How to improve at Chess. Tip 2: The Sponge Method

Jul 2, 2007, 4:54 PM |

What comes to your mind when you think of a sponge?

For me,

1: immersion into a liquid/water.

2: sucking up the liquid/water (quickly).

There are several ways to immerse yourself in Chess and suck up all these ideas/moves/scenarios that come up in Chess.

a.) Play as many games as you can. Hopefully, each game will be different. The more games you play, the more things you will see and, hopefully, learn from.

b.) Go through as many recorded games as you can. If you have time, you can analyze them or annotate them. But for me, I just went through tons of games. I can say that I have seen... 100,000 games. I am kidding. I don't know. But there were days when I just went to a database of chess games (I think we have a database here, so I will not give you a link to an outside one.) - and I played hundreds of games in one day. Usually for a specific GM that I like. Believe it or not, your brain will capture a ton of ideas without you knowing it.

c.) Read a chess book dealing with a particular theme in one day or less. Just play through everything that is in the book. Read quickly, set up the board quickly, and play through the moves quickly. Be done with it. You can come back to it if you want to analyze stuff.

The thing is, go through a ton of stuff. Your brain will retain a bunch of ideas/concepts/moves/tricks/traps/....

One other thing... when I am playing Chess, I find it easier to deal with something I have seen before than something I haven't. Going through tons of games, either through actual games or through study increases the chances that you will have seen whatever you encounter, at least once, in your life. I think that is one reason why GMs are a lot better than the rest of us.

disclaimer: i am not a proponent of blitz!

My $0.02

For tip#3 click here.

For tip#1 click here.