How to learn from others

GM Malev212
May 18, 2012, 4:04 AM |

The first thing you need to do is to learn from your own mistakes and never repeat them. This advice from Botvinnik is the corestone to excellence. Problem is that you can not point out your mistakes yourself because even reading some books where they try to explain how it is done does not work. You are actually in the prison of your own thought. You simply do not see the position in the same way as the master does. He explains it relying of his preconditional knowledge. For years I could not understand my students who were saying they like to evaluate the position. How you can evaluate something you do not understand. You actually do not need to evaluate anything. Problem was that in some popular books someone was explaining how to evaluate the chess position and my students took it for truth. You definitely can not to do it during the game, but what about after the game. We like detective stories where they do some analyses from not so perfect information. In chess we have the answer from the computer which is the best move. Can we explain it to ourselves or to our students. Reshevsky was a child prodigy but I am sure he could not explain his moves during his childhood years, because he simply did not know what is induction or deduction. Still he found the strong moves without evaluation. You can evaluate something if you have nearly perfect information. First level you understand the move is the best in this position. Second you know why and third level, you can explain it to third party. First you try to explain it to yourself, you must analyze your own game. Then your coach is doing it with you. Then you may know something. Looking some games without commentary is useless. One is just a show to keep audience happy, other possibility is to learn from other people’s mistakes. This is hard, but it is better than to learn from your own mistakes. The truth is result of practice. It is nice to know or to say I know. I have the information in full. The players names, the score sheet. May be I was present and I have even more information regarding this game. After lengthy introduction lets look the game between Nakamura and Lenderman from round 9 in US Ch. Naka had nice opening advantage, but he did not win. Why?