Monday, October 4, 2010

All Boxed In

This post is in reply to First GM's post here.

You are making the huge assumption that the mind works better when relaxed. From my personal experience as a player, I've seen players who think better with all neurons fired up, fully charged and ready to go.

The leg-shaking and dancing as you call it, keeps the adrenaline pumping. And as we all know, athletes perform better with the surge of adrenaline. Now, you may deny chess is as physical as it is mental, but that is highly debatable. If chess is not a sport, why have we been striving so hard to get chess recognized as an Olympic sport?

But science and technicalities aside, I think chess players think the best when they are the most comfortable. Be it with their legs shaking, legs folded, and the most notable habit of Kasparov, with his watch removed. Try not to interfere too much with a child's mind, lest they go haywire from trying to take care of too many things. Let a child grow from his own experiences. Don't box him in.

Pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. If you learn about Lee Chong Wei, his training when he was young was all pressure. "Rumor" has it that his family members were huge gamblers and being the talented young badminton player that he was, he was like the goose that laid the golden eggs for his family. He was put under tremendous pressure in games that involve bets of hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time. Because of such experiences, he has learned to steel his mind and not be fazed under pressure.

That is why he is a class above the rest in Malaysia. But to be the best in the world, that is another thing completely.

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