Relapse, Revelation and Salvation: I miss chess. So much so that I've again started playing blitz and bullet on ICC in my spare time. Like a habitual drinker or smoker, I know it's bad for me, but I do it anyway. And any feeling of fulfillment or satisfaction is an empty one. My blitz and bullet ratings are so volatile that any euphoria associated with a new peak rating is accompanied by the certainty that it will be short-lived. Fear sets in, for the next game might be the beginning of a string of losses. What's supposed to be fun has become a chore.
I've developed a particular distaste for bullet. Even if one side were to achieve a superior position, it all boils down to who can move the mouse faster or who has the presence of mind to make unexpected, material-sacrificing checks in the last few seconds. Is this the kind of chess that Botvinnik would be proud of? I think not.
I'm lucky to have some good chess friends. (You know who you are.) They help me keep my eye on the ball, and don't let me stray too far away from chess. I'm going to try to ease myself back into study mode. Tonight at Border's, I picked up a little book called Simple Chess. It's a Dover reprint of an older work which received favorable reviews. Thumbing through its contents, I think it's managable for me. Hopefully, this will be my salvation from the evils of blitz and bullet.