Happy New Year!
Looks like the first update of the year on this blog is going to be a chess update. It’s been quite a sanity saver. I love learning languages and music but there’s something both highly cerebral and visceral about playing chess and it’s been really great for me to take my stress, uncertainty, and angst out on a digital chessboard against programmed chess opponents in the wee hours of the morning when I cannot sleep. So, I play chess in bed 😉 — my version of being decadent!
I actually started playing chess with other players after I checkmated (without assists) a few 1000+ rated NPCs on the revamped chess.com but I discovered that even 300-400 rated real life players were far harder to beat than higher rated NPCs because of the element of surprise. Still, I persevered but do not play RL players toooo much because I don’t want to bring my rapid rating down.
Right now with the NPCs, I’ve made my way to the intermediate level but the current NPC I am sparring, Laura (1100) is really tough, even tougher than Azeez (also 1100) whom I have already checkmated three times. I think they modeled her after Judit Polgar’s strategy and strategy is still not something I am well-versed on. I’ve learned I need to attack her Queen early on and strongly defend my King but I still keep getting drawn in corners. So I have lost every time except for the times when there was a draw. But I also stalemated her once (okay, it’s just the chess engine with differently programmed gameplay but you know what I mean).
But, it’s still exhilarating and I take every game, even a defeat as a chance to learn more about strategy in a hand’s on, kinaesthetic way because I know I’m a kinaesthetic learner as well as a highly analytical one.
Stats for now:
- Blitz Rating: 800
- Rapid Rating: 434
- Dr. Wolf Blitz Rating Assessment: 715
My goal is to get my Blitz rating to 1200 this year, and my Rapid Rating to 800. When I hit 1200, I’m buying a fancy chess set and some chess strategy books. I won’t have anyone to play it with but I can use the set to work out chess strategy the kinaesthetic way.
And don’t talk to me about The Queen’s Gambit. I watched it, had some serious reservations about it — but I started my chess journey way before the series was launched on Netflix. Also, I bought the ebook but stopped reading it the moment it mentioned the “n” word. So there’s that. I didn’t like the way the only black woman was portrayed in the series either. Giving up her uni tuition money so Beth Harmon could go play chess in Russia?
Nope. Nope. None of that, thanks.