Why Crazy Chess Girl?

I guess it’s time to explain my crazy name.  Well, it is a long story and I will spare you from all the details but I will tell you that since I was six years old I had played chess competitively, and chess had been a huge part of my life.  My whole childhood was about travelling from one tournament to another whether it was a regular competition, or regionalChess, national or international.  I spent so much time preparing for games, studying openings, competing and traveling that I do not have many memories about much else.

The most fun part was having an ability to travel abroad from an early age, meeting people of different nationalities and representing my own country in European and World championships.  Perhaps that was the beginning of my quest for crossing borders and looking for unique people. Ever since I have loved meeting people from all around the world and learning about their cultures.

Chess also made me highly competitive, analytical and focused.  I still love winning no matter what I am doing, I love to analyse things and calculate moves ahead and I can read a book in the middle of chaos and not hear a thing. Sitting in front of a chess board, ignoring anything or anyone around you and focusing only on the next 5 moves for sometimes 6-8 hours straight might sound insane.  But that’s what I did for almost two decades.

On the other hand,  there were things that I really didn’t like such as others constantly having high expectations of you.  Coaches, parents, teachers, everyone is expecting you to win especially if you won before!  The more you win, the more others take it for granted and next time expect from you even better results. But it is impossible to always win.  At some point you are going to lose, and I was never good at it.  I hated losing and I put even more pressure on myself when I did.  After almost 20 years, I quit when I was the best in my game.

You might ask why, why did I quit?  I did it because there is no future in chess.  When you are a kid, it is one thing to compete in your own age group and try to win a medal and diploma.  But you cannot live on medals and diplomas.  You can tape the wall with them instead of a wallpaper but they won’t pay the bills.  When you are an adult, you either become professional or quit. Being professional requires putting many hours every day in practicing and there is not much left for anything else in life. Does it pay the bills?  Yes, if you play a sport that is highly popular and has lots of viewers. Chess? That was never popular.  Some people do not even consider it a sport.  After all, we have our own olympiad because we cannot compete in the Olympics as the International Olympic Committee does not recognize chess as an Olympic game.  They do recognize it as a sport though but not an Olympic sport!  But a combination of being a woman and playing chess makes completely impossible to earn the living unless you are one of the best in the world.  For some reason, men have it easier or at least, I always knew more professional male than female chess players.  So yes, I quit.  I am not a quitter but I know how to exit.

So that explains the “chess” part.  What makes me crazy?  When I was young, I did crazy stuff.  Now when I look back, sometimes I am horrified.  I guess I am lucky that nothing bad ever happened to me and I didn’t have to live with the consequences. But being crazy is not always bad.  Sometimes I think craziness is what makes us different.  And after all, it is such a great word, isn’t it?

Crazy in love.  Takes all crazy chances.  Crazy about you… or chocolate.