Working On Fierce
Some people say that our life outside the chess world affects our life inside the chess world. I, personally, think that all parts of our life can have an affect on the other parts of our life. That is why right now I am working on "fierce"; fierce on the board and off the board. Not mean or angry, but tough. I don't think I could be mean if I tried...that is just not me, but tough, I think I could do tough. Fierceness is in your mind. It is being in control and not letting other people or things control you. If you are not fierce then your opponent can just push you around and eventually beat you. If you are not fierce how do you expect to win especially against really strong opponents? You want to be the one controlling the game and have your opponent be the one that has no idea whatsoever about how to win.
Being fierce is important and helps a lot. My dad always tells me not to let my opponent breathe (in a nice way, of course). What that means is to always have them reacting to your threat (being tough) and not give them time to do what they want to do.
Apparently running in the rain and snow and freezing cold will help to make you fierce (or at least that is what my dad tells me). I run in the morning 1/2 mile then I walk a 1/2 mile with my dad. And I have even slept out under the stars once (I stayed warm... well I stayed a little warm). And I would say it has helped my chess. This weekend I am playing in a tournament in Moab, Utah where we may be sleeping under the stars again (or at least under a pool deck). That should make for an interesting adventure.
I am not saying you have to start doing 200 push-ups in the morning (if you can that's cool), but run, do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups etc. Just something that might make you fiercer.
The most important part of fierce though at least in chess is mental fierceness. I am sure you all know that the US Championship is going on right now:
Talk about needing to be fierce!! That is one tough competition. The person I think fierceness might waver (maybe not) is Ray Robson. Why do I pick him? People expect him to do well, he was picked the most for the fantasy team (http://main.uschess.org/content/view/10396/588/) and he is only 15 (maybe 16). Think about it, tons of people watching you expecting you to do well. Maybe that showed a little bit in his first two games, but it looks like he might have regained that fierceness that he has always had. The fierceness that has made him so amazing! Other top players might have had some of their fierceness waver too and had to just slap themselves in the face. I think Ray Robson slapped himself in the face after round two and it showed in his crushing game against Dmitry Gurevich. And personally, I don't think you can say he has had a bad tournament unless you can truthfully say you could do better (especially against that kind of competition).
This summer, I will definitely need fierceness! I play in my first norm tournament in June at the Copper State International in Mesa, Arizona. My first 9 round tournament!! My mom, grandma, littler sister and I, will leave our home on the 3rd of June and won’t be back until June 14th because we are going straight from the Copper State to the National Open in Las Vegas. Fifteen rounds of chess in 11 days plus a blitz tournament!! My little sister is coming because it is hard for her to have my mom gone so much because she travels with me all the time (my mom is working on fierceness too). I am really excited to try and get a norm! There are some really strong players so it will be tough…but that is exactly what I am working on!
In July I will be heading to the World Open in Pennsylvania (my second norm tournament) and then the US Open in August. In between all of this I will help teach at our three chess camps ( http://tntchesscamp.blogspot.com) and I will attend a week of Scout Camp at Bear Lake Aquatics Base.
I think maybe I will go do a few sit-ups!!
It has been a while since I have put in a chess puzzle so here you go:
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