Wrestling against yourself, who you are vs. what you want to be.

Wrestling against yourself, who you are vs. what you want to be.

Jun 16, 2017, 6:16 AM |


Who I am naturally: although I don't want to admit it, probably a positional player who prefers quiet and risk-free positions.

Who I want to be: tactical calculating machine and combinational genius. 


Can someone possibly be dissatisfied with who they naturally are?


People who are naturally weak can say enough is enough and make a conscious effort to work out and be strong, or people who are fat can decide to make a conscious effort to exercise and become a fitness guru.

However, going against your own natural tendency or personality is a very hard thing to do.


Now, I'm not necessarily dissatisfied with my natural "style". 

After all, whether you win in an endgame in move 90 or win in a checkmating attack in move 19, it's all the same: a win = 1 point.

There is no style point in chess... not anything tangible anyways.

However, I want to be a tactician and an attacker, and this automatically puts me at the disadvantage of having to fight against your own self as well as your opponent.

So far, I have embraced it, and I think it is worth the fight, but nevertheless, I lose against myself sometimes and let my natural personality get the better of me during the game.


Ever since I wrote my last blog, I played only 7 games. (wow, right? that's not a lot I know.)

But I have enjoyed going over them in detail and annotating them.

I honestly think I learned more about myself by going over those 7 games than I did the past several months playing hundreds of blitz games, none of which I reviewed.

I learned about my tendencies, my thinking process, and my struggles as a player, where/when I play actively and where/when I chicken out.


This game was a good lesson for me, that sometimes, risk-free isn't always so risk-free.
I started off well, instead of following general principles blindly, I buckled down, calculated, and figured out that I am justified in breaking them in that particular positions.
In this, I am proud, because I have a history of missing good chances in the opening, because I dogmatically stick to "develop first" and play auto-pilot.
Even in middlegame, I fought to keep the initiative, answering his threats with stronger counter-threats, navigating the tactical jungle with sheer calculation.
However, what's more important than starting well is finishing well, and in that part, I failed, because I decided to chicken out and take the easy route.
If you have good technique, then risk-free way is the best.
But if you don't, well, you will sometimes throw away absolutely crushing positions.
I let my natural self get the better of me in time pressure, and that almost costed me.
My natural tendency is, when in doubt, liquidate into endgame.
I have to be comfortable in playing with many pieces on the board.


I will constantly refine my attacking skills and tactics, and I will continually challenge myself to resist the inner urge to play it safe.

I cannot be afraid of losing the nothing that I have.