Sunday, December 30, 2012

Competitive chess Training Part 1 - Investing time

Personally I always take the most from articles that list 10 tips or 5 things... so I'd figure I'd put together some tips for aspiring COMPETIVE chess players. Rather than just listing and providing a quick description... I feel like it would be better to tackle each topic a little more in-depth.

Also note I won't go into depth on chess tactics.... This is for an obvious reason I"ll explain in a key article. However, I'll answer any questions you may have.

Tip:  Having fun and investing time
I truly believe a competitive chess player should invest and honest of 3-4 hours a day minimal with their chess.... This seems daunting and excessive but consider this. 

Chess is a game and it should be fun. Do you ever find yourself spending 4 hours a day doing fun things. Watching TV, hanging out with friends, surfing the net, hitting the gym. I think while we may hesitate to admit it unless you are working/sleeping an accumulation of 20 hours which is possible... the only excuse you have for not investing the time is that chess is that it's just not fun like you may have thought before reading this article. This is not a knock on you as a person if you don't enjoy chess for 4 hours. There is nothing wrong with watching TV for 4 hours a day as far as I'm concerned. You can get by investing 30 minutes a day and just play for fun. However, unless you are indeed destined to be good at chess it's important to know the reality of any competitive/ professional lifestyle.

Think about how much time you spend at work/school. If you are  doing well at work you realise it's because you've been doing it for 8 hours a day. Did you ever consider that whatever you are doing at work you are a professional at? If you bag groceries for a living... you are a professional grocery bagger. That's because first... you are being paid to do so... second... consistently performing at an invest-worthy rate requires a certain level of expertise/training to maintain your job. If you snicker at this concept because "bagging groceries is easy and anyone can do it" you are littering taking for granted the effort a professional acquires which is kinda sad. Either that or may think of yourself better than people who take pride in their "lesser job"... which is considerably worse in my own opinion.

More food for thought, at work hopefully you have time to socialize, discuss and brainstorm topics of work parameters, rest etc... So you are technically not just physically working 8 hours straight. In whatever you do the best way to learn is to ponder, watch video, study, practice and compete/perform and not just try one method blindly for the entirety of your time period.

This is slightly out off topic but worth noting... but generally chess players tend to do well after playing for several years. People who start competitively at a younger age 5- 14 generally tend to performing at high levels of play around 10 years. Those picking up the game later might take significantly longer to get it. I'm taking 20 years. Most of this is due to mental growth. Though this is generally speaking and you could very well be an exception having never actually playing the game. Starting late is hardly an excuse to never start at all considering while there have been extremely young prodigies of chess, the age bracket for professionals in chess can extend to a person's lifespan. I began attending tournaments when I was 14... 2 years after studying the game competitively. Chess basically popped for me in my 10th year as I began keeping up with experienced professionals.

Now... after all of this it might help put things in perspective. However, don't simply write chess off of you're world championship goals if you think I can't spend 4 hours a day playing chess. In almost anything you do for a career there's always that thought that "sheeze... that's a lot of time to invest. I'd be miserable". Truth is, if you enjoy playing chess and have a desire to compete... Then Congrats!!!

As I've eluded to earlier in this article it's very easy to spend 4 hours on fun things. Once you learn a few cool practice tips not only will you feel a bit more accomplished but you might just feel that 4 hours a day isn't quite enough chess fun for you. 

Keep reading for those tips

Next Discussion >> Competitive chess Training Part 2 - Becoming an Educated Player

Online chess

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chess for Christmas

I hope everyone is having a great and safe holiday!

Just posting to boast about 2 awesome chess related gifts I recieved...

1. Attack With Mikhail Tal by Iakov Damsky. (Tal is my favorite athlete/gamer of all time)

2. A glass chess set... Street Fighter edition... pictures to come 8D

Anyways... I hope everyone continues to spread holiday cheers all the way to throughout the rest of the year. To me Christmas isn't just one day. And While I do appreciate the gifts it's the spirit of the holiday that makes this time of the year worth fussing about.

Online chess

Friday, December 21, 2012

Support Clash

So as you may or may not know there is a background between the smash games and MLG. Naturally, MLG has my utmost respect and personal support for playing a major role in the esports culture. At the same time, I am a major supporter of The Smash Scene (Host of NEOH's official Melee monthlies, and active wifi brawl player). I want to see both survive in their own way.

Yes, this is overdue. The Clash organization has made a major pulse for smash this year. So, if you want to see the game succeed like I do without infringing on MLG Support Clash I've partook in almost every major stream they've had like many others and I feel it's a great future for smash in professional E-sports.

Holiday posts to come

Online chess

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winning is not enough anymore

Well it's the holiday season. Almost as if the year is built for these very last few weeks of the year. As one could benefit from I have been reflecting from the year. Of course this includes where I am headed in chess

I looked back on the year with mixed feelings. I am finally heading in a direction of excellence at something winning my first real tourney competing in an olympic chess event and defeating players nearly double my elo. While excited for some early success I feel I could've pushed myself even further. Then suddenly... it really just hit me the other day. Once I made somewhat of a mark in the chess community my mentality switched from my comfort zone to simply maintaining success.

