Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Study vs Natural Talent

You're a seasoned tourney player, you've studied plenty of theory and you're all booked-up. Condident in your "chess education", one day you sit across the board to play blitz against some guy, whose name is "Parramatta" (would you believe?), who has never read a single line of theory and bang[!] - he whips you. Thank God that didn't happen to me today - but, it did happen to a strong player. Poor fellow. He couldn't believe it.


ignacio dee said...

Ah, this is the age-old phenomenon of many club players. If I know more theory than him, why can't i beat him, says the bookworm. The natural player turns up his nose with disdain over his foes' notebooks and informants, saying all he knows is to memorize moves!

There is no clear-cut answer since cases differ. But there are certain danger signs: lack of killer instinct, tendency to memorize opening moves, tendency to relax when getting a good position against a inferior but scrappy player and just laziness.

We can prescribe doses of informants, game bases and books, but if the player doesn't have good study habits, he won't advance.

A very critical approach to your game helps. Don't be afraid to look yourself in the morning and ask yourself why you keep allowing that !?! to escape.

Your model should be Alekhine's On the Road to the World Championship.

Natural players tend to be superficial since they know they can wiggle out of bad positions using tactics. But they seldom study hard as they are confident of themselves.

The hard worker has to take time to assimilate information and test his schemes before using them in tournaments. He tends to over-refine his moves, neglecting tactical possibilities.

But when the hard worker gets going, his feel for position is sometimes better than the natural player.

There must be a mix between these two styles. If one can achieve this, he can earn good money teaching and coaching!

Bradley Loh said...

Hard work + talent = success. You definitely can't have one without the other.

No shame in losing to "Parramatta" though. The guy is a counter-attacker. Just take up all the space he gives you (eg. his pawn structure is characterised by d6, e6, b6 and g6) and let him choke himself.

ignacio dee said...

against counterattackers, it is helpful to tighten evaluation and accuracy of calculation. there are many models here, like fischer and alekhine, of players who are ruthless in exploiting even smallest edge

Bradley Loh said...

very diffucult to do all of that in a blitz game in the park