On the essential virtues of a good chess player

Chess not only requires intelligence and mental agility, but certain virtues of character

The tricks I discovered, I'm going to tell you now. Although a mind is very clever, if it does not have certain virtues of character, it will not be able to reach its level in chess. If a great, bright, imaginative, inventive and calculating mind like a machine belongs to a person of impulsive emotional temper, stunned and impatient, these lack of fortitude will cost the king's head in the game of chess. It is enough that the intemperante person sees a good play to venture without further reflection to play it and, if it is left dragged by laziness and by the anxieties generated by the first hint of victory, it will not analyze the board as it should. Laziness will make you play according to the first perception, without meditating second and third possibilities and without analyzing all the pieces of the board. If you plan your strategy, in addition, you may go ahead with your mind until one, two or three moves, because impatience and intemperance overcome you, instead of advancing four, five or six moves, and anticipate possible responses and threats to each play and, in turn, to the possible counterattacks to those attacks, as it should be. He will not do any of that, because although his mind is sharp, his agitated heart will take the baton of his plays in conjunction with his mind, subtracting scope from it. Then it is necessary to say: “I am going to keep patience and I am not going to move a piece, no matter how much momentum I feel, even though my eagerness spurs me, until I analyze calmly, carefully and without hurries, if there is no better play or if Good play has no hidden danger that I have not foreseen. ” If you take this resolution, it will cost you the first few minutes, but soon your mind will be immersed in the game completely naturally. If you control your temperament, you will be able to anticipate several plays with several different pieces in your mind and anticipate the various reactions to each of those moves and the counterattacks you could take in this regard.

Likewise, the lack of temperance causes the player to be disturbed with the movements of others and that it is the emotion (positive or negative) that drives his plays. Then these are reactive of an emotion of triumph or loss and, therefore, respond to a state of disturbance that obfuscates the clarity of the mind and not to one of serene and clear concentration. Chess is not just an intellectual intelligence game, it is first and foremost a contemplative game that implies the serenity of the mind. Emotion and mood, I mean the self-control of impulses and passions, as well as the ability not to disperse, and not just strategic ability, play a huge role in the performance of the game. It also happens that when a player is about to win the chess battle (I say "battle" because it is a completely military confrontation, which reinforces martial virtues of character), he trusts and falls asleep on his laurels, and that is when he turns more lax and begins to make small mistakes that may not be visible at first glance, but which are obvious to the attentive eye. These errors, if the opponent takes advantage of them, can lead to a 180 degree change in the game. The announcement of the next triumph makes the attention relax and, often, games that are ready to be won turn and fail, reaching the final loss for that cause. It should be understood that even if the other person is given a lot of advantage, one must proceed as if he were on the same level, without losing an ounce of attention, neglecting or lowering his guard. And what happens with the mirage of victory, also happens with that of defeat. Many people give up when they eat the queen or are left with few pieces on the board, or begin to play worse when they see that they are losing, because they let themselves be dragged by impatience and despair. These people have little hope of winning and the surreptitious fear that enters with each attack and food of pieces, causes them to be stunned and act on impulse, defensively in their plays, so that they lose clear perception. You have to know that whether someone is winning or losing, you can take advantage of it. If he is winning, most likely, his initial attention as to when the game was at odds has diminished and that some key error can be used to turn the game, instead of reacting and playing badly for fear of defeat. The reverse case is the same: if it is the other person who is losing, the same concentration should be kept as if they were on par, so that it does not happen that by lowering the guard the game is turned in its favor.

The key point of chess is temperance, patience and calm during concentration. Who does not have a certain level of self-control will have a considerable disadvantage. It is the serene mind that analyzes everything without hesitation, without clouding, without stumbling, the firm and impassive mind that does not lose its point of focus, which facilitates, in addition to rational and creative intelligence, triumph. Another key element of chess is to plan strategies of checkmate and food of important and small pieces not only from the board itself to the opposing board, but also from the opposing board to the board itself. It was not only about predicting the plays themselves, but the opponents' moves, placing themselves in their shoes and observing their board as they would see it from their side if played with their pieces: thus, strategies of checkmate and food of pieces are planned to the board itself from the opponent's board. This allows to have under the spotlight and planned the possible plays of the opponent to advance the defenses themselves.

Facebook: Sofia Tudela Gastañeta