1. How long have you been playing chess? Have you played it consistently since you started, or were there lulls in your play? How did these lulls affect your performance?
I learned the game as a youngster, around seven or eight. When I couldn't find anybody to play, which was most the time, I would play against myself. I remember always playing the first moves of the Ruy and asking myself questions like (in response to Black's a6), "Why move the bishop to a4? Why not just play Bxc6?" Unfortunately, such questions never led me, or motivated me, to deeper investigation and understanding of the game; moves were mysterious, unfathomable, particularly those Rook moves:"Why did grandmaster so-and-so make that move?" But there was never answer. It wasn't until years, years, later that I discovered tactical and positional ideas that began to bring order to chaos, light shining in the darkness.
2. Aside from playing games, what is your primary mode of training?
Doing exercises with PCT.
3. What is the single most helpful method of improvement that you have ever used?
First is training with PCT (this includes the endgame modules). Also, I like chesslecture.com, if only so that you can hear much higher rated players struggling with the same issues that you yourself face.
Second is analyzing my own games and my own thinking (thanks to Jesse Krai for this from his lectures as chesslecture.com)
4. What is your favorite opening to play as white? As black against e4? As black against d4?
I'm an e4 player, but I don’t have a favorite opening system with it. As Black against e4 I play the Sicilian Dragon, against d4, I play the KID.
5. Who is your favorite chess player and why?
Tal, Nakamura, Polgar are quite exciting and creative; however, of recent I feel my approach is changing and would like to study the games of Petrosian, Kramnik, etc.
6. What is your favorite chess book?
I very much like Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, Bronstein's Sorcerer’s Apprentice, anything by Watson.
7. What book would you recommend for a friend who knows only the rules of chess?
Something by Alburt.
8. Do you play in in-person tournaments? What is your favorite tournament experience?
I do play in OTB tournaments. I feel that OTB tournament is the only true measure of one’s strength as a chess player. No favorite experience.
9. Please give us a link to what you consider your best two blog posts (on your own blog).
Only one: http://tinyurl.com/39kqkc
10. What proportion of total chess time should be spent studying openings for someone at your level?
10% or less.