Improve in chess – that's what most amateur chess players are after.
Well, maybe not all of us wants to be a grandmaster. That would be too daunting of a task. BUT to achieve expert or even near-chess master level, why NOT?
IM Jeremy Silman, NM Dan Heisman, GM Igor Smirnov, Alexander Vaisman – these well known coaches and chess trainers all agree that it's very doable with consistent effort. So the question is: why only a handful have succeeded ?!
There are many reasons why. BUT the most common one is this: many chess amateurs out there are trying to improve in chess too quickly. In simpler terms, their chess improvement expectations are UNREALISTIC!
The Dark Side Of Trying To Improve In Chess Too Hard
"Parents of talented children want their child to improve in chess immediately. It's as if they are investing in stocks and they want a quick ROI (Return Of Investment) – through tournaments won, cash prizes, International Master or Grandmaster norms, etc.
The end result – the child cannot stand the pressure. After joining those Under-12 or Under-10 international chess tournaments, he quits chess before he even turns 20! Do you know any of those child prodigies – who were pressured by their parents, that had a successful chess career after they have turned 20? I know none! "
Well, except Boris Avrukh – adds Alexander Vaisman, the Kharkov chess coach who came to be known as the best trainer in Ukraine. Now, don't quote me on that one. It may NOT be exactly what he said BUT I'm sure you get the drift.
Bottom line: trying to improve in chess too quickly is HARMFUL. Worse, it will kill your love for the game. True, there are a couple of shortcuts in chess improvement like placing more attention on tactics, focusing on your weak areas, etc.
BUT that's not the problem. The problem with many chess players (including me back then) is that they want to improve so quickly it's NOT realistic. And this leads to frustration – for kids and adults alike!
My Own Story And Tragedy
"To reach 2200 ELO after a year!" that was the goal I imposed to myself after buying a bunch of chess books. Well, compared to others who are thinking of making it to GM-level within a short span of time, this goal of mine is 'modest'.
Still, though, this is too far fetched … too far off from reality. Long story short, things didn't turn out my way. After a year of study, I'm still getting kicked around at the local chess club. Though I was on the 'giving end' sometimes, I'm clearly still too far from being the chess master I wanted to be.
The result: I fell out of love with the royal game. A 2-year hiatus followed, turning me into a rusty player who could lose to anybody. YES, even to someone who's just shuffling the chess pieces. Is that your idea of how to improve in chess?
When you impose unrealistic chess improvement goals to yourself, you take away the number one compensating and motivating factor: the fun of the game!
Source by Jan Jan Esguerra