Why is it that – during a game of chess – a grand master instantly comes up with the right tactical combination when there’s something to be found. Why is it that they come up with the right strategic plan time after time again? Even though they might take a lot of time during a game to make their moves, great moves are already generated in the very early beginning when they come up with their so-called candidate moves. What happens afterwards is that the grand master is going to rationalise why the specific moves they came up with, are good or not so good moves. Maybe they refute certain moves after further analysis but in general, the right move or best move has already come up in the very early beginning after a certain chess position arises.
THE GRANDMASTERS’ MIND
Why is it that a grand master comes up with good moves, bright ideas in the first place, straight away, whereas a beginning chess player is more likely not to? We want to zoom in on the thinking process starting from the moment a position arises on the board until the different ideas, different candidate moves are generated. A chess grand master already has the right move within them. They only have to let it come to the surface and they know that. Knowing that they can find it is one thing, actually coming up with it during a game is another. Now it’s important to realise they can’t force it to come to the surface as that would work in a counterproductive way; force negates. They just let it come up naturally in a relaxed state of mind. Have you ever wondered why so many great chess players have that aura of calmness and serenity around them?
Chess grand masters tap into a big pool of internalised chess patterns. The bigger this pool and the deeper these patterns are rooted in the mind, the more likely they will come to the surface and the quicker they will be generated.
So why is it that these great moves are already preloaded within them? Are they just lucky to be gifted with an inborn talent to come up with the right ideas? Or did they develop this ability through experience, great work ethic and the right attitude?
As Joshua Waitzkin’s quote suggests, a big part of the answer can be found in their mindset. In the first place, they have a strong belief that the right ideas will come up and thus they expect them to come up. This expectation brings them in a relaxed state of mind where everything comes naturally. Having gone through these thought processes over and over again, they have gained a deep understanding of the different steps involved in the idea generation process. In order to maximise the probability of generating great ideas, they have accumulated an extensive arsenal of chess positions that they can recognise in a fraction of a second over the board. They’ve seen the same patterns over and over again in their mind and have made that connection in their brains much like the formation of a neural network. The important part which is often missed is that they strengthen newly formed neural connections straight away by means of repeating them in their mind. They don’t allow the learnings to be lost. This is why great chess players analyse their own games, identify their mistakes and learn from them straight away after finishing their game, not letting the flaw repeat itself in their next game.
IMPROVE YOUR CHESS
In order to improve your chess, many different approaches exist and many of them are very helpful. You can play tons of games online and in tournaments. You can memorize hundreds of different opening variations. You can read a big pile of chess books on opening theory, middle game strategies and end game mastery. You can hire a chess coach who brings out the best in you and motivates you to keep going no matter what happens. All of them will help you improve in chess as you’ll be exposed to many different chess positions during those practices and thus increasing the area of your own pool of chess patterns. However, more often than not, the improvements made are of a temporary nature. With periods of less frequent practice passing by, the chess concepts, once clearly understood, appear to be found only after a long quest in the dusty recesses of our minds. The result is that hours of training in which the same lessons have to be learned once again have to be spent to familiarise oneself again with those concepts. In other words, the pool of chess patterns has grown very wide, but the chess patterns haven’t been internalised yet. What would it be like if we could reduce those periods of re-learning? If we could eliminate those frustrations of having to delve up those lessons we’ve already studied so many times? Chessimo’s training modules are designed in such a way that the chess patterns accumulated during a training session are internalised immediately by means of the repetitive design of the modules. In other words, with each Chessimo training session, the pool of chess patterns not only grows in size, but the chess patterns studied will be internalised and rooted straight away through constant spaced repetition of the same chess patterns. Chessimo will give you results that stick. In this way the likelihood of recognising chess patterns when being faced with a chess problem in a real game is maximised. We want to build and grow our pool of internal chess positions to such an extent that it becomes more and more easy to recognise the chess pattern arising on the board.
Chess grand masters tap into a big pool of internalised chess patterns. The bigger this pool and the deeper these patterns are rooted in the mind, the more likely they will come to the surface and the quicker they will be generated. By using Chessimo on a daily basis, you will build your own pool of internalised chess patterns, growing it day after day, giving you results that stick.
How much has your pool of chess patterns grown by using Chessimo? Leave us a message in the comments!