I was asked by the mother of a Singaporean National Junior if Chess really promotes creativity. We always run around saying that it does but does it really?
Well lets think about this a little here. Creativity; thinking out of the box. Now if we keep doing the same old thing, is that creativity? And if we do something different, try to think in a different way, is that creativity?
Also when we try to think differently does that produce discomfort?
If the answer is yes, does that mean we need to tolerate some discomfort in order to be creative? Interesting isnt it for we have great resistance to change in Malaysian Chess. Does this mean that our chess is not creative?
Anyway, my answer to that chess mum is that it depends on our perspective when we learn chess. We can look at it as a General does, seeing the big picture and devising strategies to win by understanding what it takes to win. And that means giving due cognizance to the 4 components of chess ie understanding ourselves, our opponents, the clock and then the board. Understanding the psychology of the winning mindset, understanding the importance of morale, preparation, training and discipline.
Or we can look at it from a purely technical perspective. The technician. Ergo middle management thinking. Here we sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees. The perspective is too small. If we take this perspective then chess is not creative. It is merely operational. Necessary but insufficient.