A recent commenter asked if I'm coming back. Yes, but not yet. Probably a few more months.
I am still not recovered from the World Open. It wrecked me, frankly. I was confident going in (I had recently got a clear win in an U1300 tournament, drawn against a 1900 player in a slow tourny game, I was no longer dropping pieces). I was really starting to improve in my chess. Then I just got smacked down from Caissa at the WO and I still just feel awful about it, like all that time was wasted. Objectively, my play wasn't actually that
bad, but it is hard to stomach that I sucked so poorly there (3/9). I still haven't even had the stomach to go look over my games, it just makes me feel dizzy like I'm looking into Dante's hell to think about it. The worst thing is, I actually have to work to maintain even that sucky performance level. That really makes it seem pathetic.
Luckily, I am actually good at some other stuff, like neuroscience, math, etc., so I have been putting my time into writing stuff up in those topics (in addition, of course, to work I have to do in lab!). As you can see at my neuroscience blog (here
) I am working up a bunch of notes on the biology/psychology of consciousness that ultimately will probably become a book. Also, I'm writing a linear algebra manuscript for when I teach tech-geeky neuroscience courses. I am actually good at these things, and it is just more rewarding (right now) to focus on those than to focus intensely just to get back to a substandard chess skill. Frankly, it is somewhat humiliating that I suck so much at chess after over four years.
I'll probably come back though. It draws me, I still play a little blitz. I probably will take about three more months off though. I probably need a freakin' psychotherapist (though I admit the comments on my confession post were extremely helpful for getting me back on my feet--I just need some time I think).
Lesson learned: no more overdose tournaments for me. From now on, I don't want to play in tournaments that are more than two days long, preferable just one day long, and even more preferably one day a week spread out over multiple weeks.