Sunday, September 12, 2010


Volcano in Eyjafjallajokul - what I saw in my dream
I was talking to my older brother.  He had some disease that made his fingertips look like they had leprosy.  His breath smelt badly too.  I felt so bad for him - but he was taking medication.  We were standing outside with hundreds of other people in the town.  This huge storm with really dark clouds was moving in.  Then there was an explosion in the clouds and lightening - red, firey lightening.  The clouds were moving more quickly - like they were going to collapse on us.  We all started running - the earth was quaking - then my alarm turned on.  I was in a sweat.  It was 4:30am.  The lengths I go to get in a good chess game online.

I walk to the guest bathroom, grabbing the eye drops on the way.  I turn on the light, put a few drops in my dry eyes and then I walk into the office.  He's not online.  I check my email - he's going to be 15 minutes late.  We finally play - and we're playing like it's a blitz game.  The game is 45 45, but we both end the game with more than 45 minutes on each of our clocks!  Of course I lost the game.  No surprise there.  But why is the question.

Like usual, I blunder in the opening moves.  After doing some post-game checking, I see I went out of book on move 5.  I lose a pawn.  I know it's over.  This guy is too good.

But why didn't I take time to think a bit more?  Sometimes I can get in the groove and really enjoy the thinking and analyzing.  Other times, like this morning, I am just restless and want to be moving - not thinking.  How do I combat this?  I need to find a solution to combat this anxiety when it occurs.  Deep breathing?  A bit of jogging in place or some exercise before or during the game?  Meditation?  I'll have to think of this a bit more.  I know in the past, I have gotten up and walked around a bit - not because of restlessness, but because I needed a drink or to go to the restroom.  When I did that, I became more settled.  Maybe I need to incorporate this into my start-of-the-game routine - force myself to walk around a bit - think about a move a bit longer.

With the loss, my rating dropped below 1600 for the first time since - I don't know - maybe 2004?  I ended up playing a couple of 15 0 games with a 1584 player (I was 1590ish).  I won both of them easily and my rating bumped up above 1640.  I don't even know why I care about the rating - consistency is what I desire.  And to know what the hell I should do in the opening so I can give myself a chance.

image source: The Big Picture


  1. Anonymous8:13 AM

    As far as the openings, I've gone to the Reti as White (often going into the KIA), and the Pirc and KID as Black.

    It seems a lot of people at our rating level don't experience these openings too frequently, meaning they are usually just as lost as we are. Most players have no clue how to pressure the Pirc properly!

    A disadvantage is that these openings tend to allow the opponent a lot of leeway as far as dictating the action.

    But for the most part, these openings have taken a lot of the worry out of my opening preparation. I've gained about 100 points on my USCF rating as I've grown comfortable with these openings.

  2. Thanks for the comment LEP. I played another game against my team-mate this week and we got to talking about openings. He also suggested the KID. I decided that I'd do some studying this week and then we'd play a bunch of blitz games next week to let me practice a bit. I feel comfortable with my opening with white, but with black - I just suck.