The third age

I think I will blog again here, and see what happens. Many an excellent conversation in the comments in years (strangely) gone by.

Almost exactly two years since i last posted.

It took us a long time to buy a house in California, and I changed not only jobs but professions—sort of. I’m sure I’ll belabor that point later.

But anyway buying a house was a sort of endpoint to the moving process. Now I’m going to do some stuff I enjoy.

Like playing chess.

I’m 48, way way way way past any reasonable expectation of improvement. And yet, why not try? Trying keeps the brain alive (I hope).

Here’s what I mean by “the third age”. Until the year 2000, my play was tactical and free of corrupting influences like opening, positional, or endgame knowledge.

My rating cratered (from 2150 to 1950), so I reworked my entire game. Developed an opening repertoire. Studied Shereshevsky. Tried to learn to put the pieces on good squares. That was the second age. Hit an all-time high of 2173, which might have more to do with changes in the rating system, but I’m going to pretend it was all about the hard work.

Here’s my last shot: I’m going to enter the computer age.

This month I downloaded Stockfish and SCID PC vs Mac. I’m going to database all my games, working backwards, and then annotate them. Just like Howard Goldowsky said. (This has already provided some incredible revelations, such as: This rook sac WAS SOUND!!!!! And I even played it correctly for several moves thereafter.)

Matt, Greg K, Blunderprone, Donnie, DK, Howard, Harvey—you left so many awesome comments here in the past. If you’re around, I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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