I'm an addict. One of my addictions is chess. I haven't decided if it is healthy or not. Part of me hopes that chess prevents alzheimer's. Otherwise I'm not sure what I'm gaining from it.
I have a Gameboy Advance SP, and I have the old Chessmaster cartridge. They don't make it anymore. I went to three stores before I found one. It kicks my butt! I can usually win on the first two levels, but at level 3 I only win about 5%, draw about 10%, and resign the rest. Apparently there is a huge leap between levels 2 and 3.
My weakness is the middle game. I play fairly decent in the opening. I am familiar with a couple openings, Kings Gambit, Queens Gambit, Ruy Lopez... I understand development. I get castled before the tenth move. I move my rooks to open files. I get all ready to go. And then I falter. I just can't execute a plan of attack.
If I happen to make it through the exchanges and middle play without getting behind in material, then I do pretty well in the end game usually. At least well enough to draw if not mate. But it's always the middle that kills me.
I read chess websites, rent chess movies... If you're interested, there is a documentary called Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine. It came out in 2003, and it's about Kasparov playing the IBM computer Deep Blue. Deep Blue is the first computer to beat a grandmaster in a championship style match. And the movie reveals a whole conspiracy theory about how IBM may have cheated. IBM has refused Kasparov a rematch. Why? What are they hiding?? Hmmmmm...
There is another true story chess movie called "Searching for Bobby Fischer" that I love. It's about Josh Waitzkin.
Bobby Fischer is fascinating. He may be the greatest grandmaster of all time. But Kasparov doesn't think so. And he is a genius nutcase type. He is living in exile in Iceland for breaking a trade embargo. What's up with that?
Chessmaster on my Gameboy has a library of famous games. I think there are like 140. It let's you play through them move by move to see how grandmasters play. I love Capablanca, Lasker, and of course Fischer, and the Kasparov Karpov games are epic. But half the time I don't know what they're doing.
Yeah, its a hard habit to break.
Minister of Music & Administration
Our Place Christian Church
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