For 25 moves, I played near perfect. I had a good position, then a better position, and then the tactics worked and I had a winning position. Then I had a less winning position, then merely a drawn position … and then I managed to lose a King and Pawn endgame despite being up a pawn. It’s pretty incredible, really. Seriously, how do you lose this?
The ancient writer Horace said, “Adversity reveals the genius of a general; good fortune conceals it.” This is true beyond just warfare. It’s easy to do well when everything goes your way. Sometimes the best possible outcomes happen without you needing to even lift a finger. This certainly feels nice, and I doubt anyone will ever complain about a string of good luck, but it doesn’t tell you anything about you.
I first heard this quote thanks to the excellent game Rome: Total War.
Sometimes, of course, the exact opposite situation happens. Everything that can go wrong does. Everything is chaos, and perhaps the easiest thing to do is give up. Some people do just that. Others, though, take it on the chin and do everything in their power to overcome these obstacles. There is no better feeling that emerging triumphant from such a challenge, for there is no doubt that you earned it, not even the tiniest possibility of doubt. It is a great feeling, pure triumph … but it requires a lot to go wrong before you can revel in this afterglow.
For me, personally, I’m still trying to decide whether I’m giving up or powering through my obstacles. Continue reading →
Victory is sweet. We all know that. There’s a thrill, a rush of accomplishment when you win, when you defeat your adversary. Whether it’s sports or games, soccer or scrabble, victory feels good. In fact, the greater the adversary the greater the thrill. Defeating an opponent against all odds is one of the greatest and most powerful feelings you can get.
So everyone else didn’t believe? Shut up, Wallace.
I know this feeling well. As a former competitive martial artists, nothing feels better than victory … and nothing worse than defeat. Currently, my focus is on chess. Over the last year, I’ve played 59 games, winning 47 while drawing 9 … and I would trade them all away, every single one, to have this one defeat erased from my memory. Continue reading →
I’ve been playing less chess the last few weeks, for a variety of reasons. I planned on doing NaNoWriMo, so I didn’t start many games … and then I stopped doing NaNoWriMo, so opps. I’ve also had other changes in my life, and this caused me to budget my time and chess is the area that suffered.
All in all, I only completed two games in November. One was a rather uninteresting draw in the Open Spanish. I’ve linked it but offer no real comment. I had slight winning chances in the endgame but pushed my pawn too early, and it would have taken lots of grinding for any chance of winning. The other game was more interesting but worse: I lost. Continue reading →
I’m very upset right now. I have turned my room upside down looking for a misplaced item. This is very rare. I never misplace things, and if I do, I find it again immediately. It’s been 12 hours, though, and I’m starting to fear that I will never see my bookmark again.
Owl always miss my bookmark.
Yes, a bookmark. I’m upset and I turned my room upside down in search of a bookmark. Let me explain. Continue reading →
I’ve got good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good news. Out of 37 total games across the last two months, I have won 31, drawing 5. My rating at chess.com is currently 1797, three little points away from my old best, and I am winning my two remaining games. That means I will soon past 1800 and setting personal bests with each extra rating point.
As for the bad news? I lost my first game in embarrassing fashion, and, well, look at this graph. You might want to cover your eyes first. Continue reading →