I have been passionate about chess since childhood, however, never having the right opportunities or guidance to make sustained progress. At this point of time, I am hoping to have a personal improvement plan which sorts of rigorously tells me how to do things to improve my game and hence rating.
The motivation for seeking this is simple.. without it I get lost after a while and it affects my passion for the game.
I had an issue a few months back in which I had a load of spare time to invest in chess.
I trained viciously practically 8-10 hours a day. I got to a stage after about 3 weeks where I became so frustrated at my lack of progress in my game. I would look over games and be very angry with myself for stupid mistakes I would overlook while playing.
I managed to reach roughly 1900 in local tournaments, and yet that was not enough to help me enjoy the game.
I am rambling a bit here, but in a nutshell don't train to hard or take it too seriously or you could end up in my position where it becomes hard to enjoy the game.
My Grandfather used to teach me when I was little. he had a rating of 2200ish and would train me for about 7-8 hours a week. I felt this was a good balance.
Whatever you do, try not to loose your passion.
Elona you have come to the correct conclusion when the game is affecting your mental balance and judgement its time to ease up on the throttle.
I am retired and enjoy all my chess endevours very much. I like to solve problems as well. By problems I do not mean those that are taken from games to improve your play but rather those that are artistic works created to puzzle and impress you with their beauty.
I hope that you find when you relax that the your game improves. We cannot force ourselves to be good at anything but the enjoyment of chess makes naturally strive to be better.
Both of your asnwers are very helpful. I guess my subconscious intention was to start a dialogue with like minded people on matters of common interest. I also tried to look up some coaches on chess.com and again, just getting theirs and yours responses is helping stimulate my thought process and I recalled some of the ideas I tried in past.
Since I haven't been coached ever (now I sort of remember that I have tried self coaching by reading chess books, but intermittently), I think having a coach will help me talk out my ideas and get some interaction. If any of you can spare the time, please let the time.
Each individual's situation, like every problem, is unique and we need to adapt the solution framework to fit the problem. So I am taking all responses and taking the time to think through options and payback before making my move.
Elona, feel free to ramble to me anytime. It is 'mindblowing' to know somebody whose grandfather had a 2200 rating.
As they say here, the idea is to build friendships around chess, to bring enjoyment in life through chess.
thanks for taking the time to respond.
I was not working at the time of the insane study, and my rather obsessive fascination with things helped with the "must... learn... more..." mentality I was going through.
I like posting this...
Your post is interesting for many reasons, but especially because it raises common questions, which are never answered well by the professionals.
let’s hope you will help me understand and look for a better explanation.
Personally I don’t know how a non-professional can train for 8-10 hours a day, because in my opinion would bring right away to overtraining, with the classical problem of being too tired for having a good performance. I do believe some people suffering from some psych disorder can have these kind of performances, they are obsessively doing something for 8-10 more hours a day, and then when the period ends they are literally depressed, and feel emptied.
Again, just a couple of weeks ago WGM Pogonina was writing upon this topic saying that some beginners ask her: “I want to become a GM in 1-2 years, any advice?” From some of the research made also in other competitive fields, the answer is 8-10-12 hours a day. For at least 10 years (not 2-3 months or 2 years). In chess, being a field where there is no money, generally young children can become GMs, because they have no responsibilities, and the parents pay. But having money (1 million dollars, which is approx. what an adult makes if he/she has a master/PhD in 10 years), time, and coaches (of course if someone doesn’t care about chess, he/she will not care about pursuing a career in such field) every adult can become a GM (again some people mistakes becoming a GM with being one of the top ten, I’m just speaking of making 3 norms over 2500, not being one of those with a rating of +2700, otherwise Korchnoi wouldn’t be a GM).
Another objection is that many adults who are masters or IM never make it to GM, but again that objection doesn’t address the above mentioned factors: money, time, family, all responsibilities that children don’t have, but adults do! Now for adults I don’t mean someone 60 or more, that evidently can be quite distraught from life, diseases and so on, but someone like 25-30 which still has energy, and interest in life for pursuing something new. No offence (because in US everyone must be Politically Correct) but some old folks could have their right place in the Cairo Museum with the other mummies, and nobody would even understand if they are alive.
