Inspiration and Motivation
I recently wrote about my first chess tournaments. The beginning of a player’s career is critical in the development of their feelings and attitudes about the game and their own place in it.
If you’re as clueless about chess as I was and feel you’re bashing your head against a wall — go watch strong players in person.
“Strong” depends on your level and respect for “chess authority.”
They let me play some games, too…and crushed me in humiliating fashion.
I have never forgotten it. It kept me motivated to get stronger. Even when I sometimes wanted to quit.
A week later at the same location I watched GMs Joel Benjamin and Michael Rohde play a long series of blitz games…these guys wrote articles I read in Chess Life each month! I was starstruck.
It didn’t much matter that I finished 60th out of 65 players. Walking out of BMCC I was shaking my fist determined to improve.
During my time as Assistant Manager of the Marshall Chess Club (2003-2005) I loved watching “regulars” play. Examples: Marc Arnold, Julio Becerra, Salvijus Bercys, Jay Bonin, Fabiano Caruana, Asa Hoffmann, Giorgi Kacheishvili, Dmytro Kedyk, Kassa Korley, Irina Krush, Yury Lapshun, Alex Lenderman, Adam Maltese, Leif Pressman, Boris Privman, Raven Sturt and Leonid Yudasin. It was my favorite part of the job!
I always take the opportunity to watch high-rated players play as a player. spectator, or director. It isn’t about chess osmosis, though I do believe that exists. These experiences connect me with chess in a way solitary study and online play cannot.
The answer to chess improvement is desire…and maybe, just maybe, getting mad. You will manage a way. Watching strong players play in person, and sometimes getting your clock cleaned, can be a real help.