Tuesday, October 19, 2010
FM Marcel Martinez Guest Blogs
The Miami Sharks are right on the bubble.
Well. It's been a while since I have written anything related to chess. Most of my time as of late has been dedicated to poker, work, and other life ventures. In all honesty, I feel better than ever while playing which doesn't mean I am playing all that well, but at least my results have not been so bad.
After I lost my first game in the match vs Seattle, I've scored the full point in the rest of the games. While looking at the games whenever I could with my friend, newly crowned IM Jake Kleiman, I have been able to notice a lot of weaknesses or leaks in my play, but of course I was really not expecting anything different after not having played in so long. But at the same time on a personal level, my results have been above my expectations.
Some of the things which make me feel better about chess as of late is that two of my teammates, GMs Julio Becerra and Renier Gonzalez, are also playing. We often talk about poker which makes our conversations much more interesting since we can share ideas in both poker and chess, but ok this is much more interesting when it comes to poker. Ever since I started playing, I've become so consumed in this great game that it reminds me of when I was really going crazy for chess. One of the positive things I have noticed in my chess game has really come from poker. In the card game you have to be very aggressive as practicing sheer aggression can earn you a lot of money in the long run, and it's shown in my mindset as I want to kill or be killed. I remember the phrase of late poker Hall of Famer Amir Vahedi which says: "In order to live, you must be willing to die", and I've been trying to play with this mindset as of late.
Since I don't play chess too often I try to play something different all the time (within my old repertoire of course which was bad and wide), but that way I keep it fresh and force myself to think. The league (sponsored by Pokerstars :) ) has been great therapy for when I go on tilt playing online poker, and I wish to keep playing in it with this in mind. This is what has been on my mind on a personal level as of late, and when it comes to the Sharks it is great to see we have been able to rebound from an ugly start, and we are now right on the bubble of the final table :) Having Becerra on their team really should be every team's wish as he is very strong and resourceful and has earned a lot of respect from his peers with his play. Team Captain Blas Lugo has not played since he is involved in other business ventures and is very busy, but his presence has been well filled as the Sharks came this year with another GM in Renier Gonzalez who in my eyes is one of the strongest second boards in the league. When I play with them as the third board, the only player who fits the rating parameters is our young talented player, Nicholas Rosenthal, who has been struggling in the matches, but we trust in his skill and resilience to turn it around on the bubble now so the Sharks can make it to the playoffs, and then we will see what happens from there.
Next week we face our arch rivals the San Francisco Mechanics. It will be an interesting match, and we have to go all out (or to keep referencing to poker, all-in). I of course will give it all I've got to keep helping the Sharks make it into the playoffs, and we will surely come with our guns ready for next week's match. Good luck to my friends from San Francisco and hopefully nobody will forget about the Sharks' chances!