Sunday, 25 August 2013

My chess is off track, so, I'm gonna wear nothing but shorts in -10°C weather (for 10 hours).

Due to my travels, for the past two weeks I have been completely off track with my chess studies. This makes me kind of unhappy, but I like travelling so I'm not fully unhappy!

A huge plus from this past journey, is that I had the incredible chance to meet a person I hold in extremely high regard, Wim Hof, The Iceman. He has challenged me to ascend a 6,400m mountain in nothing but shorts. Of course, I accepted.

Wim, my brother and I in the outskirts of Amsterdam.

Wim is an incredible person. As soon as we arrived we could feel a powerful aura of peace, time slowed down. I got the kind of feeling that reminds you that nothing is impossible, that feeling that makes you feel invincible. This man is an absolute living legend. He has impacted science in ways that will be talked about for the next decade, with the most recent results of scientific studies soon to be released, so look out for them! 

Having done some successful cold training myself in the recent past, I just couldn't refuse Wim's challenge. While mountaineering in shorts or attempts at world records do not interest me, the training to get to the summit in shorts will bring immense health benefits, and my goal is to attain them. I also believe 100% that these health benefits will positively impact my chess playing, so it should be a win win in all fronts.

My cold training efforts in the year 2012, unfortunately I stopped, now I have to start from scratch. That lake is at 4,000 m.a.s.l., brr!

Lastly, back to the chess playing/training, I've decided to make a weekly schedule of exactly what I am going to study and when. I am hoping that this is going to help me be more dedicated and achieve faster results. It sounds a bit boring to be following a set schedule, but by limiting my playing and increasing my study hours, I am sure to make great gains! Before this, I've been a bit all over the place, doing tactics one minute, playing a game the other. Doing German on Memrise the very next moment, it was chaos. Order should bring results. Watch this space.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Overconfidence Kills: In Business and In Chess

To rest on one's laurels. Ahh! Back in 2011 I did just that with my social games business. We had thousands of new users every day on our Facebook game called Metropolis. Money was rolling in by the thousands daily. People loved it. We loved it. Even though work and effort didn't fully stop, there was a feeling around the office that failure was not possible and we were invincible.

In hindsight, had I known that things could turn around in a matter of a month, as they did, I realise a lot more could have been done to cement our position to prevent against potential disaster.

Funny enough, you'd think you'd remember this principle for the rest of your life no matter what it applies to. While in business, I am pretty sure I do, it seems that in chess I am now having the same problem!

I just played a game with the white pieces where I went 8 points up in material, about to head to an endgame, but a one move blunder gave my opponent mate in two. I was so happy and over confident, after all the game was practically already won, that I moved without thinking and BAM! Game lost.

The move here is g4, I had just won another knight and was up so much material, that I stopped calculating and just pushed the pawn to g3. Game over.

Hopefully this blog post should help as a reminder mainly to myself, and perhaps to some of my readers, that when you are having success and luck is on your side: don't take it for granted and do everything you can to safeguard it.