There is just one week to go until Carlsen and Anand descend upon Sochi, Russia to compete in the FIDE World Chess Championship. All eyes in the chess world will be on these two superpowers on the board as Carlsen battles to retain his title and Anand tries to snatch it away from him. Little has been heard from Carlsen after his mediocre performance in the Sinquefield Cup. Fabiano Caruana and others have dominated headlines in recent months, but now the stage is set for the two to battle it out to determine who is the best chess player in the world.

Back on earth, where the rest of us play in seedy chess clubs on borrowed tournament boards or confined to the anonymity of and the Internet Chess Club, yours truly lost is 900 ELO blitz rating after hovering around 951 for a while. Some of the losses were a standard affair in which I made some inexplicable error or the player was simply better than me. Such was the case in this week’s first game where I played against a player rated 1001 ELO blitz on

Suffice to say that the above loss was not very difficult to swallow until I went back and did my final analysis. Missing such a simple move like Kxh2 was psychologically devastating. However, the loss gave me an opportunity to sit back and examine my response time in these games. Did I really need to respond so quickly to my opponent’s moves and what difference does their rating make? There are times that I wish I could turn off the ratings indicators on to avoid having a constant reminder in the corner of my screen. Still, things got better as time went on. The next game was a win against a player rated 1020 ELO and the second-highest blitz victory in my short chess career.

My university studies have remained constant and so far they have not taken too much time away from my chess work. It is my intention to provide as much coverage and commentary on the championship as I can, but I am limited the availability of life’s most precious resource: time.