I was first exposed to chess while growing up in Moscow, Russia. I remember I was about 7-8 years old watching my father play during lunch time at work. I didn't understand very well back then what was happening. I just saw gray-haired scientists bent over the chess boards and my father walking and playing. Or was it all my imagination? Not sure now. It all seems almost vague to me.
Play Chess Online for FREE!
My father tried to teach me when I was very young but unfortunately the game meant absolutely nothing to me. He was not able to get my interest in learning it. I never learnt. It was around 1985..
When internet came around (I was in college in 1995) I tried to play few games on yahoo server. It didn't really work out for me. So after couple of games I gave up. I had no idea how to play.
Play Chess Online for FREE!
Finally 2008 came around... My chess interest was really ignited. I understood the beauty of it, I started developing passion for it. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to approach it, I played a bit on chess.com and facebook chess, enjoyed it, but not enough to really get into it again...
Finally the breakthrough year of 2009 !!
I met some coffee shop chess players at Twiggs coffee shop in San Diego. That's when I consider myself really getting into the game. I started spending hours at Twiggs days and nights getting into the meditative rythm of this amazing game. The game started to make sense with all the joy of victories and hurt of defeats. December of 2009 I showed up at the local chess club, shy but determined. Determined to learn!
After 4 months I became a regular at the San Diego Chess Club. I started playing in tournaments in April. During my second tournament at San Diego Chess Club I went to 2010 US Open in August in Irvine. The experience was great! I really enjoyed meeting chess players, watching masters play and be in it....be in chess.. I was very pleased with my performance 3 out of 9 as an Unrated player. I even won $184.00, split the second prize with 2 other Unrated players!!!
End of October I participated in 2010 Western States Open in Reno scoring 4 out of 6 with 2 losses and 4 wins in U1400. End of November 2010 I played in 2010 American Open in Los Angeles scoring 4 out of 8 with 2 draws, 3 losses and 3 wins in U1400. In December 2010 I played in North American Open in Las Vegas, however, I withdrew from the tournament after the 6th round scoring only 1.5 out of 7 in U1500. In March 2011 I played in Western Class Open in Agoura Hills, CA loosing every single game in U1600. In September, 2011 I played in South California Open in San Diego scoring 2 out of 6 in U1600. I plan to compete in U1600 category until getting to 60% win rate, then will compete in U1800. It's all good :).
My first rating was 1205 USCF published in July 2010. I am progressing very slowly but surely. My current rating is 1475 USCF.