About Charlie's Chess Club
To the outside world, New Mexico, has a reputation as being a “barren desert” incapable of sustaining life, filled with arid lands, cacti, tumbleweeds, sandstorms and snakes. While those of us who live here know that’s not quite true of the environment, however, for the chess scene it’s a pretty accurate depiction. In New Mexico there is only one entity who holds tournaments on a regular basis and has been in existence for a substantial amount of time, the New Mexico Chess Organization (NMCO).
NMCO is a non-profit organization, comprised of approximately 10 board members, whose mission is to promote and develop chess in the land of enchantment. They attempt to accomplish this by holding tournaments, events, and sponsoring promising young players at national events. They hold 4 to 6 regular rated events per annum, each event is 4 or 5 rounds, and typically at shorter time controls.
They do an exceptional job in serving the causal player who enjoys the game and is content will sedate improvement. Unfortunately, there is still a significant portion of the chess community they fail to serve, those who have a true passion for the game and who has high aspirations for improvement.
Among top chess trainers, it is a commonly held belief that in order to maintain your form you should play an average of 1 rated game per week (48 a year), to make significant progress 2 games per week (96 a year). Also, each rated game should be no shorter than G/90 plus a 30 second increment. You want to be able to have time and give a reasonable amount of thought to each phase of the game. If you’re used to playing at shorter time controls, you will gravitate towards investing more time in studying the opening so you can blitz out the first 10-20 moves of the game, to afford yourself ample time for the middle and endgame phases of the game. When that extra time spent on the opening would have been better spent on other aspects of the game, and you could’ve optimized your improvement. Consequently, if you were to play in all of NMCO’s events, and they had a full year, you will have played in 28-30 games, and only 4 or 5 of those games would’ve been at a proper time control. Even if you find few small tournaments to play in that are run by other organizations, you’ll still find it extremely hard to stay at your current form if you live in New Mexico unless you devote a significant amount of time and money to travel to other states.
As an organization we hope to serve those who have the same love and passion for the game as we do, by providing additional events to supplement NMCO, and at longer time controls to prevent players from developing bad habits. We hope to see all who read this page at our future events.