A moment to Celebrate – Novice to Advanced Chess

In 2010 I decided to look into my love of playing chess in more detail, along the way hoping to better improve on making less blunders so I could really enjoy the full potential of the game of kings and queens. My previous ‘Chess blogs’ highlighted my struggles, frustrations and moments of success along this great and continuing journey. I’ve read and studied books, manuals, leaflets, I’ve had professional coaching, listened to advice from competition players, provided quidance notes for myself and ate about 500 trays of humble pie.

Chess

I’ve been really pleased with the progress on my chess mid and endgames. Books that are helping me currently are;

  • ‘Ten ways to succeed in the endgame’ by Tim Onions and David Regis

10 ways to succeed in the endgame

  • ‘Improve your chess in 7 days’by Gary Lane
  • ‘Chess Endings essential knowledge’ by Yuri Averbakh.

Chess books

Also I’ve viewed the following Chess videos which have given me further insight into the glorious game;

  • Fighting for the initiative in chess dvd’ by Tiger Hillarp Persson GM

Fighting for initiative

  • ‘The Master Game series 6 & 7’ dvds

The Master Game series 6 and 7

All the above have helped me improve my chess play to where I’m putting up a better more confident opposition.

Of the many games I’ve played online, the match attached below has to be my ‘Wow’ chess ending of the year so far. I play ‘Black’.

The Rating

elo rating

Throughout my chess journey I’ve stayed relatively quiet about my progress in terms of ratings as I know there is a lot of hooha around the inflation of online chess ratings and the comparisons with OTB(Over the board) & Correspondence chess. Another reason I stayed quiet about my rating progress was I found it amazing how quickly your rating can drop if you don’t have the skills to stay at that promoted level, so I stayed stum until I knew for certain that my development was consistent, had less blunders and allowed me room for further positive improvement without impacting my playability. My thought was, no point shouting about a level of attainment only to find that it was a momentary glimpse at glory, why not turn that glimpse into a full on view of the next level and beyond.

So here today, I’m celebrating with my mascot bear, that for a year and 3 months I’ve maintained a consistent online rating of 1600+ in online chess matches/competitions.  Whoopi to ‘Rookie Chess’

Chess Mascot

Although online chess tests can’t show the full capability or rating of a chess player, I took two grading tests to gather some kind of idea as to where my skills are at currently. The tests were as follows;

On the Internet Chess Learning Centre(see picture below) – I scored 9 out of 15 on some very tricky questions resulting in my responses being rated at an advanced level.

Chess Grade-Advanced

On the Chess Maniac site I took a test which resulted in my estimated ELO rating as 1610

Chess Grade ELO

So what are my key thoughts when playing a game now?

Well…firstly I never want to forget the experiences of the Rookie stage, those were and are invaluable to me, nor will I ignore the notes I’d created along the way.

Next I like to keep things Simple – Avoiding complications as much as possible

I like to try and be Direct – Taking when a take is available and conducive to my development

I think the most important thing for my play is to understand and practise the meaning of Pace – Basically literally sitting on my hands whilst I think through the move I wish to make, then think about it again. Only until I am sure of the move then I make the move.

Pace Simple Direct moves to take the obvious paths that avoid complications and make the right choices to remove pieces from the board ~ With no army there’s no War

 

So what’s next?  Real life Over the Board Chess ?  :O

 

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