Archive for the ‘On-line journal’ Category

Lest we not forget how we got to where we are. Oftentimes the journey is arduous and full of pitfalls, some of which we fall into. For some just being alive is an achievement, and I should know. If you try to characterise the type of player you will run into something which stops you. Not the ‘why’ but the ‘how’ and also the ‘when’. You may be able to pen a few words here and there if asked to define the type of player you are but establishing how you came to be what you are and construct time frames for what was absorbed into you is much harder if not downright impossible. After a while everything becomes a blur, after that it fades…then you are left with nothing.

Our very own histories are too complex to be straightened out and our paths cross with so many others. It never ends. So at best you may be able to describe the sort of player you are but not the process of becoming. This is not something I am an expert in so let’s just leave it there for now. I don’t try to define myself. I know I’ve always been better positionally than tactically but I can’t say much else. I just classify myself as a club or county player and leave it at that.

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Is your bum okay?

I’m assuming that you, too, use anal beads when you are playing chess, and perhaps, when you are not playing chess sometimes. I don’t. I don’t cheat. I don’t really do anything eyebrow raising -I think they call that getting old. Admittedly I wear glasses rather than rely on my eyesight but that’s hardly cheating. If, whilst reading the previous sentence you didn’t say to yourself ‘I love anal beads’ then read on please. Thankfully the ridiculousness of the latest allegations render it impossible for Niemann to be scarred by them. What a bummer if he was! And we shudder to think what the next allegations are going to be based on…bloody aliens coaching players or something asinine. And to conclude all I can say to you is get help if you can’t leave them anal beads alone. Try The Samaritans or something. The last thing we want is FIDE employing bottom inspectors from now on to cope with the emerging trend. My bum is okay. But yours, well you know better than I.

Just look at this creature of the night. What can we establish? He likes the dark. He likes being by himself. He likes posting on his blog when he doesn’t have anything to say, and he likes to think he is funny sometimes. I’m only half-naked as I type. The weekend is here but there isn’t much to do really, so there’s nothing noteworthy going down. I guess you could say I am the sum total of my parts and am very me. The life I lead has a certain distinctiveness about it and a rather resistant character about it. I could say this only applies to the weekend but it doesn’t. It’s bigger than that but for as long as I remain on top of things and am moving forwards, it’s okay. I never consciously chose to live my life like this but this is how its gone. Perhaps the faults outweigh the merits of the situation. Hard to be sure really. If you ask any loving father does he prefer to be apart from his family unit, he will most likely say no unless he has to. Well, I am an economic migrant and am staying one for some time to come. It’s not ideal but the deal I have is just about the best I can get. So for the foreseeable I am going to move between two separate countries. One is for work and the other family. There’s not really much I can do about it except remain grateful that things are moving forwards. Life is not perfect but then it never was. The rough with the smooth must be taken sometimes. The position I am in ticks a number of lager boxes, so it’s okay. Not perfect but okay.

So I am going to have to sign off here as I don’t really have anything to say. Calm and collected Mark says ‘until next time’ by which time I will still be off chess like I am now. In joyful isolation, I am signing off here.

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Despite having it’s own youtube channel, chessboxing is yet to take off. It has a cult following and has been televised enough times already, but it isn’t generating sponsorship on any level and remains subterranean for now. Admittedly, I can’t see what the attraction is as it appears so amateurish thus unentertaining. But anyway, here’s a sneak preview of something earlier this year, just perhaps it may float your boat.

You can find details of fighters and venues here:

https://www.chessboxing.info/venues/

And their youtube channel here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/Chessboxing

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Welcome back to my blog after a hiatus of nearly a month. Once more I sit with the lights off and air con on, only this time there is a carefully placed humidifier below it for I have upped ship and sailed off to the desert. Although locations do, some things never change. Again I sit naked in front of my computer in the dark, yes it’s the middle of the night. There is a can of diet Pepsi to my side, which I have only just started. It is 12.41 am exactly, and having slept already, I am all yours. A fortnight ago I fell into the habit of going to bed at 6 pm and waking up in the middle of the night, this is no exception… .

Since the Olympiad, I have put chess to one side and just got on with my life. No games played on line. No on line events followed either. No chess at all for a month or so, whilst my glorious summer holiday ended and a working life resumed. I don’t know what constitutes downtime for I don’t know how much time must elapse, but we could say we are in one…well I just stopped thinking about chess per se. In terms of motivating myself to get back into our beautiful game, you could say ‘the chips are down’ with no allusions to jiggery-pokery in play, only the use of metaphor.

