I was planning on writing a completely different post.Since the calendar turned to 2018, I had one overarching chess thought: learn the King’s Indian Defence.This would solve so many of my problems: it would provide a complete opening system against all non-1.e4 openings; it would increase my knowledge of hypermodern strategies; I would have an excellent counter to the omnipresent London System; I would improve in one opening I’ve never understood, following in the footsteps of Fischer and Kasparov.It sounded perfect.
Alas, as the first month of the new year ticks down, I’m left with this lament: I am not and likely never will be a King’s Indian player. Continue reading →
Let me start by saying this: I don’t understand the KID and I’m terrible at endgames.
The King’s Indian Defence is one of those openings I’ve never understood. I mean, I get the basics. Black gives up the centre so he can counter-attack with pieces and pawn breaks later. When I play it as White, no matter how well I play, Black always ends up with active counterplay. When I play it as Black, I lose in 12 moves.
The KID appeals to aggressive players, but it’s a high-risk opening. What’s the worst possible scenario? You don’t get to attack and you get stuck in an endgame. I’m not the best endgame player, but if I can end up in a no-risk position with decent winning chances, I take it every time. That’s what happened here.
My opponent played much stronger than his rating, and this game was quite intense. Let’s take a look. Continue reading →
“Honesty is the best policy.” We’ve all heard this before. It’s something our mothers said all the time. Nobody likes a flatter, or at least an obvious one. If you look at the traits people want in a partner, honesty is one of the biggest ones. Everyone wants to hear the truth … at least in theory.
Those Russians have some good proverbs.
In practice, we often face the exact opposite situation. The truth can hurt people. If someone asks, “Do you like my new haircut?” and you think it’s hideous, what do you say? If you tell the truth, you can wound that person, potentially even ruining a friendship. Is a little white lie that much of a problem? Does it really matter? Is the truth more important than a person’s sense of self-worth?
I find these questions interesting, partly because lying is so foreign to me. You see, I almost never lie because I’m a terrible liar. Continue reading →
Sleep is not my friend. We have a very strained relationship. As a general rule, I never fall asleep; I need to work for it. It has been this way my entire life. As a very young child I stopped taking naps in the afternoon. My parents tried, of course, but they said they could hear my babbling and playing virtually the entire time. I was a good kid, or at least not a destructive one, so my lack of napping was seen as a funny quirk and nothing more.
I’m going to assume this explains everything perfectly.
I remember attending daycare before kindergarten, so I must have been four or five at the time. We had a designated nap time. Everyone would lie down and have a nap. I did it, because I always listen to what I was supposed to do, but I never actually slept. I remember lying on my side, observing the darkened room, watching the caregivers walk around periodically and checking everyone. I rarely if ever fell asleep during this time. Not that I didn’t want to: falling asleep for an hour is far better than lying down quietly and not sleeping for an hour. I just couldn’t do it. Continue reading →