I simply don't care about success in chess. Honestly I want to be a crowd pleaser. I want to loose because I was too aggressive and miscalculated. Why? because it's fun and it pushes me to attempt the things that may not be reachable and succeed in what hasn't been achieved.

With that said you may see a performance spike whether this is for the better or worse. I am rededicating my mind and throwing away the score sheet. I will make my games so exciting to watch that even those who don't play will watch =)

I am also going to put a little better effort in taking care of my health. Consider this my new years resolution.

Online chess

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving weekend.

Hope everyone had a good one and is ready for the holidays =)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Help DNJ

So just kinda a random post... Not really random.

If you guys can spread the word and help fund these guys a bit of the cost that would be thuper!

It would be great fro the Shootmania scene in  general!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Number of Openings

I've been thinking about chess openings recently. Generally speaking I put much more stock in middle-game and endgame situations. I will eventually (soon as I finish my endgame studies) go back and refocus on openings.

The point is the question of rather it's better to play a variety of openings or focus on a few concepts.
When I think of this I think of 2 things, picking characters and the number 3. 3 is such a cornerstone number that I'm convinced we are engraved to suit it. Most people who play characters seriously pick 2 as it gives them an in-depth understanding on a consistent practice while have some diversity in their arsenal.

I feel when you are starting off play a lot of openings and get exposed. Once you get seriously pick 3. 2 of them you study heavily in depth and have a 3rd one just to mix things up. 2 Should be similar while 1 should be very different.

Personally I like the Nimzovich + ruy lopez and the Sicilian. Sicilian is the S tier opening. Ruy Lopez in my most practiced opening and Nimzovich is relatively similar mixup.

Variety is important but it's always good to learn a few things in depth. Openings are like tools. If you have a solid middle and endgame more than likely you should be able to hold your own in any situation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just Voted

So I voted today. Just got back 2 minutes ago.

It's kinda embarrassing to see a lot of people mentioning their refusal to vote. Some have gone as far as to convince others not to vote as well. I respect a person who votes opposite of my own preference, however a person who refuses to speak when it matters doesn't deserve a voice when it doesn't.

Food for thought.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

MLG Dallas Recap HALO 4

Before the games even hit the shelves... That's right! What a way to revive the Halo Community!

Now I didn't catch any of the other events such as SC2 and LOL but I did get my fair share of the "Struggling Community Franchise". There has been a significant amount of turbulance in MLG regarding Halo but beyond the gimick if you will The event was nothing short of a success.

Okay so Loser Semi finals and out things got REALLY interesting! Personally I am still in awe with Loser finals Ambush vs Status Quo. The game went back and fourth at each other like never before seen. After a close race, team Ambush (with a stunning performance by the legend snip3down) was able to step pass Ambush 2-1 . GF's was a very unexpected yet exciting 4-0 shutout by Warriors. Indeed a historical performance and a historical event.

.... I do wish Believe the Hype was in the finals though

Anyways... I was very happy to see the community still enthusiastic about this event. The event wasn't main stage but it was till a show for the crowd. I look forward to see an epic comeback for the circuit in the future.

Shoututs to Mayhem!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Unfortunately due to the storm Halloween in my local area has been postponed to Sunday.

However, for those of you who still have it today I hope you have a safe and fun one!

Stay warm/dry =)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scary Games

So in light of the Halloween spirit, I felt it was appropriate to list some of my favorite scary games.

1. Nightmare House - Extremely well made. Great Story, awesome jumpscares... What more could you want.

2. RE 4 - The best one in my personal opinion. Not really scary but it was a great inclusion to the story and the creativity behind the creatures was amazing. I recently played the demo of 6 but not the entire game so I won't jump to any inclusions here.

3. Forget Me not a Annie - I LOVE this game. Very short unfortunately but great none the less. It's very Errie and well made despite it's lack of completeness which they've apologized.

4. SCP Containment Breach - Okay the staircase one was kinda dull. The corridor was great with the jump scares. This one was However get's the ball rolling. The epic pseudo conspiracy test series did an excellent job putting some of it's best work into one project. It's also improving throughout the updates and includes an awesome mod of Slenderman.

5.Cry of fear - Great game. Never played it though. Watched Pewdiepie play it. Epic none the less. Top 5 worthy by any measure.

There are a lot of other great games like Amnesia and slender but these are my top 5 by far.

Get spooked!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gems Swap II Tips

I've been considering my return to Gems Swap. I used to be pretty good the game. Here are a few tips on helping you improve your game.

1. Probably the most important tip is learning how to play the board. How you observe the levels will make the most impact on ppts per click you make. It's good to practice spotting a move then while you are moving your mouse look to the other sections of the board.

