Going for a Title: Chapter 3 "More Than Just Squares"
"Don't see the board as just squares; you need to see it as ranks, files, and diagonals." When I heard my coach say this, I immediately began to look at the board differently. There was a sudden paradigm shift; I wasn't just looking at a square as a territory to occupy, defend, or attack, but as part of a bigger picture. It was also a surreal realization and dream come true when it clicked that I was talking to and studying directly with a chess expert and FIDE certified coach from India.
Thanks to modern technology, I have been given some incredible opportunities to grow. I now have the honor of studying under a coach who is the former team mate of a world chess champion in their sub junior and junior nationals, and who has also trained two GMs. Indeed if it wasn't for Twitter, Skype, or chess.com I would never have had the capabilities to study under a master from Chennai or make some of the great friends I have. Beyond my coach and other master players, I have also had the incredible honor of being able to communicate with experts in the mind, experts like Amy Morin. If you don't know who Amy Morin is, please watch her powerful and moving Ted Talk on YouTube. Amy has authored several highly acclaimed books on mental strength and took the time to share some articles and message with me. Since much of the game we all love is mental, coaching and guidance in this aspect has proven to be vital.
I recently played a game where I felt a lot of what my coach had said just "click". I didn't wait to develop my pieces or castle. I also made sure that I TOOK MY TIME and thought about what my opponent wanted to do, not just my own desires. Most of all, I kept my pieces active instead of letting them be passive. And, also important, I got # with my knight!
My coach said another line which has become my mantra when I start thinking about a wild move; "you must know the rules before you break them." Indeed I have a habit of trying daring maneuvers or stepping out of my comfort zone. I can be a maverick and play wild moves someday, but that day isn't here yet. In the future I can make moves like Anthony Miles or Paul Morphy, but for now, I am focusing on the basics, studying tactics, working on puzzles, and writing. I'll have lots more to share with you soon, but for now, I need to get back to studying and practice!
If you'd like to play a game, please send an unrated challenge or follow me on Twitter @danschultzchess