vrijdag 30 juni 2017

Result! Result? Nah, its love that counts!

Time to write again. I dont know what but I hope it's interesting.

Every three months a new rating list is published in Belgium. Last time I lost 5 rating points, this time I gained 5 points, with other words, I am back at 1843 national rating. One could say a 6 months stand still. No gain, no loss, equality.

The last month I read books, not chess books but books about coaching. Like "Development of chess talent". from Karel Van Delft. A good book, if you are a trainer / coach certainly  a must read. I give chess lessons on sunday at my chess club so ... .

But it learned me also something else. Something I, and I guess also Chris Wainscott, am doing wrong. Namely that we put to much emphasis on result and not on our love for the game. Improvement has nothing to do with result, 1-0 or 0-1 or 1/2-1/2 doesn't matter.

What matters is that one loves the game. Love means doing your best, play a wonderfull game of chess, putting it all out there, doing the hard work that is necessary. Forget about results, forget about rating. If you improve to a certain strenght your rating will follow. So love chess while working on improving and the rest will follow.

Have fun!

maandag 12 juni 2017


I made an account on Lichess so that I can test how quick I can get to 2000+ rating, if I can get to 2000+ that is.

Any bets on how quick, or not at all, I will reach my goal?

Have fun playing chess!

maandag 5 juni 2017

The never ending study

What do you do when it's a heatwave, when even lifting a finger breaks you out in sweat? How on earth could you then focus on chess when your brain is fried by the sun? Praying your home owner gives you airconditioning? Will not help at the moment you need it namely right now.

So with the braincells who still wanted to work, many were on heat strike, I thought why not rewatch the broadcasts of the US Championship 2017 on you tube? That way you wont have to move and you still get great chess entertainment.

So for hours on end I have been seeing Hikaru, Fabian, Wesley, Ray, Var, Nazi, Irena, Anna, Tatev, ... at work while their labour was picked at by Yasser, Jennifer and Maurice. Interesting analysis of positions by a human (Yasser) and a machine (Maurice explaining). It makes me wonder how some become so good at it while many can only shake their head and wonder why they not have that skill?

Practise makes perfect they say. play a lot and even more. But a human cannot base his chess moves only on brute force analyse the entire game like a computer can. He needs knowlegde to base the soundness of his moves and we know that there is plenty of chess knowlegde. So to become good one has to do lots of work, not only during the game but also when not playing.

Studying chess theory for many hours, not only openings- but also middlegame- and endgame techniques, You can study them out of books, or with video lessons or by the explanation of a chess teacher. Doesn't matter how you study as long you do study and try to learn al those techniques so you can remember them by heart.

You will not need  every technique all the time. Sometimes it can take ages before you can apply a learned technique during a chess game. But when the time is there you must know the technique and apply it correctly.

I am lacking in both fields, I have plenty of chess knowlegde, like many of us patzers do, but still there is plenty to learn.  I am also lacking in applying it all the right time and in the correct way, when the position on the board demands it.

To say it with the words of the great chess trainer of India, GM RB Ramesh:

" Progress in chess involves continuous self-introspection, learning new skills and unlearning bad qualities in our thinking process"

Especially the word "continuous" is important here. It"s a never ending chess study, there is always room for improvement.

Have fun playing chess.