Hey guys, it’s been an interesting few weeks with a lot of chess, and now university semester is back on. This will be long thread, because I’m taking a break (or at least lighten my heavy chess schedule) from chess for a few months for my studies and financial obligations.
I self-banned myself from 2p2 for a few weeks (hence no posts) mainly because I was busy preparing for chess tournaments and didn’t want to be distracted. So I headed down to capital to play some tournaments, and it has been a blast, meeting new people and catching up with old friends. I was abit sick after the trip because of not getting sufficient sleep, but I’m alright now.
There was an interesting game earlier last month, where I gave a draw to my opponent in a winning position (up an exchange in the endgame). He was abit hostile and generally trying to intimidate me and I didn’t feel comfortable playing against him. He complained to the arbiter that I was “looking at him funny” and sniffing (I had a cold). So I just offered him a draw to get it over with. What do you guys think?
Unfortunately, I had to part ways with my coach
of over a year who took me from a complete patzer to where I am now :P. He was initially abit angry that I got help from another coach during my preparation for a few tournaments back in June and July
. I understand his perspective, from his point of view, it was a matter of loyalty. In my defense, we had trouble booking lessons during that time due to the non-chess business commitments and schedule clashes, so I needed help somewhere else. What happened was, I had a lesson or two with my high school acquaintance (who’s now about to be a GM) on my opening preparations and he blogged about my tournament successes. My coach of over a year was unhappy as he believed that that the other guy took credit for my chess improvement
. This was a rather unusual situation, as I just thought he would be happy with my improvement. He ended up giving me an ultimatum that I should only have one coach, which I agreed to. A week later however, before our scheduled skype lesson, he said he was too busy with his business (he lives overseas) and can’t coach me anymore, but he insisted we are still on good terms. This is bad timing, especially, when I’m on the cusp of breakthrough in my chess. It makes sense because we have been having trouble booking lessons due to work schedule clashes on his side (with his non-chess businesses).
I also took a few side jobs to finance myself. I’ll be working as a chess coach for a nationally reputed chess school
. Originally, I was planning to work for another major organization, but my now ex-coach had a falling out with them, and out of respect and keeping things professional, I decided not to work for them. I’ll also be offering private chess coaching online for beginners to intermediate tournament players. You can pm me for coaching over chess.com or skype.
Chess.com is also where I’ll start to predominantly post threads on the opening lines I study and hopefully get good analysis and feedback. I noticed most of the posts on chess.com (by notable players) are mainly just interesting and thought provoking but might not directly contribute to improvement of the players.
Although I’m taking kind of a break, I’ll work on my repertoire whenever I have time. This time, without the pressure of getting my lines ready for upcoming tournament, I can really go into detail into my lines, and have a really strong repertoire by in a year or two, which will be important to any future tournament successes. Here are just some of the highly dynamic and interesting lines that I’ll look forward to be working on:
1.Semi Slav Repertoire
(still waiting for the book Grandmaster Repertoire by Lars Schandorff to come out)
2.Kozul Suicide Variation in the Sicilian
(Analysis with database, and the book Richter Rauzer Reborn by Kozul himself)
These lines are very complicated and heavily analysed, detailed understanding will be needed. For example, the Kozul Suicide Variation arises after:
1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 b5 10. Bf6 gxf6
Some key questions regarding the subtlety in the position that already arise from this position…
When to play …b4 to kick their knight?
When do you let h5 go or try to keep it?
When to search for counterplay along the g-file?
How should what stop Bh6-e3-d4 manoeuvre?
How should white meet queenside pawn advance?
Important themes and ideas like Ra7-e7, Qb6-c5, h5-h4, Qe1-Nd5 (for white) etc. etc
Kozul’s book is a huge database analysis dump and not very well edited or presented. However, the information and messy try of variations are valuable for a fanatic who’s keen on details.
Tactical calculation will also be something I’m heavily focused on working on (this is something that I’ll work with books and other resources). In other areas of my chess, such as endgames, I’ll primarily be watching chess base videos with some practice)
I have quite a lot of financial obligations and will be focused on my part time jobs (chess coaching, high school tutor etc.) while also heavily invested in my “professional” poker career (hence why I’m in 2p2). Plan is to dump law degree (lol) and be poker pro, but depends on how my grind goes of course.
So a TLR summary
- Went to a bunch of tournaments (became a CM :P)
- Part ways with coach of over a year
- Taking a break from chess
- Back to studying opening extensively using database, videos and books (after break)
- Back to working on tactics and watching videos on other areas (after break)
- Working as chess coach amongst other jobs
- Try to grind poker professionally as my main gig