Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chasing the Line -- Part Dos

It may just be a harmonic convergence of the universe and it may just be blind luck.   But I was not thinking of the book Engaging Pieces when I was writing the last piece about chasing the line.   Just noticing how it was happening in real life when my kid was playing.

However, here we are.  The very first article/chapter (more on this in the next column), is a conversation with Michael de la Maza, and what is most interesting is that he has decided to give up competitive chess.  

He has done so, because he does not think he can get any better, and can't come up with a plan to do so.  He has peaked at his own Peter Principle, and believes it to be about 2000k or so.   Or at the point that he believes that some other stronger chess understanding other than just tactics is important.  I think it is just not going to be as fun for him being placed inside a box where he is now a peer, as opposed to a stronger guy than his rating just passing through (checkmate!). 

There are several interesting questions.  Even if he is correct and it is mostly tactics between here and there, are we all capable of learning enough of those tactics well enough so that we can see them in OTB play and get our own 2k rating?  Is it possible that there is just as clear a methodology for improving play past 2k than up to 2k?  You know, Knights Part Dos.  And ultimately, once you get to your ultimate class, is there a structure where you can still have fun?

I have played competitive bridge against some of the best in the world, and done well  and had fun.  I have played competitive poker against some of the best in the world, done well and had fun.   My dad, who taught me, is no longer willing to play against my son, because it is no longer fun for him.  He doesn't believe that he has any chance to win, much less be able to front a decent game.  All you can see are the win's and losses.   How do you find joy in your own personal mediocrity? 

So I am having fun for now, and so is my son.   I am just trying to prepare for my own personal future, and my son's.   

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