Inspired by the disucssion on Nigel Davies's Facebook page of this post from his excellent The Chess Improver: An Experiment in not using computers for chess analysis for a year!
A Scandalous Confession
I've rarely had the board and pieces out over the last months, except for a foray to play real people once every month or two at the new iteration of the Juneau Chess Club. Most of my chess activity has been (shame!) blitz on FICS, with the occasional game of mine I have input and analyzed in my database with the "help" of the engines included. In fact, I have not analyzed these games on my own first as recommended for self-improvement. Mostly I have just imput moves and noted where the engine informed me that I or my opponent screwed up.
A Major Change of Scenery
With no formal rated competition in over a year, no stronger players to battle in person and too much passive reliance on computers I can tell I'm not moving in a positive direction right now in chess. So I'm trying an experiment: For one year, until January 30, 2013, I'm not going to 1) use engines for analysis or 2) play online blitz. I may still play some long games online like the very stimulating set I had with ChessAdmin but mostly I'll be analyzing on my own from books of master games and the collection of my own games that I recently organized, and playing real chess on a real board with a real opponent in front of me. We will see if this has a significant positive effect on my playing strength and attitude toward the game. Perhaps near the end of this year I'll have a chance to play in our State Championship and test myself.
I'll post from time to time on how this is working and what it's like. I'll still use the computer for blogging, anyway. The first post of The Best Of! Chess Blogging will be coming in a couple of days.