Friday, 25 September 2009

Chess and Fitness

As expected, Stereophonics were great on Monday. It was a bit of a strange gig because half of the songs were very old and the other half were from their new album due to come out in a couple of months. It's always a bit harder to get into it if you've never heard the songs before as you can't sing along! All it means is that I'll have to buy the new album, learn the songs and go to their gig again :) I'm sure they'll do a few gigs after release of their album. And my Green Day tickets came through the post today - that'll be the next gig I go to.

Most chess players would agree that keeping fit is important to their success. I think that the old saying "healthy body equals healthy mind" is quite appropriate for chess players. I don't really do any sports apart from going to the gym. I never used to like it as I always thought it's quite boring, but in absence of any better ideas I started going to the gym quite regularly from last year. In fact, I found that competing against myself was a good motivator. What that means is that with every session I tried to increase weights and go faster on cardio machines. So I really enjoyed the gym to start with because it was easy to make a lot of progress at the beginning. But now I don't seem to be able to up the game against myself and I'm really finding the gym a hard work. Loss of motivation made me rather lazy and I hardly went to the gym over the summer. It didn't help that the gym's air conditioning didn't seem to make much difference in the hot weather! Well, with that kind of attendance - no surprise I'm not making any progress. I've started going regularly again, and hope to step it up a notch during my sabbatical. Starting a day in the gym definitely improves my energy levels.

It's only one week before I fly to play chess in Switzerland. In these last few days my main learning focus will be tactics. However, yesterday I spent a while listening to several lectures on the ICC. Every week I try to listen to the "Game of The Week" by GM Joel Benjamin and "Attack with Larry C" by GM Larry Christiansen. I highly recommend those. I've also prepared some new opening lines for the Uxbridge Congress, but no one played those against me! Typical! Well, I have one more chess game to play before I go to Switzerland. And if one of my new lines doesn't come up again, then I'll just have to practice on the ICC. That game will be on Monday for the Hackney club in the London league. It's the first game of the season and it will be against the Richmond club. If any of my team-mates are reading - good luck to all of them!

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