Hi my name is David Blackwelder. First, I would like to thank NM Peter Giannatos and NM Dominique Myers for inviting me to contribute to the Charlotte Chess Center blog. It is my hope that my experiences as an adult chess player that didn't start playing tournament chess until the age of 22 will help, motivate, inspire, or at the very least provide you with a laugh at my expense.
For awhile I have been posting my thoughts, games, and other chess related things over on Chess.com which you can click here for that blog. For those that don't want to go read years worth of material to know a little about me, I will give you a quick background here.
My dad taught me how to play chess when I was younger, it didn't really catch my interest until later in life. I picked up chess around the same time that I started to perform magic, around 12 years old (2001). I joined my middle school's chess club in 8th grade and started beating everyone in the school. I went 13-0 in a tournament put on by our teacher. Then high school came along and I put all of my energy into magic. I never knew I could have been playing in rated chess games.
Then in 2010 my fiance at the time, got me a membership to the United States Chess Federation (USCF). From there I signed up for the 2011 NC Open which was held at the Blake hotel in Charlotte, NC. I found a chess club that met near my house and I would go play blitz until the early morning hours. They held some smaller tournaments and it was through them that I found the Queen City Chess Club (now the Charlotte Chess Center). My first non-provisional USCF rating was 1240 in August of 2011. Below is my ratings graph.
2011: From Unrated to 1378 after 53 games.
2012: From 1378 to 1489 (+111) after 71 games.
2013: From 1489 to 1474 (-15) after 7 games.
2014: No games played.
2015: From 1474 to 1585 (+111) after 21 games.
2016: From 1585 to 1691 (+106) after 51 games.
2017: From 1691 to ???
I am constantly trying to improve and get better at playing chess. Along the way, my rating has also increased. Nothing impressive but this proves that it is possible for adult chess players to climb through the ranks with enough work and time put into the game. My goal is to earn the Expert title by the time I am 30 years old (May 2019). I don't get to play in many tournaments working retail because most tournaments are normally held on weekends or big holidays. Therefore, my goal is going to be challenging but I feel confident that I will be able to achieve it with enough hard work. I will be documenting my experiences through this blog. This will be in the form of posting my annotated games or just writing a simple blog such as this. I will from time to time include what I am doing to work on my chess including training methods, books, and other resources I am using.
I look forward to seeing you around.
Find me on Chess.com: chessnerdbird
Find me on chess24.com: chessnerdbird