I Will DESTROY Your Chess Mindset

I Will DESTROY Your Chess Mindset

GM Illingworth

I will DESTROY your chess mindset. 

It's not because I want to. 

It's because you NEED to evolve your chess mindset, if you want to become a chess master or chess champion one day.

If it's not an absolute necessity for you to improve at chess, to achieve your big chess dream...then you will never get there.

That's because, when it comes to your current skill, your current chess thinking, your current mindset...

You are not good enough...YET. 

Chess players are considered very clever, analytical, strategic, logical and competitive by greater society - all very favourable qualities.

The problem is, most people use them to make EXCUSES for why they aren't doing better, rather than thinking more critically, and asking better questions.

Instead of asking 'How could I blunder like an idiot?', ask 'What can I do differently next time?'. 

Instead of 'Why don't I have any time to work on chess?', ask 'How can I make more time to work on my chess', or 'Why is it important for me to become a better chess player?'

If you're constantly asking yourself the unsupportive questions, nothing I say or do will make you a chess master.

I can't drag you across the finish line.

What I can do, is support you every step of the way, telling you what to do to become a chess champion, and how to do it. 

But you have to put in the work, get in your practice, and, ultimately, DESTROY the (insert your rating) mindset you have now, so you can achieve the (insert your dream rating) mindset you need to achieve your dream.

It's not about focusing on the goals - it's about becoming the person you need to be to achieve your chess goals. 

Now, you may be wondering - what is the significance of becoming a great chess player?

When you were younger, people probably called you a 'nerd', a 'loner', or some other cruel words, when they found out you played chess, right?

Maybe your family didn't support your chess dreams, or you didn't have the money to travel to big chess tournaments and work with top trainers?

You might think that I became a Grandmaster because of my born talents, or I had a rich family who poured tons of money into my chess.

The real story is a bit different.

You see, my family have been through a lot of adversity. 

When I was very young, my parents were both extremely successful. My mother, Dianne, was a past Australian High-Point Champion for showing horses. My father, Tony, was the manager of a large Flight Centre store, on a $250K a year wage (back when this was a lot of money). 

But when I was five years old, the wheels started to come off the train. 

My Dad developed late-onset bipolar (from the stress of his work), and all the hard work he'd put in, accumulating millions of dollars in wealth, came undone. For those of you who don't know, bipolar is where you alternate between states of mania and depression. It's a serious mental illness, and it's still misunderstood by a lot of people today. 

He made some serious financial mistakes (brought on by the bipolar). In four years, he went from having enough wealth to retire for the rest of his life (true financial freedom) to being deeply in debt, not knowing if he would be able to keep a roof over my head.

In the end, we were very lucky - my Mum burned the midnight oil and, through a combination of willpower and cunning, kept us afloat, and we were able to stay in an apartment my Dad had bought.

However, my Dad wasn't able to recover from the magnitude of his mistakes. He developed severe depression, and even to this day, he asks himself 'Why did I do this?', looking for an answer that will allow him to forgive himself. 

That's what I had to live with since I was 10 years old. (That doesn't include the 4-5 years of Dad's mania before that). 

Many people would use that as an excuse to give up, and go purely into 'survival' mode, rather than trying to thrive.

But not me and my Mum. My Mum was very RESOURCEFUL and did whatever it took for me to be able to play in chess tournaments, and have frequent coaching from titled chess players. 

I still remember when, in 2004, I desperately wanted to attend the 2004 Doeberl Cup in Canberra. I just had this feeling that i needed to play this event - that it would be a turning point in my life. 

But we didn't have enough money to travel to Canberra and play for accommodation.

Most parents would say 'I can't afford it', and then wonder why they are living paycheck to paycheck (or in debt) for the rest of their lives. 

But my Mum asked instead, 'How can I afford it?'. If your WHY is strong enough, you'll find a way, no matter how wretched or desperate your circumstances seem.

My Mum went to my Grandma (her Mum), and got a gift of some money from Grandma, so that I could play the 2004 Doeberl Cup. I went on to finish with 6/7 in the Under 1600 division, and the last-round loss I had, where a slip in concentration cost me the first prize, taught me more profoundly than a hundred chess books could have. 

When I was young, I often fell into the trap of making excuses and blaming others or other things for my failures, because it was easy to do, and I saw my Dad doing that with his depression.

But to break the 1800 barrier, and get to 2000+ and beyond, I had to KILL the person I was - the blaming kid that always made excuses whenever anything went wrong - and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the failures as well as the successes.

You're probably scared of failing, and looking like a fool in your games or your training, right?

Don't be. 

Failure is the most valuable feedback you can receive, to improve at chess. As my first ever chess teacher, Bernard Laugery, once said to a group of us kids:

'There are no losers in chess! There are winners and there are learners. Because when you lose, you learn something.' 

Had I not applied this lesson to my own life - trying to learn from every game I played - I would never have become a Grandmaster.

Let me ask you again - WHY is it important for you to become a chess master, or chess champion? 

Your answer will probably be a version of - it makes me feel SIGNIFICANT. Well, how does it make you feel significant, or fulfilled?

If your motivation is primarily to impress other people, then I have a wake-up call for you.

Even IF you get to your dream, with the aim to impress others, or to find happiness, you'll still be UNHAPPY when you reach your destination. I know it, because that was me. 

The six months after reaching the Grandmaster title were, honestly, among the most miserable and difficult of my life. 

Let's look at this from a different perspective.

What would it mean for YOU to become a great chess player?

Look, I know that shifting your mindset is HARD WORK. 

It wouldn't be fair to ask you to do it all on your own. After all, how can you develop a Grandmaster, champion mindset, if you don't know any Grandmasters or chess champions, who have got to the destination you want to reach? 

You need the right HELP and mentoring to get there. 

I know I would never have become a Grandmaster, without working with titled chess players - including GM Ian Rogers, from 2007 to 2013.

You know by now that I don't mess around. 

I'm not afraid to CHALLENGE you and make you UNCOMFORTABLE, because you don't grow and improve when you stay in your comfort zone. 

You improve when you push past your comfort zone, fall flat on your bottom, learn from the painful lesson, get back up, and try again. 

And, of course, you need to learn from people who have got to where you want to be.

My invitation to you is for me to be your role model, your mentor. Telling you how I overcame each challenge on my journey to chess mastery, and how you can too, like hundreds of other chess players I've helped already. 

The question is, do you accept the calling?

Maybe you don't feel ready yet.

Maybe you don't know if you really have what it takes.

Maybe you just don't know what it is you actually want out of chess.

Maybe you need more time to 'figure it all out'. 

I don't care what your reason is. 

I wasn't 'ready' when I started playing chess tournaments.

I wasn't 'ready' when my father got depressed, and my mother lost her vision/

I wasn't 'ready' when I played my first international chess tournaments.

I wasn't 'ready' when I completely changed my chess approach and style as a teenager.  

And I certainly wasn't 'ready' when I flew over to Vietnam to meet my new girlfriend, or to marry her late last year.

And yet, these decisions are what ultimately shaped me into the world-class trainer I am today. Now, I am helping thousands of chess players to get out of their 'mindfrick' and start getting REAL results in their chess. 

STOP waiting for the right time, when you feel completely ready, when everything is in the right place. 

Commit to becoming a better chess player, and do whatever it takes for you to make that dream a reality. 

I'll show you how to accelerate your journey to thinking like a chess Grandmaster in a couple of days. Until then, happy chessing!

Your Chess Trainer,

GM Max Illingworth

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