Grandmaster of Mediocrity

April 13, 2006 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Chess | 1 Comment

For the many years I have played Chess, I have run into two problems. The first is that I have always sucked. The second is that I could only find a limited number of people to play against. I realized in order to become better at Chess, I needed to study and various publishers and bookstores have been happy to oblige in that pursuit. Many Chess tomes I have opened but never finished leaving a great sadness surrounding these unread books. Consequently, my skills never strengthened, in fact, they have always stayed the same, mediocre.


Through the webernet, I’ve discovered many place where I could play, play anonymously that is. Though I am playing many more games, my level of play has once again reached its level of mediocrity. On a side note, I am planning on playing real people in real situations. In one week, I journey to my first quad — okay, the people I will play are Chess geeks in a public library, but I swear these people are real.

Once again I set out to study some more. Again. Again. Again. If my shoulders coudl slump any further, they’d be called my elbows. This time I went to the webernet. I was thinking about finding some way build my own lesson plan beginning with, what else, openings! I’ve always been embarrassed that I didn’t know the difference between the King Indian’s Defense and the Queen Latifah Gambit. As I searched and searched for some sort of lesson plan, through the power of Google, I discovered Michael de la Maza’s Rapid Chess Improvement.


I am about to embark on this journey, though I can’t pretend to understand exactly what I’m getting into and I can’t completely ignore Silman’s complaints:

When all is said and done, I can’t recommend RAPID CHESS IMPROVEMENT (a book that, in my view, offers a philosophically bankrupt vision of what chess is). It smacks of “the blind leading the blind.” But, as I said earlier, his book might prove useful for some.

I need to start from somewhere. And I know, God, do I know, I can’t go back to the old way which has never worked.

Though I may stray from de la Maza’s path, it provides me a catalyst to move forward to the simple goal of getting better at Chess. Tomorrow night is the first night of 14 nights of concentric squares. I can already feel my shoulders moving back towards the clavicle.

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  1. Huzzah! Welcome fellow Knight Errant! We all have our own path to follow. Come with us and blunder and pillage…or rather plunder and billow? Well you get the gist of it.–>


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