I've slowly come to realise that part of my lethargy since coming back from holiday has been due to a lack of playing chess. Yes, I admit that I'm missing playing chess tournaments and over the past few days I've come to a decision. In 2014 I will be listed on the FIDE list, and will be playing events again. Have I been inspired by the World Championship match? Probably not, though I have been following it. I'm personally not sure that a match is the best medium for selling the World Championship to a wider non playing audience (if this is even possible), and I'm not sure whether it is the best way to decide on a champion, though of course there will always be problems with any system. Certainly the most exciting World Championship events in recent times (probably since Seville 1987) have been the tournaments in 2005 and 2007 played under the double round robin system and maybe the fact that there are more than 1 game played each day allows for more excitement per round.
Anyway, getting back to my return to chess, I have made a further decision. It seems to me that if I can be bothered to pay out to play chess, then I should make the best of it, and try to improve my game and return to the 2200+ level, and maybe even to the 2300 level. Is it possible to do this in my late 40's? Have I got it in me to up my game a level? I guess only time will tell, but I feel that I need to try. So my return to chess comes with an aim to regain my best chess, and that means working on the game. That is good news for this blog, which will begin to see more chess content again.
Another issue is how I'm going to relist on FIDE. I have to choose between a) paying a membership to the English Chess Federation (something I didn't want to do); b) paying FIDE to transfer my federation to Australia: c) playing under no flag and paying a fee per tournament I play. Of these, I'm leaning towards the first which might prove to be the most expensive in the long run, but will mean me giving my money to a national federation (the ECF) rather than FIDE. It means I will have to play under the English flag, but that is better than not playing at all in my opinion. I would much rather transfer to Australia, but I really have an issue with the transfer fee imposed (250 Euro's) which basically covers changing my fed from ENG to AUS on the FIDE site and is a blatant money grab by an organisation which is a blatant money grabber. Funnily enough, this is a one off payment and the Australian Chess Federation do not charge their members directly, whereas the ECF do, so over the years I would probably pay more for being a member of the ECF. I know, I'm irrational, but the year off chess had made me think about how I want to participate and who I want to support in the world of chess, and FIDE are not an organisation near the top of my sympathy list. However, it's difficult to play much quality chess in Australia outside the FIDE rating system, so I feel I have to join if I want to play the tournaments that I enjoy. Ok, rant over.
And while I'm not happy with chess politics (like the European Chess Union threatening chess servers with legal action if they broadcast live games from the European Teams Championship without their permission), and while I was hoping for more action in the World Championship (the games have been fascinating, however) the game itself is still fantastic. Have a guess what 2543 rated Cuban IM Yuri Gonzalez played after the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.Bd3 f6 in a game at the Panama Open last week.