Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mounting a Comeback

Last night I finished the book "Chess Duels: My Games with the World Champions" by Yasser Seirawan. I bought and started the book over the Memorial Day weekend and now 2 1/2 months later I have digested its 432 pages (414 prior to index). It is a tremedous book for any chess lover and highly recommended! Yasser takes you through some wonderful chess adventures both in the games and in the stories about the players and the chess world in general. This book has received some wonderful accolades in the reviews on Amazon I agree with the bulk of them. I have seen Yasser Seirawan twice in person, most recently at a National Open in Vegas about 10 years back where he was giving a lecture and almost 30 years ago in the '80-'81 time frame when I played in a local tournament in California. The details are fuzzy due to the time lapsed but I believe it was somewhere in or near Van Nuys. Yasser was already a chess celebrity having won the World Junior Championship in 1979. I believe there was one master at the tourney and a bunch of class players. In between rounds I walked out of the high school where this tourney was being held and playing basketball on the outdoor courts was Yasser. I had the impression he was "beyond" playing in a local tourney but loved to be around the game and chess players.

It's been awhile since I last posted, time flys, life goes on, and blogs always seem like we'll get to it someday soon. I finished DCS on April 23rd and I finished SOMCS on June 6th. I haven't been playing as much as I would like, often giving up my spot in the club tourney if there is a odd number of entrants. Therefore my rating has been somewhat steady in the 1725-1750 range. I have managed to add a number of books to the chess library, way more than I can possibly get to this year but nice for the collection. During the trip to Chicago over Memorial Day I also picked up several volumes of the Yuri Averbach endgame series in hardcover at half price books. I have acquired several other bargains at half price books during trips to Dallas and just recently placed an Amazon order for "Mastering the Chess Openings, Volume 4" to complete that set, along with "Play the Caro Kann" and "Studying Chess Made Easy" by Soltis. The book currently on the side of the chess table is "Starting Out: The Scandanavian" and I've been focusing on the 3.... Qd6 chapters.

Still playing some on-line blitz at but not as much as I once was. I haven't been keeping up with games in Chess Life currently being about four issues behind. I'll try to rectify that the remainder of this month. I feel that if I could just improve a couple of hundred points to the high "A" low expert range my enjoyment of playing through the chess library would be greatly enhanced but I can't seem to spend the time I know is necessary to study tactics, tactics, and more tactics nor focus sufficiently at the board when wearing the dual player/TD hats.

For the immediate future I'll set the smaller goal of just trying to update this blog more frequently. To any and all readers out there play well and enjoy the game.