Chessember This December
April has A-Z challenges which mostly involves poetry, November has writing challenges in the form of NanoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month), October just witnessed Inktober, but chess has not got a monthly challenge of its own yet. I thought chess deserves to have a challenge month of its own and I came up with this idea of making the first move by sharing a possible list. If you want to know about all the artistic challenges, here is a comprehensive list: http://www.wikiwrimo.org/wiki/List_of_timed_artistic_challenges
Well, I thought of Chessuary, Chebruary, Charch, Chepril, Chune, Chuly, Chugust, Cheptember (really funny), Chektober and Chovember and finally settled with Chessember. It sounds well and better than the rest, isn’t it?
I’m not sure if this will be picked by all the chess connoisseurs, but it is an attempt. If the chess players and chess based companies and portals follow this, it could be a great initiative to spread awareness about the game as well.
NFAQ (Not So Frequently Asked Questions):
So, what is Chessember exactly?
Chessember will have 31 chess oriented challenges, one for each day. You could consider the list for daily acts mentioned below for reference or come up with your own! These are just suggestions, of course J
Because chess deserves a month too! It is also a way of promoting the game at the global level. Going further, you might make new friends and learn a lot in the process.
How could you join the challenge?
Post your attempts/activities on Instagram, twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #Chessember or #31DaysOfChess
Do I have to follow the list?
It is all up to you. You could make your own list, go with the flow or just be random about it. These are suggestions and I would love to know your list too.
Where’s the sample list?
Your wait ends here:
1. Flaunt your chess board and write a message to Caissa
Since it is a first act in our challenge, let’s take it slow. Let’s all flaunt our chess board and pray to the Goddess Caissa J
2. Tackle tactics (15 min session)
Solve a minimum of three tactical positions. A warm up is necessary for you to get into the zone
3. Blitz it Out!
How about playing a few blitz games? Revise your lines, grab a cup of coffee and get going. There are a lot of servers on which you could play: ICC, Playchess, Chess24 and even FIDE Arena.
4. Take out an old chess book from your shelf and study a few pages today!
We buy so many books and it piles up. There might be a lot of untouched books on your shelf or the books you might have read a long time back. It is time to get it back and study a few pages. Who knows? You might have bought the book just to sync with this challenge J
5. Words of praise for your chess guru
You could consider writing a little note for your chess teacher. It could be someone who has inspired you. This could be a precious moment of showing your gratitude to them.
6. Solve a simple chess study
Studies are beautiful gems reminding how beautiful the game of chess is! If you are looking for simple chess studies, consider checking compositions of Ernest Pogosyants.
7. All about Seven
This could be anything that has number seven in it. For example, You could consider solving seven puzzles. It could be sharing a game where your rook entered the seventh rank and menaced the opponent’s pawns. It could be sharing your experience of a seventh round game or studying about the 7th World Champion. Wondering who the 7th champ is? It is Smyslov.
8. TWIC Check
Now that a week has passed, it is time to download the latest issue of TWIC (The Week in Chess) from theweekinchess.com, check some games from the latest issue and don’t forget to thank Mark Crowther for his tremendous work. He has been serving for 2 decades now! His twitter handle is @MarkTWIC.
9. Loose Pieces Drop Off!
Have you dropped a piece? Let us be aware and remind ourselves of this old chess adage. There is a video by Christof Sielecki on this theme:
His series is worth watching! It is called “33 Chess Concepts that took down World Champions”
Did your opponent drop a piece recently? You could also share a picture of that position!
10.Ten Chess Tips
What are some of the chess tips you follow during a game? Share yours and keep a track on the hashtags to know what others follow J
11. Vishy Anand Day
It is the birthday of the chess legend Viswanathan Anand! Go over this wonderful collection http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1000846 and share your favorite one.
12. Favourite Short Game
Share your favorite short game today or go through some of the short games. Some day you might save yourself from falling into an opening trap, thanks to this challenge!
13. Kasparov Day
Thirteen certainly belongs to Kasparov! Let us play over some of his best games or read his books. You can also watch this highly recommended lecture:
14. Watch a chess movie
Gelfand’s documentary, Magnus’s movie and Pawn Sacrifice come to mind instantly. Have you watched them?
