While he was plowing away and furrowing his brow, I moved all the books from the shop to my office to organize them for the next catalog to be thrust upon the G&L CHESS public.
Then we retired to a health food store this afternoon. In the morning we had breakfast at Panera Bread. What do we do during these times? Easy enough to say, not easy to solve. We each offer thoughts and theories about "how to improve" and invariably it gets back to ONE thing. Are you willing to do the work? Unfortunately our discussions often end with, "Too many want a lot for nothing" or they won't do much anything at all. They WANT the SECRET!!
HOW TO IMPROVEMyself I can remember spending a whole weekend studying some system for a potential chess club opponent on the coming Tuesday night and I knew that some of them were doing the same thing for me. I wanted that 2000 rating and to keep it. They wanted to get there too and it was MY job to see they did it by beating someone else. There was pride in achievement and in knowing one could do more if one was willing. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, I recall one person, a good friend, who wanted the achievement too much... so much so he was willing to cheat to get it.
Someone once said, "You can't cheat at chess, it is so one on one." Well, you can cheat at chess, and one way goes like this: If you have a friend and confident you trust, he can relay what you've told him to your upcoming opponent. Then that upcoming opponent has to fall in with it... and he did. (in other words my "friend" wanted me to lose so he could surpass my rating). I recall this one episode where I was Black and it seemed like my opponent could "read" my mind. I really, really, had to bear down. The game was one of the longest I ever had against this opponent, and I finally won, but I was exhausted. My opponent was an A player to begin with, probably about 1950, but to also be armed with info about what I intended to play, I am sure that gave him another 100 rating points if not more.
While he did want to beat me, it had seldom happened, and he acted like my winning against him was some kind of mortal sin. So it kept me on my toes. In chess there is more psychology than you might think, and keeping on my toes provided that edge. Their VERY behavior provided impetus for me to improve at THEIR expense.
When it comes to improvement today I sense a lot of chess players would love to get better through osmosis, just by having a sufficient chess library surround themselves but spend little time actually accessing it. This is one reason I will be strongly promoting To The Point in the near future. To tell the truth I've been surprised by the positive outlook on this venture. I will be working on a Package Promo Kit to send out for $9.95. If you want to get one it will contain AT LEAST a CD and a Newsletter and perhaps some other things I am trying to round up, based somewhat on a High Noon type theme. If you are interested, I am taking advance orders for this promo pak starting anytime this week. I should have something available before Christmas. More details will follow.
In the meantime, I am going over my weekend results for the sales at Chess TNT while Andrew plays some chess on ICC, one of his favorite activities and one I never indulge in.