Well, another hiatus. Well, another year. Welcome to 2008. Thanks for stickin’ by.
Those of you who have not played a lot of chess might find it hard to see a natural connection between chess, and music. No matter, I think there is one. Music has the ability to transport your mind to another universe, to a world where other laws and values rule. To a world where you can find peace. Chess, sometimes does the same.
I may have blogged about this before, but when it comes to music I can warmly recommend one specific source: Radio Paradise, is a web-radio station that I cannot help fall in love with. They describe themselves as an “eclectic rock music station”. You may say that you are not “really into rock”. But these guys will play an amazingly broad selection of music. You may hear anything from the Beatles to the Chemical Brothers. If you love David Bowie, Calexico, Jethro Tull, Aimee Mann, Roxy Music, Björk, Beck, REM, Tom Petty, Tori Amos, Goldfrapp, and such, you should check it out. Or if you just like to be musically surprised, to hear a lot of new bands that you never heard of, you should click that link. The cool thing is not only that they play very cool music but if you listen for a couple of hours you begin to notice that they mix it in a really cool way that adds up to more than just the separate songs. Now the really great thing is that it is 100% commercial free. It is all working through voluntary listener support. Try it!
As for chess: a year ago I wrote that my goal for 2007 was to improve my rating by 200 rating points. 200 rating points, is a tall order, approximately you would win 4 out of 5 games against someone 200 points below yourself. So it is a significant improvement. Now, one year later the result is [drum roll please]:
230 rating points. Of course I am happy with that. For this year I hesitate to set a new goal because another 200 rating points is quite unrealistic. Anyway, the interesting thing is that my improvement did not chiefly come from intense study or training. Most of it came from a psychological shift, in my attitude towards the game. I have grown more, confident, careful, less risk prone, and most of all, more patient and persistent.
That might be a good lesson, for all of us, in all areas of life. Trust your decisions, stay patient, and do persist.