I had always enjoyed playing chess, but other than the occasional game with my dad, had never dedicated any time to the game in my younger years . It wasn't until my late 20s that I decided to start playing again with online correspondence games on chessworld.net, a site run by British Candidate Master Tryfon Gavriel.
Finding some success in the games that I played and an interest in the analytical side of chess I made a commitment to improve my level as far as possible, a journey which is forever on going. In January 2018 I decided to join my local club in Guildford to learn more about over the board play and acquire some practice of recording moves and the pressures of time controls.
A little under a month later I played my first rated game and contributed a point towards a team victory in the U140 County Championship; a result which gave me great confidence in my decision to play competitively. Since then I have played enough games to acquire an ECF rating for the 2018/19 season and will hope to be improving my grade over the next 12 months.
As a result of my enthusiasm at the club I am proud to have been asked to captain the GuF team for this season and will be hoping that I can not only perform well this season but to help improve the chess of those playing under my captaincy.
My thanks must go to several people or organisations for inspiring me to return to chess and focus my energy on this great game.
Firstly I would like to thank GM Ben Finegold; his videos and unorthodox humour were one of the main reasons I found myself watching multiple chess videos late into the night (and still do).
I must thank Saint Louis Chess Club for their high quality production and coverage of live events, as well as the many teaching resources their YouTube channel has available for players of all calibres.
Similiarly I would like the thank US NM Jerry (commonly known as ChessNetwork) for his fantastic instructional videos and ability to make chess commentary exciting.
Finally, I would like to thank Mike Gunn for welcoming me into the Guildford club and giving me the opportunity to play chess competitively.