Good Bye 2016, Hello 2017

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I guess it’s important to reflect on your life every now and again. You can learn from mistakes made, feel good about accomplishments, and be thankful for the good (and the challenges) that happens in life… And what better time to do this, then at the end/beginning of the year.

The first time I heard the phrase “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” was from the movie Trading Places, where Eddie Murphy’s character quotes German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Those words have been paraphrased many times – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. And every time I hear it, it rings true to me.

This year in particular has been challenging both personally and professionally. Sure, it was not all bad. But it wasn’t a walk in the park either. I’d like to say I’ve emerged stronger from the experience, but I think I’m still reeling, not quite ready to regroup and start over (although I know I should).

Is this all a test? More

Why write a blog

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It’s been over 3 and half years since my last blog entry (basically when I stopped playing chess at the chess club). It’s been a pretty crazy 3 and half years. Some updates, which I hope to write about at some point in the future:

  • I bought and moved to a new place – a townhouse central to Kingston
  • My role within QuickSchools.com has evolved immensely. I’m now Head of Engineering (instead of Head of Support). This alone has provided me with a lot of interesting and difficult challenges personally and professionally.
  • I visited my brother’s family and sister in-law (on my wife’s side) in Houston. They moved to Houston just 1 – 2 years prior.
  • I took my kids back to Malaysia this past summer, to rekindle their relationship with their home country and their extended family
  • My brother came to stay with me for about a month and a half (first time one of my extended family members came to stay over). We had a chance to reconnect, where we realized that we were really never that close to begin with.

So back to why I write/keep a blog. Looking back at my previous entries, it’s like keeping a diary. I get to see not only what I’ve done in the past, but also my thought processes, changes in perspectives and motivations, as well as my goals and accomplishments. Facebook certainly does a good job of keeping track of my previous activities. Although it does allow me to reflect on the past, I haven’t quite utilized it as a means to record my thoughts and reflections. And the sheer volume of activity in Facebook makes it difficult to go back and look at previous posts. Hence, I think a separate blog would do a better job.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I’m gonna start writing again, and hopefully not just about chess, but on more personal subjects and reflections. And some time in the future, I’ll hopefully look back on this day and thank myself for making this effort.

Exploring Chess Openings

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Every chess season, I try to improve my knowledge of opening theory by trying out a few new openings. Opening theory is just one aspect of chess, and frankly, some might consider it the least important, compared to the Middle Game and End Game. The idea is, when playing with players of similar strength, the game is usually decided in the End Game (and sometimes the Middle Game). But my problem is that against tougher opponents, I usually find myself at a disadvantage out of the opening, and end up with an inferior end game. Some preparation in opening theory simply should not be dismissed. More

Preparing for 2013/2014

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Now that the 2012/2013 Kingston Chess Club season is over, I have approximately 4 months to prepare for the start of the next season in September. As part of that preparation, I’ve compiled my games against the 5 top players at the chess club for 2012/2013 (well four actually, since it excludes me):

Opponent

CXR Rating

All-time Club Record

2012/2013 Club Record

Peter Sibbald

2055

2 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw

1 win and 1 loss

Jay Serdula

1802

1 win, 2 losses, 1 draw

1 win and 1 loss

Dave Gordon

1713

8 wins

5 wins

Sid Anjilvel

1708

3 wins and 2 losses

1 loss

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End of the 2012/2013 Chess Season

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The 2012/2013 Kingston Chess Club season is over 😦

We had the end-of-year party last Monday, but my video camera broke, so I wasn’t able to take any videos. I did take some pictures of my trophies after getting home though, here they are on my mantel (the keeper trophies):

2013-05-04_KCC_Trophies

Full results are on the Kingston Chess Club website. I’ll be looking forward to next season, since we’ve also solidified the list of events for next year as well. And 2 of the 4 tournaments will be divided into sections, meaning I’ll be able to play with tougher players. More

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