Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mental Strength- Nature vs Nurture

If you accept the argument that mental strength has to do with fighting spirit in line with reasoning, read here and here and here. If you also accept that our assumptions determine our conclusions which in turn become building blocks for other assumptions, and if those assumptions are faulty then we can arrive at strange conclusions, read here. And if you further accept that much in life are illusions and have nothing to do with the essence, the substance, read here.

If you accept the above, then these articles start to make a little more sense — Read here and read here.

From the above I hope that I have demonstrated that the road to that GM needs wider consideration. The substance is determined by understanding ourselves, our opponents, the board and the clock. Understanding ourselves is not an easy journey for much is illusion. The point of mental strength for instance. Nature vs Nurture. Nature can give you IQ, a predisposition to certain styles, that is a gift. But nobody is born with mental strength. This has to be built step by step and through rigorous and correct training. Tough but fair evaluations must be made and the real separated from the illusions.

Time itself is illusory. Ever played chess and wonder where the time went?

And so I argue that while it is not easy to build that GM, it is very easy to destroy anyone with potential. Fixed tournaments, lack of acknowlegement, allow the players to conclude that they are helpless. Especially the young ones. Read here and read here.

So if we really want that GM, we all need to be part of the solution.

The above also tell us that we need to also see further than the 64 squares. Or I hope I have at least presented enough for you to consider my points. For that GM lies at 1000 meters below. And so it follows that development of mental strength needs to be included in chess training. Read here.


  1. ray,

    i happened to read your blog, and your articles while waiting for the final round pairing of the KL Open. my son, paulo bersamina, 12 years old from the philippines, is competing here.

    fighting spirit in line with reasoning, i agree with that.
    and i will continue to read your blog, i know i will learn many things from you.

    like yeoh li tian, paulo lost 2 consecutive games yesterday. what can i say, at first i don't know what to say. but now, i said to him that he must keep on working hard, not only on his chess, but also on his physical conditioning, "mens sana in corpore sano."

    and the comment of Yeap Joo Hock, seems right. but what i am telling my son is that if he keeps on working hard, his game will improve and sponsors will come.

    we had a wonderful time here in kuala lumpur, nice place, nice people, except for some, lol.

    cheers and chess!

    norlito bersamina

  2. Dear Lilet

    Thank you for your comments. For Paulo to develop mental strength and not be damaged by tournaments, you need to set realistic goals for each tournament and do objective evaluation after to see what was achieved and what extra work needs to be done. Read the article I have on planning in the body of the article above.

    Also, this law of attraction concept. Be careful in how you interpret it. Let me give you an example. If you are in a bad job, then you have to do your best to get new skills, look for another job, evalauate crefully what work will give you satifaction etc. Meditating will give you temperary relief but that is all. Wake up and the reality is still staring at you. Law of attraction works like this. Get up the courage to take action, this tells the universe that you are serious. You may not have all the answers now but it will come if you have first carefully thought out the issue, then take the steps. Then the universe will provide.

    for the answer of sponsors, its the same. Look carefully who can help, take concrete steps to make them aware. Eventually the right sponsor will come. Reality.

    My best wishes to Paulo and you. I will keep you in my thought. Do keep me updated from time to time.