Chess and getting to 1000

I do not know where this blog will end up, but for now, I am interested mostly in chess. I want to become a reasonable chess player. Reasonable to me is being able to hold up my half of the game with an average player. At some point chess will diminish and other things will be interest to me, and I will write about them, but for now it is about improving at chess.

I have always liked to play chess. Away from playing the family, I found chess frustrating. I set chess a side for about a year, still wanting to play better chess, but not taking any action.

Recently, I started looking for ways to improve my chess. I also started taking notes on what I found to help me. I will be sharing my notes here with you as time permits. Maybe my notes on what I find and learn will help you too?

I have learned a lot for over the last weeks as I became serious about improving. In the bigger picture, I know I have barely opened my chess eyes. Yet my discoveries have already helped me play better chess. Here is some background on my chess life.

I started out as about an eight hundred player, and my initial goal was to improve to over 1000. Once I make this goal, I want to press on trying to keep my improvement going. Before knowing I was about an eight hundred player, I thought was a good chess player. After all I could either soundly pummel, or hold my own against most of my family after holiday meals.

Playing computer chess told me a different story about my chess skills and abilities. I was getting soundly thrashed by these free, comes with the operating system chess games on their lowest settings.

Of course being an optimist, I thought the programmers were showing off their programming and perhaps chess skills. I thought few people played at the highest level of these chess games.

I went online to prove my worth as a chess player. This is how I found out I was about an eight hundred level player. An eight hundred level player is slightly below beginner in some chess rating systems. It was a humbling experience to lose to (very good) players who chose to use a little over half of their army to beat me.

At this point, I thought perhaps playing chess in person would be easier. These people on the net must be hard core players, not the normal chess player. I found out where a local club met, and showed up to play one night. Through some fluke I beat one of the better players in the first game. There was no future repeat, and my chess success in live chess play was a one hit wonder so to speak.

I set chess aside for a while as it was frustrating me, and took up interests in other things. The circle has completed, and here I am with chess again. This time however I am taking the game of chess a little more seriously, and making a real effort to learn enough to play an average game of chess.

Sure, I hope it will all click and I will become a chess wizard, though realistically, I will be thrilled to reach the ranking of an average club player. I understand moving up above the average chess club player skill level is when chess starts to become very serious.

As I became serious about chess these last weeks, I started a notepad file with my notes of what I discovered to help me play better chess. Maybe someone else wants to improve their chess skills, and perhaps they can learn from my notes? I decided to put my chess notes and thoughts online. I am sure there are other frustrated beginning players such as myself who would like to improve their chess, but do not know where or how to start.

Following will be most of chess notes in a readable form. What I am learning at the time of writing them to myself. This is sort of knocking on the aquarium glass, but I need to start somewhere.

If you are a skilled chess player, I imagine there won’t be a lot be a lot here for you outside of entertainment value. If you do follow my chess meanderings, feel free to comment on the many errors in thinking I am sure I will post. If you play chess at home or with friends and want to improve, maybe a few of the ideas and thoughts I find will help you to improve.

There are a lot of beginning chess blogs and articles about how to set up a chess board, how the pieces move, and so on. There are sites with tactics, strategy, and games for review. These very good sites did not help me understand how to put these many ideas together in some meaningful way.

I have found nuggets for improvement from various places and have the source for most of them in my notes.  They are gold nuggets for me as what I have found has helped me make fewer errors and play more cohesive chess. Maybe we will never make to a high level, but I am sure any of us reading this post can play better chess.