Today, a major event in the chess calendar begins:

All eyes will be on the world champion and the gathering of elite players he is pitted against. I won’t be following it for it starts past my bed time. But I do recommend you take a peek.

I will sign off now. I am in a land that fielded a team at the Olympiad which I could beat quite easily if I wanted to. Does this alter my interest in chess itself, I mean to be in a non-chess playing nation of sorts? Well it does but oh-so slightly. More importantly, life moves on and whether we like it or not we must readjust to changing circumstances and what they ask, or demand, of us. I am no longer on holiday and cannot watch chess tournaments unfolding at my leisure, as much as I may like to.

I will touch base again once I have thought of something else to say.

Mark. J. McCready 12.53 am, September 2nd 2022

Room 306, Helwa Apartments

Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

That’s me to your right,. Taken four years ago. Shot style: headbanging mode methinks.

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It’s fair to say that from the very first to the 500,000th time I nearly had a heart attack at the chess board I wasn’t too bothered about it but there were times between the 500,000 to the 1,000,000 mark where I was. Nobody wants medical emergencies at the chess board but even in the current Olympiad we had one, in which an act of kindness helped save the day.

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These days it’s a crime in all first world countries to allow your offline life to remain dominant over your online life, and carries a jail sentence of variable lengths ranging from half a minute to a few days…well so it seems.

It is, of course, the rest day of the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai. You might wonder what chess players do on their day off. Stay in their room and read books? Go for a walk in a park somewhere? Maybe even go for a coffee and chat chess with fellow players? The public perception of chess players isn’t, on the whole, positive. We aren’t renowned for being the most exciting bunch on the planet and are often thought of as bookish and boring.

Well, I have linked below a video or two of the Bermuda Party, the central feature of the rest day, and it does a pretty good job of breaking down certain perceptions of what chess players might do on a day off. Like most, if not all, they party!

If I may be allowed to bring my warped sense of humour into the post, I’ve watched both videos and can confirm there were no punch ups on the dance floors. No knuckledusters seen! No one was bottled or baseball batted and no one was hit by flying pints, flying chairs and flying tables! Just thought I’d let you know! Do take note of how young the audience is. Most non chess players would find all this rather surprising methinks when in fact it’s all quite normal.

Mark. J. McCready 11.10pm August 4th

BKK

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Preferably, today won’t be like yesterday and just total chess. At some point I am going to take a closer look at some very recent posts. I don’t know who I am talking to in them, and that is not right at all. You don’t need to be able to define your audience but developing a voice matters, and when that voice is pitching a message to unknown characters, something is definitely wrong.

It would appear I shall have to pull back and take a look at what is going on here because if the purpose for writing remains unidentifiable what are you writing for in the first place?

Just perhaps I have become too self-indulgent and need to give it a break. refocus and stop trying to make everything humorous. I think we can safely say overkill is rapidly approaching.

That aside, I very subtly pick up on a sense of loneliness in play…I am trying to talk to someone but who?

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There’s focus, there’s amusement, there’s hilarity, and there’s self-indulgence. I am guilty of all this week but most of all the latter, which you could argue is the sum of the three parts before it. Why? Simply put I can’t express the total amusement I had over the posts regarding shrines a few days back, and in truth I’ve been in love with my blog since then, or at least in love with the idea that more humour would follow on, which it did. Irrespective of how amusing you think I may or may not be, I consider myself to be very funny at times and have been on form all week.

As wonderful and refreshing as that may be, it saddens me as I type, so much so that something has to change with immediate effect for the simple reason that in the past few days I have neglected my daughter, along with everything else in this world. And that is unacceptable because I have very little time left with her before I return to work. It is true that I spoke very little to her today -now that cannot be allowed to go on.

Fewer posts may follow this week or perhaps they won’t. Perhaps the time of writing will change from daylight hours to evening hours, as is the case at this very present. She lies next to me asleep in this cold dark room. Everyone is sleeping except myself. Of the 4 people sharing this space, 2 of them have Covid, it has been confirmed. Inevitably I will pick it up if I haven’t already. Something is wrong already, I can tell but cannot quite tell what it is yet. But that is immaterial… .

