PRINCIPIA SCACCHORUM, Part 10: The Chess Square One Mutiny Manifesto
To dare the Chess Square One established order, we need to get to understand the snafu. That is, we need to first identify it.
This is a slightly revised version of the original Manifesto launched on Sep 29, 2011.
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It is becoming necessary for the attention of chess educators, instructors, coaches, trainers and teachers, to be drawn to one circumstance which seems to be so slight that they do not even consider it their duty to notice it. That thing is the following: they are responsible for the unchecked spread of a serious condition infecting an entire population. Where? In the mind of the chess beginner, causing a severe, chronic disorder, called poor chess vision.
And chess educators, do they see it? No, they do not. Is this intentional? No, it is professional.
This what the human race (by way of cognitive sciences, complex-emergent system's theory, relational theory, educational psychology, learning theory, pedagogy) knows all too well in the 21-st century, chess educators simply ignore.
How is the infection caught? We are being infected during the very First Hour of chess. Our teachers unwittingly infect us when using the traditional way which is slow-pace, ineffective and "fundamentally false" (Nimzovich's First Lesson, Shakhmatny Listok, How I Became a Grandmaster, 1929; first published in full in English in The Chess Journalist of America, Vol XL No 4, Fall 2011). If then, one day, we teach someone chess, we are spreading the virus in the same fashion.
This virus infects our mind, it takes over parts of the brain, programming us with habits and instructions that point us away from where we should go. The virus directs us from what would otherwise give us a much better chess vision and ultimately a life-time enjoyment in the game.
The infection and resulting disease slow down our early progress in chess. Since this happens unconsciously, all we feel, as we go, is that chess becomes less fun, more of a drag. We all love success with our hard wired impulse to triumph. Without it, we may feel our motivation is slipping away. We may get less excited about chess than we did in the beginning. Finally, we may totally lose our confidence and interest in the game and - give up altogether.
The moment has come for us to raise our voices. There are moments when even the human conscience can take the stand and order chess educators to listen.
We can certainly begin to disinfect ourselves. What we need is a paradigm shift. This happens when one of the basic, underlying assumptions we’ve been living with, changes. Every paradigm shift takes time and lots of effort to penetrate the teaching community to start adopting it and, even longer, to become generally accepted.
The time has come for this old way of teaching to be replaced by a new one. No matter how dark the night may be, the horizon at the end must bathe in daylight.
Better chess starts with better chess vision.
Better chess vision starts with the concept of Force and piece Relations as pieces use and exchange Force while fighting chess battles.
It is there that the entire future lies.
And the future will, what is being done, come to pass.
This is the aim, this is the harbor. Until yesterday, it was only the truth, today it is a reality.
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art by Picasso, Blind minotaur led by a girl through the night (1934)
from the Volard suite, The Metroplitan Musem of Art, New York
Note: The manifest is structured after Victor Hugo’s manifest Pour la Serbie, 1876
"Il devient nécessaire d’appeler l’attention des gouvernements européens sur un fait tellement petit, à ce qu’il paraît, que les gouvernements semblent ne point l’apercevoir. Ce fait, le voici : on assassine un peuple. Où ? En Europe. Ce fait a-t-il des témoins ? Un témoin, le monde entier. Les gouvernements le voient-ils ? Non…"
Tags: chess education, chess teaching, chess learning, board vision, chess basics, chess fundamentals, chess force, piece relations