Personal

For the View

Our first long trip alone is a big prospect. As we grow the definition of long changes- going to the grocery store down the street, taking the city bus alone, and traveling Inter-city. 

Today I had the longest solo trip of my life, From Bengaluru to Ahmedabad(1552 Km), but it is only 2 hour from flight. 

Yet I was so tensed out, not about the pre-boarding procedures but about the fact once I am on the plane there is no turning back. In just 2 hours I am in a strange place far from the people I call home, all alone. Plus there is always a margin for accidents, my luggage bag may get lost or my aunt might not be able to pick me up. But I also know if any of these situations do arise, I will be able to handle them. 

Stepping out of my comfort zone made me more confident and gave me an opportunity to grow. I attained courage and belief in myself which I would have hardly found anywhere else. So step outside of your comfort zone today and tell me what it brought you.

Personal, Uncategorized

Just a Small Observation

I wanted to post this article yesterday but I had some stuff to do and by the time I finished it, it was already 23:35.  So, anyways I will post it today. 

As you know from my previous article, I recently repotted my plant, which inspired me to take on the bigger task of starting a small vegetable garden. As I was looking for some good sunshine-receiving spots, I realized unlike before there were very few. Since we live in a flat and there is another flat attached to our east side, all the balconies are naturally west facing. Before I think in the rainy season we used to get plenty of sunlight between 13:00 upto 17:00 in all the three balconies, it was the best time for my plants. Then came winter which was the worst time for them, almost 5 died due to lack of sunlight, everyday there was just a gray, gloomy bunch of clouds hanging over the city. Sometimes when the sun used to shine though, It had slightly changed its angle and we didn’t receive as much light in the main balcony as before. In summer it has changed even more:- we have stopped getting any sunlight on all the three balconies, just a little spot in one balcony for 1-2 hours. 

Such a subtle thing I never noticed before. The sun had just changed its route in the sky a bit we can say. If you think about it, it has absolutely no effect on our daily lives, on our work, or on our routine. I don’t think so, I would have noticed it at all, if I hadn’t taken my plants more seriously. 

This is one of the many advantages of gardening. We inevitably get more in contact and knowledge about our environment. Which is actually very critical. 

So tell me if you are an avid gardener, what have you learned from it? And if you are not, do you plan to become one soon, I definitely do! 

Personal

Repotting My Plant

My creeper was growing really well, So I decided it was time for it to move into a bigger pot. Now I must mention I had done nothing like this before, though I had a little bit of an idea because the guy in the nursery had tried to teach me how. So, I knew a few basic stuff. 

First I started off by choosing a pot, but the soil in it had gone completely dry and hard. So, I poured water when that didn’t work I turned it around and poured water from the bottom. Finally the soil came out and I transported it to yet another pot. Now, I separated the soft mud and the dry mud(which I kept for later use. After filling the pot about 3/4ths I mixed in a little compost. Then finally I added the Cocopeat, now we are all go for the final step. Miraculously and with great difficulty I managed to shift the plant in one piece. And this is the Final result.

please tell me how it is looking. 

One reason that I wrote about this was because after many days I broke the routine and tried something new. And it made me feel really happy and satisfied. As my favorite saying goes:- “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” My answer as of 1 month before would have been “ I don’t remember!”, what is your answer? Please tell me in the comment section below. See you there!


Personal

My Shopping Expedition

I wanted to buy a few clothes, so my parents and I decided to try a shop recommended by a friend. It is kind of a thrift store, where unsold items from branded stores are sold for cheap. For the expert eye there are real diamonds in rough to be found here. 

Though, I have to say after coming home, my shopping didn’t look as good as it did in the changing room light. But there is nothing that will not look good with a bit of mix-n-match. 

Isn’t it incredible how India caters to the needs of everyone from the poor to the rich? You can buy a dress for 10,000 bucks and a little farther down the street another one in less than 100. There is a living for everyone over here who is ready to use their brains and earn. 

Chess, Personal

Can’t Break the 1800 LiChess Mark? You Must be Doing At least One of these Six Things Wrong.

Hello, to all the chess lovers out there! We all agree crossing 1800 even on lichess is no piece of cake. I remember It took me 14 months to increase my online rating from 1300 to 1840! But no matter how hard it might seem it is not impossible. And all of us can do it if we set our minds to it. The following 6 rules were the entire reason I was able to break the 1800 mark. And though there is no set course to success, it is hard to go wrong with these expert verified tips to guide you.

  1. Stick to one opening

Yes, it is important not to keep changing your repertoire. Instead, it is best to learn one opening thoroughly and wholly. By switching openings you fail to learn anyone properly which results in tilt. And always remember to prepare first and then play. Like this, you are not playing mindlessly and can analyze and learn from your mistakes. It also improves game quality. One question which might come to mind is which opening to pick? And though there are many great ones out there, I consider the Italian Game the best choice for beginners. It is attacking and not very positional or dull. It is easy to understand and has way less theory compared to other openings. 

  1. Tactics, tactics, tactics!

Tactical mistakes and motives are found everywhere from world championship matches to beginners games. Capablanca once said chess is 90 percent tactics. Attack, combinations, sacrifices, give chess its attractive flamboyance. And although they are found everywhere, they are obviously more abundant in lower-level games. And it is guaranteed with basic positional knowledge and a good tactical foundation crossing at least 1600 is just a piece of cake. One of the best ways to improve tactics is to solve this book- The Woodpecker Method

  1. Practice daily

Training the mind is like training the body. If you train in bursts instead of every day the effort is useless. Take out as much time as you can: 2 hours or half an hour, solve puzzles, read books, analyze games but remember your playing time is not counted. I have seen many people make that mistake. They will study for only half an hour then play for 1-1 ½ hours. Remember, the majority of your time should go into the study, not playing. Otherwise, your rating will start dropping instead of increasing. 

  1. Study master’s games

The best way to learn openings, strategy, principles, etc is from studying games, for example, Grandmaster games, classics, world championship games, online blitz games, etc. It also improves pattern recognition and intuition. There are many ideas we can take from masters games and try to apply in our play. We learn new positions, how to play them ,and the basic plans and ideas of that position. Some books which helped me a lot are:-

My 60 Memorable Games – Robert James Fischer

200 Miniature Games of Chess – Du Mont

Alekhine: My Best Games(1908 – 1923) – Alexander Alekhine

*Pro Tip: Use a board and study annotated games.

  1. Play a lot

If we don’t play then it will be impossible to make sense of all the things that we are studying. Playing is like putting to practice all that we have learned. The tournaments might be closed because of the pandemic, but playing online is good enough. Playing provides us with experience. Analyzing our games helps us realize our mistakes, so we can work on improving them. Playing slower formats is good for game quality but playing blitz and bullet for improving time management and intuition. 

  1. Keep in good shape

It might not seem like it but chess requires one to be physically and mentally fit. If you are not healthy you will find difficulty in sitting for a long time and concentrating. Keeping a balanced diet prevents drowsiness and tiredness between tournaments. Exercising regularly keeps one active and sharp. 

Pro Tip* Maintain good posture. Craning the neck too much is not good. Find comfortable posture sitting on a chair and desk.

In Summary,

Chess is a tough but beautiful sport. Just enjoy it and have fun. Becoming 1800 is only a goal but it is more important to enjoy the journey. Do not play to increase your rating but only because you want to play. Remember you will never become 1800 if you give up at 1600 or 1700. So,  keep trying and all the best!