Lessons from Checkers

4개월 전

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I started playing checkers when I was young. Checkers get a bad rep because it's not chess. But I realized long ago everybody wants to play chess but haven't mastered checkers. And those that find checkers too easy tend to suck at it. I still haven't mastered checkers, so I stopped playing long ago. However, I did become good. Good enough to play the best in the world, including several world champions. Also good enough to draw the program Chinook several times. However, I never beat it.

My rating hovers around 2100+, 2300+ for blitz. I'm looking at an old account now with 14k+ games.

games played: 14397
wins: 6522 (45.3%)
losses: 5123
draws: 2752

You would expect more wins, but that's it. I played those mostly around my rating or higher making sure there was a healthy balance.

Some players won 95% of their games. They'd give a newbie a -20 without remorse. But they would also go on and beatdown a pro. And the whole time talking smack. Those were the best teachers. They did not get bored as I did playing newbies like that. Those newbies that stuck around to get -20 ended up becoming really good really fast. As I did.

Those other guys

I found one type of player very despicable, and that was the rating inflators. They would not play anyone their level or above. Usually, they reached an intermediate skill level like 1700, and from then on decided they don't want to lose. So they play only beginners earning very little points until they reached 2000.

They weren't there for competition nor to play challenging games. They just wanted to win and feel like a grandmaster. They wanted their names to be higher on the rankings. There was a way to get them, however. They would risk playing every new account. Even though they boot after each loss, you could hit them up several times before they realized the same guy is destroying their precious rating. The points they lost in 2 games it would take 30 games to get back.

What type of player are you?

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