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Saturday, July 30, 2011

This Sticks In My Craw!

       Why is advice on improving that comes from 1400-1600 rated players always the most popular on forums?  Are these guys qualified to give advice?  I was furious when I read  one post where a strong US Master and in another post where an IM were told to go pound salt by several below average rated players because it was felt these two accomplished masters didn’t know what they were talking about!  Personally, I wouldn’t have the guts to tell a veteran master who was winning tournaments when I was a kid and an IM that they didn’t understand anything about how to improve.  Even though they may be old geezers well past their prime with ratings that have “dis-improved” over the years, they understand the game as well as they ever did even if their results are no longer that great.  I know of at least two GM’s who are barely rated 2200 these days, but they are both well over 70.  In their prime they both defeated world class players.  They haven’t gotten stupid with age.  They know as much about chess as they ever did, but at 70+ years old you just can’t stand the strain of tournament chess and calculate like you did 40 or 50 years ago!  In fact you can’t do anything like you did 40 or 50 years ago.
       I think this is the reason why so many masters I’ve met are reluctant to share what they know.  One chess instructor confessed that most of what he taught his students was worthless and would not help them very much.  Why did he do it?  Because students coming to him had preconceived ideas about what they needed and if he didn’t give it to them, they would simply find another coach.
      It reminds me of the time 20 years ago when I got a letter from someone in town asking me to coach him.  I don’t k now how he got my address, but I turned him down.  First I’m not good enough to actually accept money for coaching, second, I don’t have the patience, third, at the time I was working about a thousand hours a week, fourth I hadn’t played chess for about 10-12 years and finally, he outlined in the letter what he wanted help with.  BTW...if I give any advice in this Blog, it's not mine; it's from qualified players...masters and GM's.  It's real advice, not that crap you see today that's designed for no other reason than to sell books or CD's.  I'm not selling anything.  Well, actually I do have a Google Adsense account associated with this Blog...so far it has accumulated $0.86.

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