Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A New Way of Seeing Things

As of late, I have noticed a steady improvement in my chess. I have been incorporating the things that I have been learning into my game, and I can see the difference in how I play. Today, something clicked while I was playing. I started to see the board more in-depth. Things became obvious that weren't obvious before. The new knowledge felt almost miraculous. I feel very excited and can hardly sit still. It's like the difference between knowing how to read printed writing and knowing how to read cursive.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The World Chess Championship

I have been following the 2013 World Chess Championship with great interest, although in a rather unconventional way. I follow it through forum posts and online articles . . . but I don't really watch the matches.

I tried to. I really did. But they are very long and I simply can't sit down and watch chess for 4+ hours. Also, the commentators drive me bats. I just don't find watching the matches very interesting, but I take great interest in reading about the matches.

It's kind of like how I enjoy playing basketball, but don't enjoy watching basketball games.

Also, as someone who blunders a lot, it's very soothing to see that even high-level players can blunder, too.

I'm hoping for a win for Carlsen. I look forward to reading about Game 10 when it happens.

Oh Urban Dictionary

Playing chess does not always mean playing chess.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Vibrator Chess Set

I like looking up pictures of chess sets. Wooden chess sets, themed chess sets, unique chess sets, bizarre chess sets . . . it's amazing just how many different chess sets there are. This Vibrator Chess Set is one of the more exotic ones I've seen.

The thing costs seven thousand dollars. SEVEN. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. But then again, you are getting 32 vibrators, each with gold-plate detailing, so I'm sure it all balances out somehow.

What's the most interesting chess set that you've seen?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Chess Club, Part 2

Today was my first meeting at my university's chess club. After some initial worry that no one was going to show up, a bunch of people did. Including me there were seven people there. I was the only girl. Everyone was very nice and laid back, like I had hoped. We discussed having some events, as we need to hold two before the end of the semester, so we're going to have a bake sale next week and a tournament on the last day of class. Then some people had to leave to go to class and there were four of us left, so we laid out the boards and had a few games together. I played the same guy twice. He won both games. I did not play very well, but I did fight very hard during the games. I totally blundered the checkmate I had been planning. They were both good games, and I look forward to the next meeting.

Chess Principles

This website has some excellent tips for playing.  I hope this can help someone, it sure helped me! I can't get enough of webpages like this. What are some chess tip webpages you like?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Chess Club, Part 1

I joined my university's chess club and the first meeting is tomorrow. I'm excited but also a bit nervous because I don't know what to expect. I've never been a part of a chess club before. I've never played chess with a stranger before, but I guess after I meet the other chess club members, they won't be strangers anymore. I suppose we'll meet up and get to know each other and then play some chess together. I hope that everyone is nice and friendly and laid back and that no one gets frustrated with me - for someone who's as passionate about chess as I am, I'm not an amazingly fantastic player. On a scale of 1 to 5, I think that I'm a 2.5 who can occasionally play as a 3. I suppose I am average. And that's okay. I'm not aiming to be the best chess player in the world, I'm aiming to be the best chess player that I can be, through sheer love of the game.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Lengths I Went To In Order To Get My Chess Set

I love looking at pictures of people's chess sets. This is mine.

This chess set is very special to me because of what I had to go through to get it.

When I started playing again in August, I had to get a chess set, because most of the sets I had in my twenties had long since vanished. All I had left was a small magnetic travel set, which I don't like to play on because it's so small. I looked around the different shops in my area, and all I could find were plastic sets. Very ugly plastic sets. Which I bought, so that I'd have something to play on. But what I really wanted was a wooden set, and I could not find one.

When I went out of town that month to visit friends, I made it my mission to find a wooden chess set. I figured that that would be an easy goal to accomplish since I was travelling to a rather large city many hours away from where I am from. However, it was not as easy as I had thought.

I called around to different shops. I visited different shops. The employees of the shops I visited kept directing me to other shops. I visited 6 shops and none of the 6 carried chess sets. The 7th shop I went to had a plastic set, which I bought because by that point I figured I wasn't going to find a wooden set anywhere. This set was nicer than the plastic set I had bought at home, but it wasn't what I wanted.

The next day, I was at a mall with someone who is very special to me. We passed by a games store, and I figured it would be worth a shot to look inside, even though by then I was convinced that there were no wooden chess sets to be found anywhere in the province.

I was very pleased when Store #8 proved me wrong. On the shelf was a beautiful wooden chess set, very reasonably priced at $14.95. My friend ended up buying it for me as a present, and he played the first game on the set with me, which made it even more special to me. My best friend made the pouch for me, and that's where I keep the pieces.

My chess set lives in my backpack - the board is very light - and my backpack goes with me almost everywhere I go. I love my wooden chess set, and I already have a lot of very nice memories to go with it. I wouldn't trade it for the nicest set in the world.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Chess Videos

When it comes to watching chess videos, I like thechesswebsite's videos. I like the way he explains things. - check it out and subscribe. - lots of great stuff here. 

Thanks Kevin for doing such a great job! I've learned a lot from you.

Vertical Castling

This is an interesting link someone shared in a forum I visit.

It's about vertical castling, which is a loophole in the chess rule of castling. FIDE ended up amended their castling rules so that this couldn't happen (rook must be on the same rank as the king.) I'm sure it makes sense, but I think it would be fun if you could actually do this.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Introduction Post

My name is Elizabeth. I used to be really into chess, I learned when I was 19 and played recreationally for a couple of years with my friends, and then I just stopped. There's no definitive reason as to why I stopped. I suppose I just got too busy with work, work prevented me from seeing my friends, and chess just faded from my memory. From 23 to 31, I didn't play a single game. Chess never entered my mind.

I'm 31 now. In August of 2013, I was hanging out with the person who had first taught me to play chess, and it just came to my head - we should play. So we played. And played. And played. And I fell in love with the game again.

In the past three months, I've been playing as much as I can, and studying as much as I can. I didn't know that there was so much to learn. No one had ever taught me about openings, about the opening/middle/endgame, weak squares and strong squares, etc. I was a good chess player, but I didn't know that any of that existed. I just played for fun with my friends, and if they knew all that stuff, they didn't tell me. I'm fascinated that there is so much more to learn about the game, and I've noticed a huge improvement in my game from the things that I've learned.

I love chess. This is my blog.