I have been playing—and, mostly, enjoying—chess on a casual basis for long enough that I have no idea when I was first introduced to it. I have several memories, albeit vague, of playing in a small club at my elementary school, and at home before that.

Later, in high school, I carried a pocket-sized magnetic chess set which I would bring out at lunch (alternating with Magic: The Gathering and various traditional card games); I learned the Ruy Lopez, and I usually won. I would also challenge my band director on exam days (read: no playing instruments); I always lost. This was also around the time I started presenting a legitimate challenge for my dad.

In college, I attended a few meetings of the Go & Chess Club (previously there had been two clubs, but they were forced to combine due to dwindling membership). However, the remaining members were much more interested in Go than chess, and I fell away from the game.

Then—to be a cliché—I watched The Queen’s Gambit, and decided I ought to get into competitive chess just as soon as the global pandemic was under control.

The remainder of this page, and the entire /chess section of this website, chronicles my journey into USCF-rated chess. I am presently in rating class F, around the 62nd percentile.

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