Archive for October 22nd, 2022

Habituation and online chess

I’ve noticed recently that I am playing too much chess on line and that a lot of it is poor. I’ve had to think about why that is and I have noticed two things in particular, both of which spring from the fact that online chess isn’t taken very seriously, generally speaking and myself included.

  1. I’ve noticed I have fallen into the habit of playing bad moves, mostly because the result of the game isn’t so important and also because of point number two.
  2. I have become used to bad moves being played against me. This causes me to stop trying so hard, then I make mistakes myself.

Overall, it’s not good and doesn’t lend itself to playing with any sense of pride. A quick game online here and there to fill in the time isn’t for the best, and so it’s something I shall put a stop to soon. That is for the best.


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The Bangkok Chess Open has reached its twentieth year and can be followed on the link below:

The tournament is being held in Chiang Mai this year at the beautiful 5-star Shangri-la hotel.

The field is stronger than usual, with the Norwegian number two, Aryan Tari joining the already strong contingent of GMs. Oftentimes in the past the tournament was held in April and clashed with the Dubai Open, however, despite having much less prize money in play comparatively, the tournament remained popular and has continued to flourish across all levels in the game. This is down to the fact that it is known to be a well-organised tournament in a popular destination, with many participants wanting a bit of holiday thrown in with their chess -which they get!

Chiang Mai? Where’s that then? It’s in the north of the country and is the largest city up there. Steeped in tradition more so than anywhere else, the city centre is encompassed by a huge wall, within which is no end of temples both ancient and modern. Some have so much care and attention poured into them that an epicentre for Buddhism is the vibe floating through the streets which criss-cross it. There’s a great, sprawling night market there too, with something on sale for everyone, and a chilled atmosphere amongst the many bars and restaurants discovered. And yes, as you can perhaps guess, it is your beloved author’s favoured location in Thailand, and for many reasons too! Besides Chiang Mai there’s a huge mountain. It’s easy to travel up and you can find a famous temple offering stunning views of the city as well as indigenous people -who are more than happy to have their photo taken with you! What is the symbol of Chiang Mai and how do I find out more about the chess scene in Thailand? Just click on this link

Sadly, I just can’t make it this year. I played in and functioned as photographer enough times in the past but this is the sixth consecutive year of non-participation. In truth, since suffering from a major head injury in 2016 I haven’t been able to play competitively, and perhaps that’s how it has to stay.

Bias aside, should you ever consider participating in an international tournament, I strongly recommend the Bangkok Open -it ticks all the boxes. May I also strongly suggest that you don’t party too hard if do you sign up and play on. So many have done in the past, including visiting GMs, and were much the worse for wear because of it. It’s perhaps an exaggeration to say its become something of an embarrassment amongst those of us in the know but the preferred option is that we see less of it -of that there is no doubt. Defining what a ‘chess’ holiday should be something of an open question…but still. Moderation is what I, your beloved author, recommends along with fighting chess each and every day.

Mark. J. McCready

Room 306, Helwa Apt.

10.26 pm, October 22nd 2022

Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

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