There are so many chess movies out there. Need help? Here is a list:
15. Scoresheet Flaunting!
Take a picture of your scoresheet and share. Let’s see who gets A plus in this scoresheet writing competition.
16. Share your favorite chess quote and the story behind it
It would be great to share a quote that made a deep impression on you and why it did so. Here is my favorite from Alekhine: There must be no reasoning from past moves, only from the present position.
17. Share your best game
Go through your best game and relive those moments. Fill yourself with some energy and get inspired to show your best again J
18. Day of World Champions / Favourite player
Who is your favorite world champion and why? Learn more about your favorite players, read about them today
19. Share a funny chess incident
During a game, a guy from the other board sat in front of me and even started thinking. It took him more than 30 seconds to realize that he is playing on a different board! J What is your funny story?
20. Chess App Day
Flaunt your favorite chess apps and thank the programmers. India’s Asim Pereira has contributed a lot His app Follow Chess is a must have. Download chess apps and explore the features. Some apps you could consider: Follow Chess, ChessDroid, Chess24, Internet Chess Club, Playchess.com, Chess.com
21. Learn Rook Endgames
Do you have an interesting rook endgame position? Share it!
Rook endgames are very common, and it pays to spend time on it. Here is a quick inspiration:
22. Favourite Opening Day
What’s your favorite opening? What’s the story behind it? I’m sure we all have our own stories. A few years back, my close friend then used to play a lot of Catalan in the games. I immediately picked it and it is one of my favorite openings till date.
23. Lucky Escapes
Have you escaped or survived a lost position? Share your memories and go through your miracle. What kept you going in those tough moments?
24. Lasker Day
24th December is the birthday of Emanuel Lasker and we should devote some time in studying his games and reading about him. Resourcefulness has always been his primary trait. After going through some of his games, you will also realize that he was a tactical monster. Celebrate his birthday by going through these well-written articles on Lasker by Silman:
25. Chess Trophies
Take a picture of your trophies and memento, share them today! Winning a tournament and having that trophy in hand is a Christmas for me. Take a moment to revisit your memorable victories today J Oh, you deserve a treat there J
26. First Chess Memories
What’s your first chess memory? How did you learn the game? Did someone teach you? How was the experience of playing in your first ever tournament
27. Chess Superstition or Habits
In February, I bought a chess scarf in Moscow. I love it! Do you have a lucky pen that you use during the event? A lucky shirt? Are you planning to buy something? Do let us know using the hashtag #31DaysOfChess or #Chessember
28. Solve a study while jogging
A few years back, I read an article by Sagar Shah who solved a study while jogging. It is a great idea to exercise your mind and body J
Try these studies: https://8cross8.com/beautiful-rook-endgame-studies/
29. Stalemate stories
Have you had a stalemate story?
Solodovnichenko Yuri was showing this game to a few players during the Gurgaon open and I wrote down the position and saved it.
You can solve a few studies on this theme here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lubomir-kavalek/chess-puzzles-king-tut-inb825686.html
30. Play a long chess game
Play a long game against a friend in a café, club or at your home J After all, that is the best part
31. Learn from your mistakes
As we approach the end, it makes sense to make a list of the mistakes and learn about our strengths and weakness so that we get better and play better chess in the coming year!
Here is the sum up of all the challenges
- Flaunt your chess board and write a message to Caissa
- Tackle tactics
- Blitz it Out
- Take out an old chess book and study
- Words of praise for your guru
- Solve a simple chess study
- All about seven
- TWIC Check
- Loose pieces drop off
- Ten Chess Tips
- Vishy Anand Day
- Favourite Short Game
- Kasparov Day
- Watch a chess movie
- Scoresheet flaunting!
- Favorite chess quote
- Your best game
- Day of World Champions/Favourite players
- Share a funny chess incident
- Chess App Day
- Learn Rook Endgames
- Favorite Opening
- Lucky Escapes
- Lasker Day
- Chess Trophies
- First Chess Memories
- Chess Superstition or Chess Habits
- Solve a Study while jogging
- Stalemate stories
- Play a long chess game
- Learn from your mistakes
While you share your attempts, please make sure to use the hashtags #Chessember and #31DaysOfChess
I hope you will seek great pleasure trying this challenge. All the best 🙂 and I will be back again with more articles next season 🙂