Before reading this lesson you may like to review or read the first part. Here it is: LINK
In the first part of this lesson we were talking about a positive influence of chess on you:
Chess trains your mental skills.
Chess gives you deep understanding of strategical principles.
If that sounds logical, then why is it that MOST chess players can’t seem to apply their trained mental skills in reality? Read on!
Tyler Durden: Do you know what a duvet is?
Narrator: It’s a comforter…
Tyler Durden: It’s a blanket. Just a blanket. Now why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. What are we then?
Tyler Durden: Right. We are consumers.
Chuck Palahniuk “Fight Club”
That’s it! That’s the reason why! We are so accustomed to and reliant on ready-made solutions, that we forget to think independently.
If you are unsure about something in chess, then what do you do?
You open a book, search in a database or turn on a computer engine, don’t you? And there’s nothing wrong with it. Information is easily accessible so we ought to take advantage of it. That’s how MOST chess players roll in this day and age of computer and internet. But don’t we miss something?
Yeah, we forget to think by ourselves.
Maybe you are thinking: “Oh thank you Captain Obvious. You just saved the day by stating what’s so apparent.”
Really? Well, read on.
I’ve had a lot of different pupils. When I’ve just started to train someone, I often was shocked about how MANY obvious mistakes he/she made. By the way, lots of those obvious mistakes were suggested by their previous coaches.
I’ll mention only a few examples (otherwise this lesson will be endless ).
Chess player spend quite a lot of time getting his openings in shape. While analyzing his/her games, I see that the evaluation of a position changes many times during 1 game. That said, the final result has no relation with his position after an opening!
The conclusion suggests itself: openings are not very important for this player now; he should eliminate his more significant weaknesses first. Why didn’t he/she understand it by himself?
Chess player spend time on learning theoretical endgame positions, BUT they never happened in his real games. Perhaps this is not the most effective training for him, isn’t it?
Chess player solve thousands of tactical puzzles, while he almost never make combinations in his real games. This should have forced him to change something in his training, right?
Chess player wants to change his results. At the same time he/she does NOT want to change his way of training/thinking/playing. Isn’t it obvious that the 1st thing is a consequence of the 2nd one?
Einstein once defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again… and expecting different results’. Perhaps it’s about time we cure ourselves of that insanity and change the way we approach chess training?
The list may go on and on…
Such mistakes look obvious (especially after I explained them ). BUT then why do people keep making them? Please, think about it.
Note: We are the Remote Chess Academy Official Affiliate Partner. This article is from GM Igor Smirnov.