woensdag 2 december 2009

Why are we seeking?

Blunderprone has started a new circle of chess players on the road to improvement. I think this is a wonderful initiative and it certainly seems to have rejuvenated the chess blogging scene. When I started reading all the reactions on different blogs, one stood out as the most fundamental. It was Robert Pearsons post in which he questioned the point to seeking improvement.

It struck me and reminded me of a question a that co-worker of mine once received when he said he was going to the tennis club. "Are you going to play or work on your backhand" he was asked ironically when he parted.

I understood why this question came up. This co-worker is a very competitive guy who doesn't seem to enjoy playing when he loses. And when he talks about his games he is always pretty self critical.

But isn't this something that everyone who is part of, or feels related to the A.C.I.S., recognizes? We want to improve, so we can be more successful. And most of us already have made all the improvement that can be gained within our comfort zone .

What we recognize and appreciate in each other is the ambition to improve, win more games, gain rating points and (above all) make sacrifices to achieve this.

So the answer to the question "why seek improvement" for me is: "to beat all of those lazy (and maybe more talented) bums who don't". Maybe it is some old fashioned Calvinistic work ethic that makes me think that justice has been done when the player who has worked the hardest, wins the game.

7 opmerkingen:

Temposchlucker zei

Robert Pearsons post deserves a post, I agree with that. Soon I will give the answer a shot too.

Phaedrus zei


I am looking forward to it!

chesstiger zei

Hard work doesn't always lead to the desired result. Theory everybody can learn, its how to execute this theory in practise during a game that makes the difference.

Offcourse, talent, also plays an important role. The more talent the more it becomes easy to implement new theory into practise.

Phaedrus zei


If hard work does not give any results there can be two reasons.
1. peak level has been reached.
2. the wrong method is used to improve.

Robert raises an even more fundamental question. Even if the work leads to results, why bother?

Wahrheit zei

Thank you for the link and comment. As you note this was a "rhetorical question" in the true sense of the term--a springboard for discussion. I too am dedicated to improvement in many areas of life including chess. I have some ideas from other fields of endeavor that perhaps can shed additional insight into the best way to spend the available time.

More soon, I am excited at the modest revitalization of some chess blogs that has taken place.

Polly zei

I think this is question that begs for an answer before we even embark on a quest for improvement. I'm in the process of completing my LA posts, but swirling around in my head are ideas centering around what I best can describe as a holistic approach to this pursuit of improvement.

Phaedrus zei


Thank you for responding. I look forward to a continued exchange of ideas about chess improvement.


Too bad I missed the opportunity to meet you when you visited the Netherlands. I am looking forward to the holistic approach.