For some reason the European Individual Chess Championship in Jerusalem has been one of the most boring chess tournaments I have watched in quite a while. In fact, I have avoided some of the rounds completely because there is just something about the tournament that causes me to drift into dreamland. Perhaps it is good that this tournament came about when it did because so much came to a head in the last few weeks that has keep me relentlessly tied down to commitments away from the chessboard and this blog. Fortunately over the past few days I have found time and energy to restart my chess work and to begin working on new content, but I was shocked to see the devastation I faced on the board.

The first example comes from a live chess game in which I played with a blitz rating of 851, but looked more like someone who had just discovered his dad’s chessboard hidden in a dusty closet. The moves in this game are atrocious and show that there is still much work to do.

This one hurt badly:

Things have not been all doom and gloom, however. The chess gods eventually took pity on me these last few weeks and delivered some gems like this one:

I was shocked to see what a short amount of time away from the board could do to my concentration and psychological chess development. In addition, this personal stumbling block and the lack of engaging international tournaments during this time probably contributed to the reduced posting here on Campfire Chess. The only thing I can say is that it looks like there is still an incredibly long way to go.