Last year, on June 18, 2011, after I dropped 3 games in the 45 45 League, I wrote this post. I let it sit in 'draft' mode the entire year. I came back to it every so often to read it and feel the burn of those losses.
I'm finally getting around to publishing it. I'm a bit more a peace with myself. I think I play less Hope Chess, but there are games where I still play it. Once (and if) I complete my 52-game quest in August, I'll revist this topic and disect my thoughts and feelings.
JUNE 18, 2011
It's obvious I don't fire on all cylinders. I have serious, gut-wrenching issues I have to deal with. It is painful. Sure it feels good to pull off wins; but the truth is I think there is a significant measure of luck involved in those wins that simply masks the fundamental issues that I have not addressed. When it all gets boiled, the truth is I play Hope Chess.
Here's the three-punch knockout that has pushed me to this realization ... one; two and three. Three was a "LOL" moment. It truly was comical.
So what are my options?
1 - do nothing; just keep playing for the joy of it and not care about playing quality chess.
2 - give it up altogether and spend the time doing something else.
3 - fundamentally confront and deal with my issues.
There's no shame in #1 and #2. This is chess for crying out loud! It's a freakin' game. But that's not all true now, is it. There is a deep unreachable itch; an unsettling feeling in the bowels of my soul. I can't let it go. When not thinking about work or family or our church, all my mind can dwell on are those three losses and why they happened. As I ponder the last couple of weeks, it feels like there are deeper issues at play here. It's not just chess - there is a profound psychological aspect to this and I think it is not restricted to just my chess game. There are macro life elements involved ... this issue seems to spill over into other parts of my life. And somehow I feel like if I can fix my chess game, the rest of my life will become balanced. And maybe it's not so much about chess, but rather about not giving up on something I started.
I can't walk away from this until I feel I've done a better job. I owe it to myself. When I get to the point that I can consistently say, win or loss "I played Real Chess and did my best" then I can be at peace with myself and if I decide to walk away from it all, I won't have regrets.