Getting better in Chess for the starters

Getting better in Chess for the starters

rajuppi
rajuppi
Mar 30, 2017, 8:32 PM |
0

GETTING BETTER IN CHESS FOR THE STARTERS

 I happened to be in a Training session with one of the players who happened to be much elder to me and he has all the Life’s wisdom and experiences. During the session, he remarked that Why don’t you share the secrets of Chess with me!!! Wouldn’t that be better, if you do that instead of the usual training that we are doing....

How would you have answered this question to someone who is very knowledgeable and more experienced in Life? A routine answer would not have been convincing enough. I told him that “the secrets are the things that are not known to you at that point of time. Just because they are not known to you, they do not become secrets”

This article is about getting better in Chess. The good part is that there is no end to getting better in Chess. Even the World Champion needs to get better, else he will not remain where he is.

I write this article for the players who have started the journey and wish to travel forward in the field of Chess. Let’s take this forward from this introduction.

 Getting better at Chess, Now that you have known the way the Pieces move            

You might be happy when you have learnt the rules of Chess but know the following truth.

  • Others have learnt that as well
  • They are also motivated to play and win
  • They are also working hard

Therefore do the following

  • Be aware of the above facts. And yes, illegal move takes place at this level and you will win and lose lots of game through this tool
  • Work even more hard on your Chess
  • Try to generate higher level of motivation to play and win
  • Have a learning attitude, its not about winning or losing. Be a lifelong learner; you will win in the long run
  • And last but not the least, do not think that you have time and age on your side. Don’t wait for yourself to grow in age later. The best time to grow is now instead of waiting for future years.

 Getting better at Chess, Now that you have won some School level events

Getting past the starting level is good when you are ensuring that you don’t make illegal moves and don’t lose through blunders. Having a school level standing is a good way forward but be aware of the following for sure.

  • You are not the only one out there.
  • Others are also working hard and some may be working harder.
  • At this level, there is a big jump in the expectations here. Lots of the expectations are from your friends and parents and from yourself as well. At times parents and coaches try to boost your confidence by doing a lot of praise. Don’t let that take you over. There will be no overnight success.

Therefore do the following

  • Continue to work hard. The upper you go, the harder you need to work
  • Be confident about yourself but don’t get overconfident. There is a fine line of difference between the two. You need to be careful. If you are not careful. you would not know which side you are on,
  • Do not come under pressure from the expectations.
  • Try to get a Coach or a Mentor at this level and above. As to why is a separate subject, but take my word for it.

 Getting better at Chess, Now that you have won some Open Tournaments

At this stage, you have won some Open tournaments and you have results to believe that you have a good potential. At this level, be aware of the following.

  • You are not the only one out there.
  • Others are also working hard and some may be working harder.
  • At this level, the field is really competitive. At these levels, the players are highly motivated and committed. You must work very hard at this level and above.

Therefore do the following

  • Continue to work hard. The upper you go, the harder you need to work
  • Have a lot of faith in yourself from now onwards. There is a difference in faith and confidence. Know that difference.
  • Do not come under pressure from the expectations.
  • Establish a good rapport with your Coach. The Coach needs to understand you but you also need to understand the Coach. It’s a team work, remember.
  • Try to work regularly at this stage onwards. Regular Chess work gives better results and confidence, instead of working 14 hours at a stretch in a month.
  • Focus on learning rather than winning. If you are a good learner, you will learn from all the games and if you are focused on winning, then you may not learn from all your games.
  • Learn to be critical about yourself. The Coach may not do it all the time. Learn the lesson of objectivity which is a very powerful tool. If you can’t take criticism, then you might as well give up playing.

Getting better at Chess, Now that you are short of having an International Rating

At this stage, you have won some Open tournaments and you have had some draws and wins against International players in Open tournaments. At this level, be aware of the following.

  • You are not the only one out there.
  • Others are also working hard and some may be working harder.
  • At this level, the field is becoming Professional. At these levels, its not only about you but its going to be a teamwork between you, your parents and your Coach.
  • Don’t be too sure of reaching there, till you get there.