A cardinal sin has been committed and I am disappointed with myself for letting it happen. Because of the very nature of who I am, it’s my job to know myself exceptionally well. That I do because I have to. I’ve always been obsessive, today is just one more example of that, and a very cheery one in certain respects, saddening in others. One of hardest things of the job of remaining human and one step ahead of humanity for the most part, is accepting your own values and the vulnerability they bring with them. I love my daughter too much to allow such mistakes to be made and not picked up upon so quickly. Yes it’s not a crime to make yourself happy and love what you do but it is a crime to forget what is most important of all.

Mark: ‘you’re giving me a hard time, what am I supposed to do with a hard time, especially from you?’ You are supposed to remain in love with A Flock of Seagulls playing and stop beating yourself up. No harm has been done, just precious time wasn’t seen as precious. The flip side of all that is you’ve had 6 solid weeks of company and have, in my own little way, grown fond of and very used to it.

What I have to conclude upon is I will forever be an academic with conclusions forefront in my thinking, in addition, I took my love of writing to a new level recently. The content about the guy who smashed up a shrine had me chuckling away for days there. I was entertaining myself like never before and brought many online friends into the humour on different platforms as I could not hide my joy, I really couldn’t. There are no morbid tales here, just a disappointment with myself for allowing priorities to be reordered temporarily. So Grace goes back to being the primary focus, and writing stays secondary. I should not write in the day anymore, that’s her time not my time. Whilst they sleep, well that’s different.

This is what I am supposed to do? The way that you smile reveals a shadow from the past or so the song goes, oh well. What I am supposed to do now is link a song. Can you guess what it is and who it’s by?

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Laos won their first match of the Olympiad today, beating Central African Republic 3-1. That’s a big well done for them.

I hope it brings happiness to whoever follows them back in the capital.

Laos must surely be the freest Communist country in the world.

Many like it because it is so open.

I do too and always go

by bike.

Vang Vieng, so often rained when I was there. Vang Vieng is a very good example of what can happen if law is not enforced and life itself is considered cheap. Those who went there looking for what it had to offer still today constitute the most repulsive bunch of backpackers imaginable. Between 2000-2010, it was one place not to be, and I simply cannot say why on this website. The hardest thing about living in Asia is understanding why they place so little value on life itself, and in Vang Vieng Westerners thrived off the lack of rules there. Truly, truly awful. No one cared about anything except their next drink at the bar, the next high or next thrilling river ride. One Englishman wanting to impress announced how he would be doing back-flips at the bar in one, whilst others just stared at you to decide if you were in with their crowd or not. Too much of a loner and too unpretentious by far, I never got involved, I never gave eye contact, I just fucked off the first chance I got to leave it’s own little crowd alone, trapped in its own little time-warp almost. Perhaps the only danger Laos has is it attracts people you would much rather avoid, and plenty of them too. Pseudo hippy, pseudo cool school wimps I used to knock fuck out of when I was younger. If you don’t dress the part, look cool hanging out, and get excited over river rides, then you aren’t in, and are blanked or snubbed. With nothing ingratiating about your behaviour, you just aren’t in I’m afraid, and so we’re not going to talk to you or even look at you. That is the class of backpacker you will find in Vang Vieng. My advice -don’t fucking go there or if you do just talk with your fists.

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Upon reflection, if I visited a site such as this, I would want to get to know more about the author in some shape or form. Well I do try but I don’t really make that possible because of the lay out style I have chosen (although the side bars are clearly there to offset that). I haven’t made a name for myself in chess so slotting me into the overall scheme of things mean I come out as just another chess enthusiast/addict with a blog all his own. But that simply won’t do as so many are in the same boat, thousands in fact. So I shall break rank and enable you to put a face to the posts, so you can see who is writing (this rubbish) this humorous if often inward looking content. This is an attempt at personification of the site, and you could argue that all sites should show similar intentions now and again. A chess player I may be, and the subject of the site is chess but it is called McCreadyandChess, so pics of my life beyond the board are not beyond the parameters of what it was designed for.

I’ll add some photos from facebook, taken over the years but you should know I used to be a photographer and so some pics reflect the creativity I was once noted for, but only a few. The rest depict the colourful life I have ended up with to some degree but they barely scratch the surface tbh and there’s nothing I can do about that. I put the pics in gallery form, so you can just click on them and scroll along. Maybe they give a clearer sense of who is writing or something. The title of the site does the job here I think.

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