Chess as a Language

Archivado en (Mejora tu Ajedrez) por PHILOCHESS el 31-05-2011

Every language consists of words. Words are the fundamental units of communication. Of course words are made up of letters but let’s remember when in our childhood we learned to speak our own language. Was it letters or words that allowed us to communicate to each other? Of course it was words. The first words we said were “daddy”, “mama” or other ones related to our environment. Then all the other words came. Then phrases followed words. And with the phrases, the conquest of oral communication. In chess we follow the same logic. Or it would be better to say that we should follow the same logic. Most chess players who want to improve their play often begin studying some opening lines, the importance of center, basic mates (like the known “scholar’s mate”) and reviewing some tactics. Then they do a deeper study about some openings, make tactical exercises and play games. Some of them spend even many hours playing blitz as a form of “training”. But very few chess players pay attention to the following topics I will mention below:

1. Endgames study
2. Thought process
3. Revision of classical games
4. Analysis of their own games
5. Time management during the game

The above points are some of the more important “words” that constitute the language of chess. It is clear that all other aspects of chess are important and should be studied. But doing it before attending the points I listed above (or without even attending them) is like building the roof before making the foundations of a house. During my lessons I usually follow a logical method of teaching chess, trying to first show the “words”. Once the student has made contact with these “words”, he/she is better able to understand more complex aspects of chess. Ultimately, this process results in saving time and a real improvement in their playing strength. At this point I want to ask you two questions:

1. How long have you been studying chess, reviewing hundreds of games and/or acquiring dozens of books, without achieving a significant improvement in your play?

2. How many tournaments have you played obtaining the same result of being on mid-table or even on the last places?

If you are tired of trying all the methods that promised a significant improvement but ultimately meant little or no increase in your chess ability or in your performance in tournaments, I invite you to contact by Ficha de Contacto. I also invite you to follow my articles in the section Mejora tu Ajedrez, on this same website of Mundo Ajedrez, which I assure you will further ignite your curiosity about what it means to really improve in chess.

Robert M. Cuadros
May 2011

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