Learning chess movesProbably when I was around 6. My older brother and me learned it together. When castling, we used to move the king all the way into the corner, instead of just two spaces to either side. I checkmated my brother in 4 moves with my knight using that.
How often do you play chess?Unhealthily often.
Joining a chess club
LauttSK is my first ever chess club.
Achievements in chess
None really... well, college team chess champion. I won the "top score" award two years in a row. But it's all rubbish honestly.
Your best game
When I was 17, I was in competition with others in my school to become the school's chess captain. It came down to me and my former mentor turned arch nemesis. There were a lot of psychological battles off the board as well. I had worked very hard over the summer to improve, and was happy that I was able to hold my nerve and win that game. Ironically, someone else became the chess captain, and I became the long-distance running captain instead. Hah!
A sweet win
When I play online, I often go into these bullet frenzies. One-on-one battles with another opponent. Sometimes, the other guy wins and then says something aggravating like "lol". This makes me determined to show him who's boss. The pressure is on. I have to keep calm and focused. Winning under these circumstances is extremely sweet. After that, I normally quote some Clint Eastwood movie line to show what a tough guy I am on the internet.
A lucky win
I've never had one. Only unlucky losses.
A bitter loss
I was 15 and playing in my first ever tournament. I had won the first round on the day before very easily. I expected round 2 to be easy as well. My opponent was late... so late in fact that he had just 5 minutes on the clock when he arrived, and I had 1 hour or something. I tried to waste some time by shaking his hand and discussing the traffic problems that caused his delay. From time to time I'd look at him with my head tilted to distract him. I really was quite silly. Anyway, he was playing quite well. A little too well in fact. And I was trying to keep up with his speed (rookie mistake). I lost the game easily... he had lots of time to spare.
The worst blunder
Any blunder against Tero Lehtinen should be considered the worst blunder, ever.
A memorable chess experience
College team chess championship. 4 vs 4. It was the "finals". Whichever team won this would win the championship. I was on board 3. The score was 1½–1½. I had about 5 minutes on the clock, while my opponent had 30. Almost no pieces had been exchanged yet. Everyone was watching. Players, parents, tournament directors. It was an analog clock, so I didn't even know exactly how much time I had left, which added to the intensity. I went into blitz mode and played very fast sharp moves. My opponent got unsettled and tried to keep up with me, because of which he made a few mistakes and ultimately lost. That was a great relief to win that game considering the stakes.
The most precious scalps
Anyone who makes me feel bad after beating me. I will have my revenge.
d4 openings and Sicilian.
Balanced / defensive, with awkward bursts of aggression.
Favorite time control