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  1. 11 Jun '17 22:05
    Why can't I get better? Why do I always lose to_____? What's the secret to improving my rating, endgames, tactical skill, tournament results?

    I hear these things a lot here, and some of you know the answer. For those of you who don't, here is a clue: Desire! Look at any world champion from the 1800's to now, the one thing they had in common is an intense, burning desire for chess. Chess was the most fascinating thing on the planet to them, far more than anything else. They organized their lives around it, spent countless hours studying it, and rarely looked upon it as labor. Sometimes in our high tech world, with so much information at our fingertips, it's easy to lose sight of this. It's true a burning passion for chess is not a guarantee you'll make GM or even IM, but you'll never reach your maximum potential without it.
  2. 12 Jun '17 11:13
    Hi mchill,

    We all have the desire. Unless you are gifted, (Capa, Carlsen etc..) then
    this desire must be focused on hard work and OTB experience.
    We all too soon drop the desire and settle down into our niche in the chess world.

    Lasker, one of the great players mentioned in that time scale seemed to take
    chess in his stride and had many outside interests. He could leave the game
    or come back to it when ever his finances dictated the need to do so.
  3. 12 Jun '17 11:36
    Originally posted by mchill
    Why can't I get better? Why do I always lose to_____? What's the secret to improving my rating, endgames, tactical skill, tournament results?

    I hear these things a lot here, and some of you know the answer. For those of you who don't, here is a clue: Desire! Look at any world champion from the 1800's to now, the one thing they had in common is an intense, ...[text shortened]... a guarantee you'll make GM or even IM, but you'll never reach your maximum potential without it.
    It's unrequited love for most of woodpushers and tragic love story with insanity for chosen ones.

    The worst combination is insanity and being unfit while still remaining a poor beggar woodpusher - that's a waste of time of cosmic scale.
  4. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    12 Jun '17 14:22 / 2 edits
    Chess was a poor man's hobby (or obsession, if you please) until Fischer started demanding (and getting) fees which, at the time, seemed outrageous.

    Both Capablanca and Alekhine went begging to find sponsors to fund their WC matches against Lasker and Capablanca (respectively). [That's World's Championship matches, not water closet matches!]

    For many decades, the winners in top rank chess were financed by the state (i.e., the Soviet government); Spassky paid Fischer a great compliment by admitting that he (Fischer) had revolutionised competition at the international level.

    Why do you and I not get better (well, much better anyway)? Because: a) we're not obsessed; b) we don't have the native talent of Capablanca/Alekhine/Spassky/Fischer/Carlsen just waiting to be disovered and nurtured by c) a well-funded organization with the resources to coach us effectively.
  5. 12 Jun '17 23:16
    Originally posted by moonbus
    Chess was a poor man's hobby (or obsession, if you please) until Fischer started demanding (and getting) fees which, at the time, seemed outrageous.

    Both Capablanca and Alekhine went begging to find sponsors to fund their WC matches against Lasker and Capablanca (respectively). [That's World's Championship matches, not water closet matches!]

    For many ...[text shortened]... overed and nurtured by c) a well-funded organization with the resources to coach us effectively.
    Why do we not get better?

    Because a person has a life outside chess?
  6. 13 Jun '17 01:18
    Frans Johansson says in his book "The Click Moment" that deliberate practice is only a predictor of success in fields that have "super stable" structure. For example, in tennis, chess, and classical music, the rules never change, so you can study up to become the best.

    But in less stable fields, like entrepreneurship and rock and roll, rules go out the window.
  7. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    13 Jun '17 07:52
    Originally posted by Spectators
    Frans Johansson says in his book "The Click Moment" that deliberate practice is only a predictor of success in fields that have "super stable" structure. For example, in tennis, chess, and classical music, the rules never change, so you can study up to become the best.

    But in less stable fields, like entrepreneurship and rock and roll, rules go out the window.
    Jeff Beck once said that if he didn't break three rules on a new album, he must have done something wrong.