The idea that I'm now in the year 2009 has not yet hit me.
Today, I found out about something, rather than sitting in the study where the desktop computer is, I setup my laptop on the dining table instead and started to key in moves (and feeding in the book annotations) from a master game. I found that a quiet time is good for a bit of self-study, even if it only lasted for something like 15 minutes. Every little bit helps I guess.
I didn't realise just how hard this effort turns out to be, constantly having to translate moves and variations from book to computer. At this rate, I figure that I'll probably take about 1 week just to go through 1 game and at this rate, it'll take me over a year to go through just one book.
I noticed my memory and concentration is getting a bit poor of late. The coupling of work (I work till 7pm these days) and household chores only seem to make my concentration worse. Nevertheless, I hope to go back to chess and relearn everything again. *sigh*.
I'm particularly interested in how not to just make moves but how to make good moves. Take for example the following position (see image on right) in this game.
In this position, it is White to play (I was White).
How would you evaluate this position? And what should be White's next move and what kind of plans should White develop?
Surprisingly, I played a move which 6 months ago I would not even consider and I got quite a bit of shock that the computer too thought it to be the strongest move. In fact, this was the critical moment of the game.
Once you've calculated it out, you can highlight between the brackets to see what I played.
[The strongest move was 1. a4! Breaking Black's position. Now Black is in a terrible mess. The beauty of White's position is that all of its pieces are on very good squares. I shan't bore you with the rest of the game but suffice it to say, Black didn't last very long. One continuation was 1... b4 2. Qd3 Kb7 3. cxb4 Nxb4 4. Rab1 and Black is in terrible danger and close to collapsing. Taking with 1.... bxa4 2. Rxa4 and White simply doubles up on the a-file and Black's King is in terrible mortal danger.]