Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Dear Diary,

You won't BELIEVE what happened today at work....  
Whoops! Wrong diary.  Grin 

Like a lot of us, I have VERY limited time to devote to hobbies. In fact, I spend more of my rare free time on chess than I should. Instead of chess, I should be doing really important things, like flossing. I've known how to play chess since I was young, but never had much natural skill and never devoted any time to self-improvement. But I wanted to, for some masochistic reason, so I started dabbling off and on, and a year ago or so, I began to play regularly and read about chess.  Most of this was in abject frustration, because I lacked a plan. I found a lot of materials online and elsewhere, but they were either too basic ("this is a pawn") or too advanced ("bla bla bla...mate!")  A few months ago, I created a plan for myself after realizing my willy-nilly pedagogical ways were equivalent to trying to walk before I had learned to crawl. 

The BIG Plan
My big plan is purely hobby-oriented. My hope would be to gain enough chess skill to keep me out of the pubs and bars in my retirement. Maybe enough skill to volunteer my time and (meager, hard-earned) skill teaching kids or coaching at a local school or club. In my wildest dreams, such an undertaking would stave off dementia and keep me from becoming an amusing conversation-piece for my kith and kin:  ("Gee, he used to be educated and accomplished. Now look at him, he wanders around in unchanged nappies mumbling 'en passant' in a really bad French accent.")

The NOT-so-big Plan
I'd like to get at or around ELO 2000 by retirement (15-20 years from now--although for many, these days, retirement seems to be an elusive luxury.)  I'd like to be competing in some recreational tournaments, maybe even winning some, and feeling like my Board Vision no longer puts me in the "legally blind" category. If a retired life of luxury is unattainable, I'd like to be good enough to street-busk and snooker the over-payed upper-class in blitz games. Ala Geri's Game, but with more dinero than dentures:

The End

Finally, I'm pretty forgiving with myself. Although I try to keep this routine, if I mess up or life becomes busy, I just try again the next day. Total training time per week comes to maybe 3 hours, give or take an hour, and 90% of it comes from "stolen moments" during the day. Thank goodness for PDAs and smartphones. Whoops, speaking of time, I'm out of time. I've already spent FAR too much time writing this.

I could have been flossing!  Grin

Originally posted on "Study Buddies" Forum of
For the nitty, gritty details of my Training Plan and others', visit the ChessTempo Forum.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting start (I know this is your second post), looking forward to following your voyage.