Friday, 8 September 2017

Senior moments

It is so easy to get an international chess rating nowadays. A real FIDE chess rating, not one that's calculated by a national chess federation or given by an online chess portal. A real FIDE chess rating that's recognised everywhere and comes from playing in FIDE-recognised tournaments worldwide.

In the far distant past, like in the 1980s or 1990s, the floor of the FIDE ratings have been gradually reduced from 2200 points to 2000 points till 1600 rating points today. With such a lowered rating floor and a subsequent popularisation of chess among the world-wide population at large, it has now been possible for more people to attain their chess ratings than ever before. Indeed, there are now three different types of international chess ratings: classical chess ratings for long time-control games, rapid chess ratings for short time-control games and blitz chess ratings for quick time-control games.

I never had an international chess rating until 2011. Indeed, I was a qualified International Arbiter long before I was a FIDE-rated player. In 2010, I was persuaded to participate in the Seniors open tournament at the Malaysia Chess Festival of that year. That was the first nine rated games that I played against other FIDE-rated players. Then in 2011, I played again in the Seniors open tournament and could claim another nine rated games, which was enough for me to get my first-ever international chess rating.

But then I stopped playing long time-control chess and only dabbled in the occasional rapid chess tournaments mainly in Penang. My FIDE rating became dormant. This year, however, I decided to play again in the Seniors section of the Malaysia Chess Festival. A six-year gap between my last game in 2011 and my first game in 2017.

Needless to say, there is a lot for me to catch up with. Like I mentioned in facebook, when I looked back on the games that I played in Kuala Lumpur last week, many of my chess strategies and chess thoughts were downright leaky, illogical and if I may add now, stupid. They might have looked logical enough when I was seated across from an opponent at the chess board but definitely, now a total embarrassment. But as one of my facebook friends commented, everyone below 2200 have the same problems, not only me. I shouldn't feel that discouraged. Ah well....

Maybe in a future post, I shall write something about one or two of the games I played in KL last week. They were not complete disasters. In fact, I could say that I was quite pleased with some of my leaky strategies. But that will be for the future. As for my chess rating, I fear that I could have lost some 40 points playing in that event and I should emerge from it with a mid-19 hundreds. But I shouldn't be discouraged about it too. Losing or gaining rating points, that comes with the game. The important thing is to enjoy playing and not over-stressing myself.

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