It’s 2011 people! Time to forget everything about old failures – but it’s just so hard. I can’t think of anything that sticks to your memory like a bad tournament. But even so, I’m completely psyched about this new year! A word of advice for all aspiring chessplayers out there: Don’t plan tournaments after having had a two month dormant period! My increasingly stronger chess withdrawal symptoms are easily detectable in my spring tournament plans. I’ll post them in my calendar as they get confirmed, but needless to say, it will be a fully packed spring. By choice, of course!
The first rating-list of 2011 has been published, and I somehow need to face the fact that I’m no longer a kid. FIDE has brutally reminded me of this by removing me from the Junior-list. It is worth noting that the average rating drop on the list was significant. The golden year of 1990 graduated and left a gigantic void for new kids to fill. It leaves me with no doubt that having a stable spot on the list for the past months have been a great achievement for me, but it doesn’t fix the agony of feeling old(er)! At least now I have no doubt about what I’m striving for: The top 100-list and a great finish in Aix-les-Bains. I am told the pronunciation is x-le-ba, and this otherwise (to me) unknown place is host of the European Individual Championship. Hopefully it will be a highlight this spring, but if nothing else, I expect I’ll learn to pronounce its French name correctly during my two weeks visiting!
In other news, I strongly recommend everyone to buy the latest issue of the New in Chess Magazine. It features – amongst other things – an article by yours truly on Magnus’ superb performance in Nanjing. I was granted a good portion of space, so if you were missing more blog posts in November, this makes for a great (though somewhat delayed) treat. As for the Chinese tournament, rumor has it that three is a charm – which means the organizers might have difficulty in finding anyone willing to challenge the lion (I mean Magnus) next year!
To finish off, I’ll take the liberty of testing out a Christmas gift (web-cam) while simultaneously showing off the magazine 🙂