Now let’s return to the training topic. Let’s say you were really training for that amount of time, then the first thing a person should do, under a coach (because that is the truth: all the professionals who train those hours have coaches) is to take an assessment of his/her chess knowledge, and then the coach will direct the player toward the right material. Did you have a coach?
How did you divide the day? How many hours studying tactics? How many hours studying endgames? Middlegame? Calculation? Openings?
Notice that many of the above mentioned categories have subcategories, just to make an example, for openings I don’t mean necessarily memorization (which of course it is really important), but knowledge of the pawn structure and the endgame that opening will bring the player into. If the player using that opening doesn’t know which endgame or doesn’t know how to play it, then the study itself is a waste of time. Again, often from books or playing games is not possible to understand the intrinsic value of a pawn structure, the plans for the middlegame or which endgame will bring the player into. For this reason the coach is important for the true development of the player.
About your grandfather the 7-8 hours a week depend on what the goal is. The Polgar sisters were trained for 8 or more hours a day, and as we can see Judit has destroyed all the stupid biases and prejudices about women being less strong than men in chess. Susan has been world champion till the moment FIDE didn’t decide to give the title to China, and the youngest sister was really above and beyond.
I don’t believe enjoying the game has something to do with learning it. Just an example, the millions of people who watch football or baseball don’t practice it, or surely don’t train for it, but just enjoy that sport watching it.
However, as mentioned before, I do believe passion and love of the game do play a role in achieving a GM level. For example Botvinnik never really enjoyed chess, for him was a job, and he was a public figure, so he had to get a good result no matter what. While Fischer truly loved the game like nobody else, he would finish a hard tournament, and then go right away to play at the Marshall club blitz games till night.
Dave, you got a minute---let me explain the difference between Judit Polgar (or any of the Polgar sisters) and Bobby Fischer. When Bobby was a young boy he fell in love with chess. He went to summer camp every summer, he went to public schools . he swam whenever he got the chance and played stickball in the streets of Brooklyn, but chess was the apple of his eye.
Judit has written---My fate was determined for me before I was born. My dad had decided I would be a chessmaster. I did not go to school. My dad had masters, IMs and GMs come to my home and teach me. I studied and played chess 8-10 hrs a day.
Dave are you beginning to detect a subtle difference here ? Bobby truly fell in love with chess and Judit had chess thrust upon her. She was an experiment---a guinea pig (as were her sisters).
Lets look at Kasparov. He had a pretty normal childhood. Went to public school, swam, played soccer etc., etc. By the way, Kasparov refers to Judit as lassie because she was trained like a dog.
When you say "Judit has destroyed all the stupid biases and prejudices about women being less strong than men in chess"---that is pure ignorance. Its not a bias---women are less strong than men. Why do they have separate titles---why do they have separate tournaments?
My own personal opinion is if all the women had the special treatment that Judit received as a kid---they would still be weaker than men and still require separate tournaments and separate titles.
When you say "I don’t believe enjoying the game has something to do with learning it. Just an example, the millions of people who watch football or baseball don’t practice it, or surely don’t train for it, but just enjoy that sport watching it."
Chessplayers dont sit around watching chess like baseball fans, or football fans.The only time Chess becomes a spectator sport is when something truly remarkable takes place---Fischer-Spassky 72' as an example.
ok, guys, we are not talking about becoming grandmasters, yet. Also, feel free to have your opinion while respecting the same right for others. I like discussions to be passionate but not heated.
davidepgc and raul have valid points, in my view, if somebody wants to subscribe to them. If not, they can subscribe to contra views.
The only thing history has taught me is that most things work, depending on the person. There is no single right path in life.
I love that one... I have had a lot of these.. and built some of my own as well.
Maybe for adults with responbilities it is the only way that works.. if we can make it work..
Thank you. I see you're from Milwaukee! He and his wife Rose Powers lived on the lake for 40+ years. They're both gone now, but I they are still with me.