2. Maintaining while building is critical. The thing to remember and take advantage of is collapsing at the top decreases the odds of loosing potential points. Clearing lines at the bottom is far riskier as it can clear scores earlier but in it's aggressiveness it can turn dead area in opportunities. It does a lot to the board but that usually means it'll take more time to reassess the landscape.

3. Patience. Try to go for 4 cubes it'll take some practice but look past the minimum score opportunity. This will kinda translate in a lot of things you do. Also keep an eye out in between point animation to find what opportunities you can stretch a little wider.

4. Clear corners first. Take as much time as you need. The center of the board is very opportunistic and the top will often clear itself on accident.

5. Having good placement. If you only need 1 more line cleared and the set up is made run the clock down by playing in safer area to rack up points.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cooldown laps

So I play chess pretty much Everyday. And the middle Saturday of the month I have the pleasure of hosting The Official Melee Monthlies event. As you can suspect, this can be very exhausting. Don't get me wrong... I love the life but no matter how much we would like to think otherwise we all need something to kinda decompress and whatnot.

Fortunately I've been making ends meet there. I like to play a little forza Motorsports. Now I used to be really serious about my driving games but for me lately the game has been relaxing right after unpacking from tourneys. I don't like to crash right after the tourney but I don't want my adrenaline to be on fire. Forza is just good enough or me to cruise a bit and let rattling thoughts fade a bit. Post results and stuff. Usually The next day is sunday which I like to kinda avoid gaming related tasks for the sake of my own mental health. And to kinda spend time with the fam. Mental health is important. Now let's see if I can get some good sleep schedueled into my life routine ;>.>

Friday, October 5, 2012

Back on track

Bidding good luck to NEOH smashers as they will travel to The Big House this week. A Road to apex Qualifier and an overall monster of a tourney. As for myself, my oldest brother's birthday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shootmania First Impression

I would be remissed if I didn't write a post on shootmania... one of the up and comming games in the eSports community. I was on vVv when I heard DNJ was competing in the shootmania tournament that is currently going on nasclive twitch TV channel.

Honestly, I don't know much about the game itself. But I have seen enough to feel comfortable about writing my impression of the game. Keep in mind that this isn't a judgement about how commited the game should be in eSport. I belive any such judgments should be based on the culture and community development of it's following.

Basically what I've seen is that this game is one of the closest games to a sport excluding actual traditional sport games. The interface of menu's and other small details just makes me feel every game is broadcasted.

The maps are much more arena built in that it seems like the course was built into selected environments like cross country, as opposed to the environments being designed themselves like tron. Okay... tron might be a bit extremed lets go with nascar. You get the idea.

Okay my most favored part is the distance measures of the shots. Comeone... that's about as sport as you get.

Well that's all for now.I'm going back to check out the tourney some more. If you're interested stop in to the stream at

Drive safe!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Autumn

Fall is by far my favorite season. The only season I can get up early in the morning by choice. Usually I go to the park and take pictures as well as read my books. Speaking of which, I have recently gotten into working through "The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book" John Emms.

I still feel like I am hammering out a lot of top level details but it's always amazing how when I don't feel like reading theory books in chess or going online and playing against other people, puzzles seem to get me motivated to study chess anyway. Like any other professional I guess a good library is important. Probably healthier than staring at the monitor all day. Esp... considering I work as a programmer anyway and it's football season 8P

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How Long we are still beginners

It's shameful at first. I have been playing chess for 10-9 years. I've beaten some and lost to some. Lots of experience at loosing. It wasn't till earlier this year I decided to by a fundamental chess book. Of course "The amateurs mind" by Jeremy Silman. That's right..."Amateur"

Player skill level have always been somewhat of an interesting reality to me. Most of us have a great amount of technical skill or knowledge but we are still amateurs. Once we sit down develop a fundamental through either lessons, or books we realize not so much where we stand but where we don't stand.

It's both intimidating but humbling at the same time. It's intimating because once we are initially introduced to our loopholes, the journey to going from novice to intermediate level is extremely intimating. We want to just be good. It seems overwhelming how many tactics most top players posses as reflex. "Basic stuff". "Oh I didn't know that...".

The humbling side is once you start learning the basics... you generally begin to appreciate the game at a much more inspiring level. Learning the basics become addicting and exciting. Read a chess book. Taking one concept at a time regardless of how minuscule it may seem and play a few friendly games till you fully grasp this element and incorporate it as if's a reflex like breathing. Most of these are technical execution.

What's really amazing about this is I'd say in anything you do 60% of the people involved do not posses a solid basic foundation making them exploitable. In the process of learning you'll probably loose quite a few games but you're precision will increase. Once you have mastered the foundation the game tends to pop and you start destroying opponents "noobs" playing at a super high caliber level. You are only a master of the basics... but you are very strong. It's worth the time and effort.

Really the point is whatever you do, do it one small part at a time. Trying to do everything at once will only create an elaborate mess to clean up.