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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can Anybody Become a Master?

According to Kevin Spraggett the answer is yes and in an article named Reflections he tells you how to do it. Unconventional, but maybe he’s right. One thing for sure, authors and coaches won’t like his theory because they won’t make any money!

He writes, Many players 'choke' at a certain level and have difficulties getting to the next because they have too much information in their heads! They get confused...remember that in chess what is important is the APPLICATION of information, not the ABSORPTION of information.

For beginners he advises, The first step…means keeping things very simple: learning not to leave your king exposed, being aware of your opponent's immediate threats…But no books! Or at least, no 'formal' chess books…no strategy books, no opening books, nothing 'formal'. Chess information has to be kept to a minimum…

What I found most interesting was his definition of today’s GM and how they think differently that the “classical” players. Spraggett wrote, I've read virtually all of the main 'classics' of chess strategy and tactics, of theories of how to play chess (Steinitz, Lasker, Nimzovich) and the value of positional chess, and I have to agree with gm Mikhail Suba (Romania) when he says that all of those great players and teachers forgot one important thing: CHESS IS A DYNAMIC GAME!

A sound, but passive position is a good starting point to find reasons for your losing the game! You will never catch Kasparov in a sound but passive position...he would much prefer an inferior position with some little counterplay!

Interesting stuff. It may help explain why after reading book after book on improving, most of us never do. Or if we do improve, it's not much. Read the article.

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