Well the weather was too grim for a guy of my age to be attending a live football match (Sutton 1 – 0 Barrow, as it turned out) but somehow I managed to hit on a link to the beginning of the live, second match of the World Chess Championship. What an enthralling chess match it was and and how interesting it was to try to get onboard with the live analysis by a couple of chess experts. Great stuff, and there’s 12 more matches to watch – see schedule below – live at 12:30 UK time at chess24.com/worldchesschampionship.
I’ve begun playing chess again. I learnt as a child and then played friendly games against a work colleague in my twenties and early thirties, but nothing since. I know the rules, some basic principles, but I’ve always been lazy when it comes to studying openings and beyond. But I’m not stupid and I don’t mind losing, two necessary qualities to enjoying playing chess or in fact any game.
I don’t know anyone who is interested in playing chess so I’ve searched the web and found a website, chess.com. It allows me to play humans or a computer, and my instinct is to play against a computer. On chess.com you can chose the level you want to play at, and after trying a fairly low level computer opponent (it made deliberate, silly mistakes – no thanks!) I’ve jumped into the deep end and gone for a computer opponent far beyond my chess skills. That way I’ll hopefully learn more and quicker. So far I’ve slipped up really early in the games and chosen to resign the games rather than waste my time in hopeless positions. I don’t play a continuous game but instead play a move when I feel like it and after due consideration.
My opponent on chess.com is called Noam and is described as “a veteran player who can tell you stories about his clashes with stars of the past. In the present, he plays very solidly, so be prepared for a long fight.” I have zero expectation of ever beating “Noam”, but I’m hoping to learn a lot, fast.
So far I’ve tried playing on my mobile phone but I think the small screen has made it too easy to make silly mistakes so I’m going to try using the phone app in combination with my old chess set. See the screenshots below for the current game – I’m already in trouble…..