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The 1st forum, where all the questions will be directly answered by Grandmasters!

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1.e4 (Best by test)

I would like to say how pleased I am that ChessMood opening white repertoire is based on 1.e4.

I have played chess (badly) for many years and have always liked 1.e4 as my favourite white opening (1.e4 was famously endorsed by GM Bobby Fischer as his favourite white opening also eg "1.e4 best by test", as he stated!).

It is really good to hear GM Avetik Grigoryan explain why ChessMood chose 1.e4 to be the white opening first move of choice (and very nice to go with 1.e4 Scotch opening, yet another favourite opening of mine). I agree with his comment on the potential attacking nature of 1.e4 and I chuckle as I have had 1.d4 players try to tell me how aggressive and attacking 1.d4 opening is for white! Well. of course there are some attacking 1.d4 openings, but I have yet to find one as fast and as aggressive as some of the 1.e4 openings. If anyone knows any, do let me know, as most 1.d4 aggressive openings I know take time to develop (Blackmar Diemer Gambit, BDG, 1.d4 d5 2.e4 is a possible exception, but as it involves 2.e4 as the second move, it doesn't count with me as a true 1.d4 opening?! LOL!).

Continuing my 1.e4 ramble, I started my chess "career(?)" playing the Alapin Sicilian 1.e4 c5 2.c3 and then last year I got a chess coach who played Sicilian Accelerated Dragon as Black and I started to learn this too and ended up trying to learn the Sicilian with both colours! However, this centered on the Open Sicilian openings and anti-Sicilian openings (Alapin/Rossolimo etc etc BUT not the Sicilian Closed!).

So, now I am learning the Chess Mood Sicilian Closed opening (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4...) and the Scotch Potter variation (Nb3) and the French Schlecter (3.Bd3)! BRING IT ON!

(I almost forgot why I started this 1.e4 post! It is because I found x9 GM Bobby Fischer Closed Sicilian games in my Fritz9 DBase (7 white Fischer wins & x2 draws) and this prompted this post. I am not sure if the game Fischer vs Spassky Sicilian Closed 1992 (m 25) is in the "Classical games" Chess Mood list, but I think it could be so I post it to honour a favourite player of mine who was a 1.e4 expert chess player!)

Viva 1.e4 (here endeth my 1.e4 ramble...for the moment. I will not mention Petrovs, Scandinavians,French, Caro Kann, Italians, Spanish, Viennas, Philidors, Owens & Nimzowitsh, Pirc, Moderns  and any other 1.e4 openings...) Happy opening study all and goodluck! ;-)

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20/20 vision

Hello to all my ChessMood brothers and sisters!

This is the time of the year many of us reflect on how the last year went and plan for the year to come. I do this every year, not to fundamentally change myself every 12 months, but to remind myself how far I have come towards my goals, and to correct my course if I have gone too far astray from the destination I wish to reach. 

This morning I took an hour or so to sit quietly and review how my 2019 progressed. For me, this was a year of finally making the decision to follow my passion and my dreams instead of chasing money and possessions, but I will get to that in a minute.

This year started for me on Jan 1st! I know, it did for everyone, but something life changing happened for me on that very first day. A GM named Avetik Grigoryan sent me a private message thanking me for kind words I spoke in his ChessMood FaceBook group. It sparked a friendship that I will cherish for the rest of my life, no matter what ever happens on the chess board. This is a man that not only shows how to be a good chess player, but also how to be a great person. He is always giving freely of his time and truly wants to help everyone that will let him. I am personally learning as much about myself as I am learning about chess from GM Avetik. Right Mood, Right Move!

In February I became a Pro Member in ChessMood and received the opportunity to have a 1 on 1 lesson with Coach Avetik. I learned a very powerful lesson that day, and it wasnt even on the chess board. The lesson I learned was to know "why" I wanted to do something, whether it was learning to be an expert chess player, or even 'why' I would choose the job I was working. It made me start asking myself 'why' for everything I was doing at the time.

I spent the next few months evaluating everything I wanted from life, but more importantly, what I wanted to give back. I knew at that point chess will be forever at the center of my life, with only my family and my faith coming before it. In May I booked another 1 on 1 with Coach Avetik, and I spoke to him about my conclusions, and asked him if he could help me become a GM. 

His answer will stick with me for all my days. He didnt ask me if I was crazy. He didnt dismiss me by saying that no one at my age has ever accomplished such a feat. No, Coach Avetik looked me in the eye over Skype and asked me 1 simple question in 1 word: Why?! 

And while I had not tried to put it in words previous to that, it was suddenly abundantly clear to me that it was what I was meant to do. I articulated it to Coach Avetik as best I could in words, but I think he saw in my eyes and in my heart, that I knew why I was going to do it, and he agreed by answering me, "Let's make history."

Since June, I have left my sales career of over 22 years, started teaching beginners how to play chess at the local chess club, and have focused most of my time to learning everything I can about chess, with the guidance of Coach Avetik. (I am not recommending everyone make this drastic of a change, I was in a situation I could do this, and it was best for ME to be able to be the best me I can be)

Looking at the end of the year, I realize I became very relaxed in my routine over the last coupe of months, and stopped completing all my daily tasks each day, and worked on the areas I liked most and ignored the areas I was struggling in. This has caused my progression to slow over the last couple months. (And this is EXACTLY why we should reflect on our year, the same way we review a game, so we can correct what we are doing wrong!)

So looking forward towards 2020, I am first going to refocus on finishing ALL my daily activities to improve my game. A very wise man also told me I should write down my goals and share them with the world so I will hold myself accountable to those goals, but MOST importantly, I am reminding myself 'WHY' I am going to accomplish all my goals this year. 

The following is a list of chess goals I will complete in 2020:

1. I will reach 2200+ FIDE rating in 2020

2. I will play 200+ tournament chess games in 2020

3. I will teach 100+ new people to play chess in 2020

4. I will share ChessMood with 1000+ people in 2020

5. I will beat Coach Avetik in a game of chess in 2020

2020 will be a great year for everyone who knows 'WHY' they are pursuing their goals. If you dont already have your vision for 2020, I pray for you to find it, and if you do have your vision for 2020, then I pray for your achievements! Let's all have 20/20 Vision!

Thank you Coach Avetik for your vision in forming ChessMood and bringing us all together! Because of you, I have found my life's vision as well.

With love to all my ChessMood brothers and sisters. Right Mood, Right Move!

Jay

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