Since I have started playing chess, I think my skill had improved a lot over the past year. Although I still cannot beat Andrew, the grand master who had left PMC, I can slaughter Gordon most of the time if I don’t overlook some obvious blunders. What makes me different from a novice player is I no longer eager to exchange pieces, unless the exchange gives me a positional advantage. I learn how to setup traps and avoid the traps setup by the opponent. One thing I would like to improve is the ability to trade equal material with pieces of different values. My end game is still quite weak, many times I gave away my advantage by pushing the pawns too far, without giving them enough support from the king. The use of chess clock makes both Gordon and me play like a pro. He no longer do touch moves, he can even get me sometimes if I don’t pay good attention on the implication of his moves. There is no magic bullet in playing chess, study hard on the tactics, carefully plan your strategy and master mind your opponent is the only way to victory.