Sunday, December 30, 2012

Competitive chess Training Part 1 - Investing time

Personally I always take the most from articles that list 10 tips or 5 things... so I'd figure I'd put together some tips for aspiring COMPETIVE chess players. Rather than just listing and providing a quick description... I feel like it would be better to tackle each topic a little more in-depth.

Also note I won't go into depth on chess tactics.... This is for an obvious reason I"ll explain in a key article. However, I'll answer any questions you may have.

Tip:  Having fun and investing time
I truly believe a competitive chess player should invest and honest of 3-4 hours a day minimal with their chess.... This seems daunting and excessive but consider this. 

Chess is a game and it should be fun. Do you ever find yourself spending 4 hours a day doing fun things. Watching TV, hanging out with friends, surfing the net, hitting the gym. I think while we may hesitate to admit it unless you are working/sleeping an accumulation of 20 hours which is possible... the only excuse you have for not investing the time is that chess is that it's just not fun like you may have thought before reading this article. This is not a knock on you as a person if you don't enjoy chess for 4 hours. There is nothing wrong with watching TV for 4 hours a day as far as I'm concerned. You can get by investing 30 minutes a day and just play for fun. However, unless you are indeed destined to be good at chess it's important to know the reality of any competitive/ professional lifestyle.

Think about how much time you spend at work/school. If you are  doing well at work you realise it's because you've been doing it for 8 hours a day. Did you ever consider that whatever you are doing at work you are a professional at? If you bag groceries for a living... you are a professional grocery bagger. That's because first... you are being paid to do so... second... consistently performing at an invest-worthy rate requires a certain level of expertise/training to maintain your job. If you snicker at this concept because "bagging groceries is easy and anyone can do it" you are littering taking for granted the effort a professional acquires which is kinda sad. Either that or may think of yourself better than people who take pride in their "lesser job"... which is considerably worse in my own opinion.

More food for thought, at work hopefully you have time to socialize, discuss and brainstorm topics of work parameters, rest etc... So you are technically not just physically working 8 hours straight. In whatever you do the best way to learn is to ponder, watch video, study, practice and compete/perform and not just try one method blindly for the entirety of your time period.

This is slightly out off topic but worth noting... but generally chess players tend to do well after playing for several years. People who start competitively at a younger age 5- 14 generally tend to performing at high levels of play around 10 years. Those picking up the game later might take significantly longer to get it. I'm taking 20 years. Most of this is due to mental growth. Though this is generally speaking and you could very well be an exception having never actually playing the game. Starting late is hardly an excuse to never start at all considering while there have been extremely young prodigies of chess, the age bracket for professionals in chess can extend to a person's lifespan. I began attending tournaments when I was 14... 2 years after studying the game competitively. Chess basically popped for me in my 10th year as I began keeping up with experienced professionals.

Now... after all of this it might help put things in perspective. However, don't simply write chess off of you're world championship goals if you think I can't spend 4 hours a day playing chess. In almost anything you do for a career there's always that thought that "sheeze... that's a lot of time to invest. I'd be miserable". Truth is, if you enjoy playing chess and have a desire to compete... Then Congrats!!!

As I've eluded to earlier in this article it's very easy to spend 4 hours on fun things. Once you learn a few cool practice tips not only will you feel a bit more accomplished but you might just feel that 4 hours a day isn't quite enough chess fun for you. 

Keep reading for those tips

Next Discussion >> Competitive chess Training Part 2 - Becoming an Educated Player

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