Get back on the horse… (I mean knight!)

It’s a hard thing to do, to get back on the horse, once you’re a little bit off. Especially if you’ve reached that stage in your life where a ton of different things require or demands or fights for your attention.

You used to play a lot of chess, and you loved it! But now…there’s no time. ’24’ is simply too few hours in a day…

But deep down you know that you want to play more chess, or at least play some, but how can you find the time to fit it into your already busy schedule?

Let’s have a look at that and try to come up with some good ideas!

 

Be organised

No matter what stage you’re at in life, things tend to go a lot smoother if you organise your days. By this I don’t necessarily mean down to the minute, but make a plan for what you need to do today. What’s on your agenda today?

Most of us have a daytime job, so you will probably have to spend about eight hours here. If you have kids, you might have to pick them up from school, or in some other way care for them after school, for example taking them to soccer practice, piano lessons or gymnastics.

Then you might have to make dinner, or perhaps do some stuff around the house while your better half provides the cooking. It usually doesn’t go down well (SPOILER ALERT!) if you ‘do nothing’ while they clean, take out the rubbish, keep the kids from fighting, put away the shopping AND have to make dinner…

So, when you have decided what your day will consist of, you can start planning for some “chess time”.

It doesn’t need to be hours upon hours, just look for spots in your schedule where it might be good for your well-being to sit down for 15 or 30 minutes, or even just one game.

As I will discuss later on in this post, it doesn’t even need to be playing for yourself you’re planning: You can either watch some live streaming or just ‘stuff’ on Youtube.

Make agreements

If you’re in a relationship, it tends to be a good idea to involve your spouse in your decisionmaking (at least to some extent…). And by ‘tends’ I mean it is a good idea!

Simply put, your life will get a lot easier if you speak together and agree on things. Don’t just shout “I’m off to chess!” while you slam the door behind you… #recipefordisaster

When your spouse knows what you want to do and when it might suit you to do so, they can plan their day and week accordingly too. And they might even have something they want to do, in which case you can both agree on having this “free time” to yourself, embrace mental self, make sure to stay sane, in what is or may be quite a stressful world.

Youtube

If you want to start up again at home, and maybe in the beginning not even by playing yourself, Youtube is an excellent option! Here you can find virtually anything related to chess! (just not actually touching the pieces and such…)

Some ideas to get you started, would be to search for:

  • Openings (either openings in general, or a specific one you want to look at)
  • Opening tricks
  • Middlegame strategy
  • Endgame skills
  • Superstars (Carlsen, Ding, Caruana ++)
  • Brilliant games
  • Blunders made by top players
  • Funny moments in chess

…and the list goes on and on!

Whenever you would find a publisher you really enjoy, subscribe to them! That way you will get notified whenever new content is put on the web.

Online chess

I have covered this topic pretty thoroughly on the blog, and you can read more about different sites here and get some tips for playing online at the same time.

When it comes down to the time issue briefly discussed earlier, playing online is something anybody should be able to find some for. If you really can’t find much time, like an hour here and an hour there for playing a series of games, at least you should be able to find time for a singular game before breakfast or after workout. Or even just a game on your phone while you’re commuting to work.

Also, playing online has the added option of playing correspondence games, which allows to really slow down. With this option, you can simply make one – ONE – move at a time, and wait for a day or two before you make your next one.

Playing online offers a lot of viable options for you to get back into the game.

 

Find a local club

When you have both planned the day and looked at the schedule ahead, find a local club to go to. Playing and interacting with other people is important to most of us. Make this choice as an addition to playing some online.

Not only will this option let you play chess games, it will also fulfill many social needs. And you will find so many kindhearted and good people in these chess clubs! Personally, I have met many of best friends today in these clubs, and that would go back 20 or 30 years in time.

You might make a lifelong friend from a simple thing like going to a chess club!

 

“Play chess, or not to play chess…that’s the question!” 

You know you want to, but feel like you can’t really justify sitting down with a game:

  • “I need to go to the shop.”
  • “I should play with the kids.”
  • “I haven’t cleaned for a while.”
  • “My bike needs fixing…”

Although these might be things you should and need to do, you also have to take care of yourself, which is how I see playing chess:

You do this for yourself!

Everybody needs some time off, and no matter how much or little time you have to spare, you should be able to make use of one or the other option presented in this post.

And I really hope you do! Otherwise, I don’t think you would actually be visiting my site and reading these lines…

I truly hope this gave you some motivation and lid a fire within you, and if so, please let me know below!

 

Get back on your knight,

Joachim

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2 thoughts on “Get back on the horse… (I mean knight!)”

  1. Well, I tried to leave you a comment yesterday, but it didn’t save, apparently. I really love this article. My dad taught me to play chess when I was little. I taught my youngest son when he was little. Dad and my boy are definitely much more gifted than I am.
    The knight was always my favorite player – so tricky. I’m not much of a strategist, though. But, when you fall off the beast, you gotta get back on!

    1. Thanks Cathy,
      Glad you liked it! And that your son and his grandpa enjoy the game together! That’s what it’s all about, if you ask me.
      And it’s never too late for you either… 😉

      Stay on the knight,
      Joachim

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