets under your skin, in your blood, and can control you – if one lets it. There is, even for Grandmasters, one more thing to be learned – a new opening variation, a new puzzle, or one more book to read. (For a chess blogger, one more thing to write about…)

And it’s hard, because if you truly want to become a Grandmaster… you have to strive for allowing of chess to be *the* dominant and defining factor in your life. I’ve read interesting things about the Grandmaster process, and heard many stories. Among them is the notion that, to become a Master, expect to study chess for two to three hours a day. Every day. No exceptions, until you make it to FIDE Master. You must have at least some talent to get there, though others have suggested that pure dedication can get you to Master play.

Then you still study two to three hours a day to push up to International Master – and that’s if you have talent. Then you study at least two to three hours a day to make GM. Then…. it’s claimed your soul, so you keep studying at least two hours a day – for the rest of your life. The joke is: My estimate here is conservative. ;) The topmost ranks of GMs make a profession of it. And I haven’t even begun to talk about lessons with stronger players, paying for tournament play, and how much to invest in books/magazines/etc.

I don’t want to be a Grandmaster. There. I’ve said it.

It’s just not part of my goals. Even though I’ve been bitten by the chess bug hard. But I know that I will also forever be what is (sometimes disparagingly) referred to as a, “Club player.” Me, I revel in it – because it meets my goals.

Chess is a lot of fun, and one can actually be social and make friends. If making friends is as important as winning. (Not more important, mind you. You play your best and play to win – because that’s the game. But as important.) That’s a goal of mine: Making friends through chess.

I have found running tournaments (and helping to run them) to be fun, too. I do want to advance to the next level of tournament direction. (And that can both complement and conflict with my first goal.) But wanting to be a Local TD places other goals for me – among them, to become a rated player and go through my provisional period into an established rating.

And I do want to improve. But being unrated, it’s hard to judge if I’m getting stronger or not – another reason to get my rating and test it periodically by tournament play. And I have to wait on that, to set an actual goal as to how much I want to improve.

But, like anyone else in life, I’ve got responsibilities. Wife. Cat. Bills. Job. A belief system.

It is *very* easy to let chess dominate all that, too. The book “Searching for Bobby Fisher” is a slice of how chess and other responsibilities affects a scholastic parent’s life. And it nibbled around the edges of what I’m writing about very well.

So, I’ve talked about me enough. What are your goals in chess? To pass the hours? To compete in tournaments? A pastime to share with loved ones? Or are you going for the big enchilada, the “G” word? Make money from it (good luck! Very few people ever actually make money at it – and to some of us, that’s part of the beauty of it.)

And how do you strike a balance between your chess goals and your other responsibilities in life?

If you start setting goals for what you are looking to get out of chess, the odds are you will reach them. And setting goals and striking a healthy balance between those goals and your other goals in life is a great way to

Enjoy your chess!

Postscript: If you’re wondering, yes I still do have a deep and abiding faith. On Sundays (my Sabbath,) I only do the things in chess – and life – that help replenish my soul… This post was drafted Saturday night to fill a scheduling hole – and now you know why my regular recent posts all show up at “6 A.M.” – I’m not up at 5 A.M. writing this stuff, either! ;)