Until recently I would have named chess as easily my most important pastime – dedicating more time to it, both via playing and studying, than to my other pastimes combined. As usual in such cases :-S it did not occur to me that (or how) this would ever change.
But it did (I hesitate to say ‘fortunately’), and now chess is simply one of my pastimes, although still one I feel more deeply about than others (except photography!).
You can always challenge me to a ‘real’ game, as in: on a board, with pieces. I will play anyone, anytime, anywhere. In addition, I play online – almost exclusively ‘correspondence’, not real-time games. I’m fucking crap at Blitz, so I get frustrated more than that I enjoy it, and therefore I avoid it. I need time. The two websites I use for “correspondence”-type games are SchemingMind (currently ceased playing there though) and Red Hot Pawn; my Gameknot account is hardly used (I don’t like that website). You can find me under my usual nick Marvol.
To my rudimentary collection of a few random books I gathered in Holland, I added around 40 books (in under 2 years, yeah yeah I know…) – until I decided I had books on everything I needed to improve in my chess and stopped buying any more. I hope to find time to write (short) reviews of them, or at least the most interesting ones, in due time.
Back when I played chess with my ex, I collected a small number of nice chess sets (and a chess clock). Add to this the old chess computer, a few travel sets, and a few more, and I end up having 8 sets altogether.