This ones for you kw
Well it came to my attention a few days ago again, as it normally does every once in a while.. you notice a bad egg of sorts who claims that chess is a really fun game.. and that to achieve a level of understanding of the game which is too high, could potentially damage your level of enjoyment. So here is my feeble attempt at redemption of these types of people.. mainly me, and we'll see where this discussion goes.. perhaps we'll find kw playing 10 games a day at the end.. or we could just find people requesting a chess game with me.. either way both routes sound good to me
so here it is:
Throughout the various years of my life of chess i've grown through many different levels of play and understanding both on and off the board which have strengthened and characterized my play to what it is today. When I was young I began with just an understanding of how to use the pieces like checkers because i'd lost my checkers set. Watching my father and gradfather playing the real game caught my attention and i watched it closely to try and learn the rules. Shortly after I learned with a friend who's dad had taught him and we began play. At first, throughout my opponents, the person who won was the person who knew the rules. This went fine until all people knew the rules and we had reached a plateau. Everyone began winning the games equally and it was a lot of fun.. but we were losing interest fast. At this point it was much like playing pool with no practice.. everyone wins equally, it becomes almost like luck... until the day someone gets better and then they will always win from here on out. This of course is what happened. I began to figure methods to my play and I began to win, shortly after one other person began to clone my methods and we were both winners on a steady basis. Eventually we were at a plateau again. Everyone in the group had their techniques and patterns that they would play, everyone knew them.. noone was winning more than the next guy and again we were at a plateau. This plateau is quite common within a group of people playing chess but it is pivotal to your performance boost each time you reach a new level of understanding. The years went by and we were in the first couple years of highschool all with quite advanced skills with method play, but no real advanced understanding of the game. A teacher at the school with a chess background watched us play and instructed that we were only looking 2-3 moves ahead which is normal for most players who do not study the game.. Immediately i set to work studying books at the library, championship games, agreeing and disagreeing with their techniques and understanding their method of thought within the game.
This is the point that most advanced players reach and begin their plateau of learning. This is much like cracking and reversing.. those who crack decide they enjoy their skill level and feel that the way to get better is to get better at the skill.. these types you can find in the library, 5th floor, back corner, studying endless books of championship games and bitching at eachother about whether such and such in a game in 1971 was right or not. They beat their friends, so they feel on top of the world.. This is much like a small hacking irc network.. One guy is better than the rest, he becomes very arrogant as he feels superior to all.. when in the back of his mind there is the nagging thought that outside of the network he is nothing, so he doesn't leave. These people stay on the 5th floor and play eachother, never going to tournaments or anything because they are affraid of loss which is what they would most definitely get. You can also find these people online at play.yahoo.com in the chess rooms for reference
OR.. you can realize your position and understand that your brain patterns are not those of bobby fischers.. they are different, perhaps even better
and you can choose to take your own way home and find a method of play that fits your EXACT style of thought. when this happens you become one with the chess board, it becomes a moving breathing thing that is an extension to you and from which you can draw on the understanding of the player across from you at the battle of understanding and wisdom that makes up the most advanced play. you might say.. hmm i think this reminds me of mala's post on the +HCU understanding with a debugger. Perhaps this understanding can be attained within anything in life. I'm not sure.. but this essay will just deal with chess..
So it was then that i threw out all of my previous knowledge except of course my ability to play without thinking about moving, and being able to feel the pieces and where they can go and how i can make my move. These are basic things once you play consistently. At this point I began my losing streak. I lost perhaps 60% of the time, only winning against new players who were just starting out with the game. It wasn't until a few months later that I really got a handle on my play method and began to dig deep into the game.
Now this is where the game began to become interesting, 3,4,5,6,8, even 10 moves ahead I was thinking as i played steady about 8-10 games a day on average with anyone who would play and supplementing my games with games online in order to keep variety with my opponents. *NOTE* the current world champion thinks 16 moves ahead. At this time I also began teaching the people i played with about what i was learning.. some began memorizing old games.. some took my route.. over a period of another 3-4 years we finally got it, and there is very much more to understand then you would ever know, when not playing the game. At first the pieces are clumsy and awkward, then they become smooth and flowing with no direction, then you head for a direction but find that its redundant, you head for the open sea and find it is so vast you don't know what to do within it, you find your current and continually work to feel the current more and more and you become a real chess player
Hopefully this serves to enlighten some interest in those who have never studied the game. And no doubt it will probably stir the pot of skepticism for those who despise the game, but for the most part I hope this essay would do some good. Without talking to your opponent and just playing a good chess game, you can feel your opponents' emotions, their learning, their searching, and see them thinking and understanding the game from across the board. You see all of this and you whittle them down to the end when you finally checkmate, and you see them learn how they made their mistakes, and you as the teacher, both gain the feeling of teaching another, as well as beating them
what a great combination.
Devine Right [RET]
"Ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones"