Intuition: What Even GMs Don't Get About It. Never Mind NMs

Intuition: What Even GMs Don't Get About It. Never Mind NMs


The Intuition vs Calculation Conundrum

Intuition is critical to all chess decision-making. Understanding of its role is vital in the process of making improvement to one’s game. Without it, it is mostly shooting in the dark.

In the Chess Lyricists vs Chess Physicists blog I gave three plausible reasons why defining role of intuition was important. It would open our eyes to the presence of a key ingredient in the improvement proceedings and ultimately enable us to,

a) better understand the chess player's thought process,
b) develop better teaching methods for the beginner,
c) design more effective methods for improvement of established players.

I started a series of blogs on improvement with The Holy Grail of Chess Improvement. My goal was to provide you with an idea what I think would be a much more effective plan on how to improve in chess which would be in marked contrast to what most advisors on the subject (like GM Alex Čolović) suggest without, evidently, a clear understanding of intuition and its role in the process. And not only Čolović. As a NM who took part in the discussion informed us, there had been a "long established grandmasterly consensus" on how to improve.

He sarcastically asked how my thinking could be better than that long established consensus. 

He further adds, "Where are your minimal credentials which give your readers confidence in such elaborate and extremist ideas? (not even argue with me, but you are arguing with the long-held opinion of the best players in the world)" [his emphasis - RP]


"It's totally puzzling, how can you disagree so strongly while not showing chess credentials?"

Frankly, I'm not quite sure what the NM thinks my "minimal credentials" should be in this discussion on improvement? I am not a titled player, if that was what he thought, I am just a chess amateur and aficionado, a MSc Aerospace engineer who somehow got stuck in IT; at least I am trying to think on my own instead of blindly idolizing other people's opinion as the NM is doing vis-a-vis GM Čolović's view on improvement and that "long established grandmasterly consensus".

And the guy hasn't even seen my "extremist" ideas yet. I just started off with the first blog in the series on improvement to first highlight the superior role of intuition over calculation. As obviously, not only the aforementioned NM but also GM Čolović don't see it (otherwise the GM wouldn't claim that "Calculation is the key"), I decided to stop elaborating on the improvement idea in order to first give proofs of that superiority of intuition in the next post.

You would agree that it won't make any sense to go any further into the details of my improvement idea, which is based on educating one's intuition, if we all were not on the same page about that inescapable fact from the cognitive science and an array of world champions (Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Carlsen). 

Till next time