Sunday, January 27, 2013

Competitive Chess Training Part 5 - Understanding of Talent

In the last article we've discussed the stages of a players progression and development. By now you should have somewhat of a road-map. Now, I was gonna talk about something completely different but this week I want to discuss "talent" and what role it plays in chess.

Understanding talent in competition is important because an assumption of a given player's potential can drastically influence the effort of performance. This article will be good or bad depending on your agenda. It will be good as it dispells a few myths about natural limitations, while at the same time it will relieve you of any excuse and possibly overwhelm you as to what effort it takes to be successful at the game, on and off the board.

So first lets identify what talent is. I think of talent as a natural feature. Many people like to think of talent as a sort of intangible essence allowing a person to easily succeed. While this is true at the stretch of the imagination, it's an extension of something much simpler. My argument is simply that not all talented people will succeed depending on a variety of factors both internal and external.

The point I would like to elaborate is that I don't believe anyone is truly "talented at chess". We are all talented and unique in some specific way. So what makes a player appear to be born to win at chess. Aside from some particular effort and experience a person can use their talents as an advantage or tool to their chess game. A creative person can design amazing tactics or combination while a person with great focus will be able to analyze critical details of a given position above expectation. The key is that they are creative or they have good vision. These are talents that can be applied to many activities and not chess chess.

No matter what talent you possess you must make it a factor of the game in a way that favors you. You always want to make your advantage the dominating theme of the game. Even if you don't win you will perform with more confidence and gusto. In addition and it will be easier to overview you games to see where you can improve.

Truth is, if you accept that your potential in chess is limited because you aren't talented, your ability to use your talents to their full potential will be dictated by your opponent. It can take years to hours to discover your talents depending on how honest and involved you are and there's no secret trick. Unfortunately for those who are withdrawn, it can be difficult for overly introverted people to discover more of themselves. Not saying that introverted people can't discovered their talents, more or less an outgoing person will more often put themselves in  a better position to test their strengths and weaknesses.

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