Therefore do the following

  • Continue to work hard. This will always be the first mantra for success. Forget about the talent. With hard work you can create talent. Talent without hard work is a waste.
  • Have a lot of faith in yourself. Don’t let bad results change your faith, should that happen.
  • Do not restrict your potential by going for mutually accepted draws. Maintain the attitude of the winner instead of being happy with mutually accepted draws.
  • Analyse all your games that you play. Show the good ones to your Coach and share your lessons of the game with your Coach. Ask him if your lessons are correct.
  • At this level, focus on the full understanding of the game rather than winning from the opening and cheap traps. Are you learning the game in all the phases ie Opening, Middlegame and Endings.
  • Start forming a good belief system about yourself. Remember that a good belief system is independent of the results which do fluctuate at these levels.
  • Look at the graph of your games. See the consistency if you have one. I can assure you that most of the players lack consistency at this level. Can you hold on to a winning position or a draw. I think that most of you would fail here.
  • Look at your alertness levels. You might be happy solving puzzles given by your Coach or the Chess club but remember that in real life you won’t be told to solve a mate in 2 by your opponent. Can you spot that moment of opportunity when the game is on. World Champions miss such opportunity at times. Know that and raise your alertness levels
  • Are you a Warrior. A Warrior is the one who fights without worrying too much about the win or the defeat part. If this is worrying you then you are not a warrior for sure. Try to develop yourself as a Warrior. It will pay off in the long term.
  • Can you withstand the pressure of losing and poor performance? Everyone goes through their share of losses and poor performance. Even the World Champion becomes a laughing stock of the Amateurs when this happens. Should that happen, then there is a need to focus on yourself and the game instead of the people and their reactions. Remember that your parents and coach are your best support systems. Take help from them by chatting and sharing your thoughts with them.
  • Just remember at this stage, that if you continue to work hard at this stage; you will be there. Lots of people give up at this stage, when they are almost short of being an International player. Continue to work hard and have faith and belief in yourself.

Getting better at Chess, Now that you have an International Rating

Ah, at last. You have reached here. I know that its been a long article and a lengthy journey. You are an International player now. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles” That’s a famous quote by  Sun Tzu in the book; The Art of War.

You need to do the following at this level onwards

  • Remember, its good to celebrate but after the celebrations, the work begins again. I mean the; hard work.
  • You may have a rating but don’t get obsessed with that. Focus on the games. The rating of your opponent and yours is an indicator of the strength but it may not be accurate on a given day or time. On a given day, a player rated about 1000 may beat the World Champion. Play at the board and with the pieces and not the rating.
  • At times you may lose or win lots of rating points; given the form you are in. At these levels it’s the results averaged out in the long run that matter. Maintain a good and steady graph of hard work and learning.
  • Spend good amount of time studying the Classics.
  • At these levels, you may have a desire to beat your Coach now that you have learnt a lot from him. Don’t get into that. The Coach is also a player but a player is not a Coach. This difference you will not understand at this stage. Try to learn from the Coach rather than showing off your knowledge.
  • While playing a higher rated player, don’t get scared. They are also humans and will make mistakes if you are patient enough.
  • Play good and fighting Chess and don’t try to chicken out with draws in winning positions against stronger players.
  • Spend a lot of time analyzing your games. That is one of the best tools there is and has stood the test of time. Have your games overseen by your Coach who will be able to tell you your strengths and weaknesses. Take my word for it that. Your Coach will always know a bit more about you than you. Trust that and act on that.
  • Try to play lots of tournaments. Hard work and preparation is good but you need to get the practical over the board experience as well. You need to dive in the tournament play at regular intervals.
  • Last and not the least, be objective. Learn to have a balanced view of all the aspects of the game. Its pretty much easy to laugh over the blunders and mistakes made by others who may be even GMs/IMs. Remember that these things can happen to you as well. Learn from the mistakes of others.

 The story could go on as there is no end to learning. Remember that in the beginning of the article, I had stated that “the secrets are the things that are not known to you at that point of time. Just because they are not known to you, they do not become secrets”

 The above are the tools to find out your secrets. Happy finding and may you get better and better and better ....