Wednesday 31 May 2023

Coming back to chess


Chess board
Source: link


I'm trying to keep my English writing skill intact, so I'll write this post in this language.

This is a story about me, who (at this late age) re-found chess, the classic board game with infinite possibilities.

I started playing chess many years ago when I was in the 4th grade or something. Of course, back then when no internet connection and/or smartphone was available, that was one of the most fun games to play. I was introduced to chess at school. Spectating my friends playing, I had not the slightest idea how it worked. Until one day a friend taught me the rules, how to move a certain piece, the main goal of the game, how to achieve it, etc.

 I even had my own board, played the game with my sister and uncles, and learned a lot. And then, I found more interesting things than chess, lost my board, and eventually forgot it completely.


Let's fast forward to the COVID-19 pandemic time.

It was 2021, the Indonesian twitter (or that's where I found and read it first) was trending with the DewaKipas controversy. It was a cheating allegation on which was very unimportant but made a huge hit in the Indonesian chess scene. The controversy was so big it even involved podcaster Deddy Corbuzier. Well, you can always find the full story by googling.

And what does it have (if anything) to do with me and my chess journey?

It was the DewaKipas controversy that brought me back to chess. I followed the (silly) news, the YouTube podcasts, even the live match between him and WGM Irene Sukandar. I came back from chess hiatus, and I tried installing the app on my phone. I tried a few games, won a few, and lost a lot.

*phew* Then I took another break, but not for very long. After my wedding last year, and we moved to Bogor, I re-found chess once again.

One night (I don't really remember the date), I could not sleep. I opened my account, the ELO rating was 400s. I still played chess like when I was a kid. Just using gut feeling, no theory, no strategy. I learned that offers lessons. So, I learned. Unfortunately, the free lessons are limited to a few lessons per week. I learned tactics, I learn about opening principles (getting your pawns in the center, activate the pieces, etc). I learned a lot from the free lessons alone. It helped me better at chess. As addition, I also watch GothamChess, learn many things from tiktok, and applied them to my game.

I improved

I have played hundreds of games since the comeback. I play rapid, sometimes blitz, and bullet a few times. I enjoy 15+10 time control (each players start with 15 minutes, then they get extra 10 seconds for each move made). By the time this is written, my ELO rating in rapid peaked at 992 on 23 May 2023. Just one or two wins away to get 1k, but then one thing leads to another, so today I fall again to 890s. Hahaha. And that is very okay, I am a human. My ELO rating rises and falls just like ocean wave.

What's next?

I still want to improve. I want to learn openings, strategy, etc. Honestly, I still have difficulties checkmating with only rook and king, I don't have any idea how to checkmate with king and two bishops, let alone a bishop and a knight. I solve puzzles, do some daily games a few times, and discuss with my friends. Then I found, a completely open source chess website (unlike You can do as many puzzles as you want completely for free. In contrary, for, you must subscribe to get the perks. lesson system is good, the game review is very intuitive, and more perks it has. I consider to subscribe, maybe in a few weeks (or months).

South Tangerang, 31 May 2023
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