Monday, July 14, 2008

Chess Makes Strong Players Sad, Too

Remember that great Chess Life cover with Alex Shabalov and the knocked over crates in the loft with the damaged walls?

There's more here.


Anonymous said...
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Elizabeth Vicary said...

I was *almost* more flattered than offended, Jim, but ... not quite.

Anonymous said...

I know I am late to the party regarding your last post, but I can very much relate to those emotions as they pertain to my actual career as a musician and music educator.

Even though I am new to seriously studying chess, the parallels between it and music are pretty amazing. (I could go on about that for hours but will refrain at this moment)

This makes the learning processes very similar as well. The process of learning an instrument is one of constant ups and downs. You learn a little bit, fumble with that information for awhile, then BAM you actually feel like you can play your instrument.....UNTIL....a few days (months, weeks..whatever) later you feel uncomfortable at this same instrument that you thought you OWNED just a little while ago. So now the process starts all over again; Learn, fumble with it, get it, hit the wall yet again!!

What I eventually realized was that these phases of frustration are good things because they mean that I am ready to get to the next level on my instrument. Those walls I hit are signs that I am thirsty for even more knowledge. Knowledge I know that I can master because I have mastered everything that has come before.

It is when I stop hitting those walls of frustration that I will start to worry, because that means I have stopped caring about music, and that will be the saddest day of my life.

I don't know if this helps or relates to your previous post but I thought I would chime in anyway.

It is obvious that you are doing great things as an educator, and I respect anyone who is out there working with and for kids.


likesforests said...

It's ironic. Here I am, struggling to try to play as well as you, and there you are, beating yourself up over how you poorly you play. How fleeting is success and how long the blunders haunt our thoughts! I don't know about you but the mistakes I made at the world open have been replaying continually in my mind. I hardly think about the wins, I just don't want to make such stupid errors again. At least that drives me to train harder.

Anonymous said...

A great big band drummer named Mel Lewis once said: (and I am paraphrasing because I am horrible at remembering exact quotes)

"When you are improving as a drummer you need to listen to recordings of yourself. You need to be objectively critical of yourself and correct bad habits, but you ALSO need you listen for the good and appreciate the music that you DO make. Once you learn to appreciate the good things you are playing you will begin to foster your own sound and voice on the instrument."

I think the same is true with chess. We need to be very critical of our mistakes but we cannot dwell on them. We also need to enjoy and learn from our victories.(we can't dwell on these either-we should just enjoy them).


likesforests said...

Smart guy, that Mel Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Unless we suck.