Friday, July 29, 2011

Over the Board

Playing chess on the Internet is totally different from playing chess over the board. When playing on the Internet, no one cares how you're dressed or what exactly you're doing behind the keyboard or who you really are.

But playing over the board is a whole new experience for me. Just this year, I started playing chess in Perth and it was an eye opener. I first started out playing without the clock, so my opponent and I made fast moves and just like playing over the Internet, I was able to beat him.

And then I enrolled in my first tournament. And lo and behold, my first opponent was someone I had beaten in the previous week. I was confident. In a rated chess game, each player had 90 minutes or one and a half hours to make his move. So in total, the game could go up to 3 hours.

Like I said, I was confident. The game started well, and I had a good setup. But playing with a clock was different for me. My opponent had lots of time to ponder about his next move and that idle time made me restless and I started to play some risky moves. Which, on hind-sight, was the stupidest thing to do since these are all seasoned chess exponents. After a hard fought middle game battle where my Bishops dove to the rescue of my Knights and his Castles came in for support, my opponent ended with a pawn advantage which he held on for dear life. I tried to win back the pawn in the next 30 moves but alas, my worth opponent held on to it and was headed for a Queen. I had to resign. I didn't need any more harassing from a lady on the board.

I lost the next game too because of impatience. But managed to win the next two games because I have reined in my enthusiasm and I now try very hard to focus the entire 90 minutes on all the possible variations I, and my worth opponent, can make.

Another 3 more rounds await me in my first chess tournament.

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