Firstly, I would like to acknowledge a very close friend of mine whom I met on GameKnot. I was very fortunate to have met such a decent man and I was also blessed to have shared 10 years of chess and friendship with him. So in memory of my good friend John Forrest [ravens_wrath] [Blacky], an extremely talented musician, chess player, song writer, author and family man...I will miss you. 58 years is too early to depart this life but John left his unique footprint that will forever remain a mark in this world.
I miss my pal.
Now who is Johnny Awesome?
OCCUPATION: Mechanical Engineer.
HOBBIES: Chess, Rugby league, Cricket, Tennis, all Motor Sports including Motor bikes.
PASSIONS: Family, family, family........
-Reading, Cycling, Motor bike riding, People in general, Quality cooking, Gameknot, Occasional wine [Red], my filtered water system which keeps me hydrated, yum. Nothing beats it........
-Bad sportsmanship including [The refusal to resign a lost game and deliberate delaying tactics]. These players who partake in these practices obviously have the "Ostrich head in the sand" mentality and will qualify for the ignore list once the game is complete.
-Other dislikes include Cheating, Impatience, Intolerance, and Lack of Respect to fellow competitors and others in the wider community.
-To survive and watch my kids grow up.
-To always put my family first before my own desires.
-To continue to work hard and earn a living for my family and myself.
-To get some time out and enjoy my hobbies.
-Yes, I love it. I am from the old school really. I like the old comedies, far too many to list.
I remember being told in my early years that.... ‘Apart from underestimating your opponent....never overestimate your opponent as well’. Savielly Tartakover quoted ‘In chess there is only one mistake: Over-estimation of your opponent. All else is either bad luck or weakness’. This quote holds some substance but like any quote that is written there is always more.
‘For each move you have, your opponent has only one as well’… Quote by Johnny Awesome.
PLAYING THE BOARD NOT THE PLAYER:
I always try to play the board and not the player, and I love Rubinstein’s view on this.... ‘Who is your opponent tonight? Tonight I am playing against the Black pieces’. - Akiba Rubinstein....
All is equal at the start of a chess game. I love positional chess, using the ultimate weapon of strategy........ I believe chess strategy is still the main fundamental behind having a competitive game.
I was tutored in my younger years on this formula involving strategy and it still hasn't aged. Chess strategy is basically long range planning. Simply put, Strategy requires thought whilst tactics require observation [Max Euwe]. This does not dismiss the importance of tactics, for they are the hammer and nails of a plan.
Tactics are important in taking advantage of short-term opportunities with an aim to support your strategy and also limit your opponents. Strategy however, is your foundation, the actual building itself.
Without strategy, sole tactical play will fail, for if the tricks or traps are seen, then you or your opponent who had relied on this will most certainly lose against someone who had planned strategically throughout.
I found this out a long time ago when I was much younger. I was very much a tactical player, and had actually much success among my peers. It was when I played some old experienced chaps at chess clubs, that I found out the short comings very quickly. I learnt some good lessons then. One fellow saw some potential in me and offered to tutor me. I believe I was 12yrs at the time. This was the time I began to take it seriously and start reading chess literature. With the tutoring based on strategy, I eliminated the laziness from my game, but got an addiction for books.
Chess is a timeless sport and I am still learning new things today. The game is perpetual. For some reason experimenting with different openings and defences is becoming more attractive to me in my older years. A new challenge maybe, old age or both, I don't really know.
My favourite strategic players were without doubt the great ‘Karpov’, and the great ‘Akiba Rubinstein’ born in 1882. Rubinstein was able to connect openings with the types of endgames that could be reached from them. That is the deep kind of understanding that is commonly seen today [long range vision and planning = a strong game]. This was modern thinking at an age of 100 + years ago.... fascinating. His moves, concepts and endgame techniques were so modern, that studying his games now, would still benefit anyone doing so! He was among the pioneers of chess strategy. He didn't have the resources we have, such as libraries of games, an extra 100+ years of study and knowledge and all the technical advances we enjoy today. He was on his own in that regard, which makes his strength regarding openings, understanding pawn structures, & unbelievable vision in the end game all the more unique. Yes, he was indeed a true pioneer.
Both Rubinstein and Karpov in particular, played a great influence in my earlier years.
Karpov as a man and player had always intrigued me. Karpov possesses a distinctive positional style in that he always appears to have his pieces effectively defended. His pieces just seem to find those appropriate locations. In his prime he created and showed how to use a space advantage better than anyone in my view. His technique of using clear positional pressure coupled with remarkable end game skills demonstrates his amazing knowledge of this game. As great as Karpov was as a player, he matched it by being a decent human being as well. Karpov Quote: To be a champion requires more than simply being a strong player, one has to be a strong human being as well. Don't think that strategy is boring, because Karpov showed that apart from positional pressure, he could certainly entertain sharp play as well. The strength for these various tactical hits and imprecise variations were still possible however, because of the strategic foundation.
I think "Max Euwe" was the one who described it the best as well. Strategic play...... equals strong play.
Why the name Johnny Awesome? It is for my lost little brother Daniel who is always alive in my heart........
Johnny Awesome is my name,
Playing chess is my game,
When I lose, I do not blame,
When I win, I seek no fame,
Being simple is my aim,
Arriving here with no particular plan,
Logging onto "GK" whenever I can,
Playing many in this great game,
All in all, I'll always be the same........
How Awesome can one man be,
Rest assured, I am not he,
The name is for my brother, whom I miss,
He is the reason I wrote all this,
20 years have passed and time moves on,
20 years now, since he's been gone,
I came to this site using the word he liked best,
For each game played is just another test,
"AWESOME" keeps him close to me,
"AWESOME" is what he'll always be,
"AWESOME" is the word I take,
It is only for his memory, this name I stake!!!!!........
P.S. I feel chess should not be a substitute for life. It is still only just a game. So enjoy as I do, but remember to keep those who matter in your life first and fore-most. The rest will then take care of itself.........................................................
P.P.S. ‘I play honestly and I play to win. If I lose, I take my medicine’...Bobby Fischer. I have followed Fischer for what he had contributed to chess only, so in that context I have an affinity with the quote. Hopefully the majority of players here also travel the same path.