Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chess: How to make smart kids dumb.

Another fictional story.

So these really smart kids start to play chess. And then they realise that there is a lot of politics involved. Certain people are meant to win and certain people lose; depending on which chess university you go to. Certain players enter into the final selection although they fail to qualify.

They find that although there are rules in the game of chess itself, there are no rules governing the game of chess or the rules keep changing. In this land even clowns can write new rules.

They find they cannot explore other forms of training. The very good ones; the ones that make it to the top find that they must learn to kowtow or they will not be selected. They learn that they must apologise to ghosts and anonymous people. Or else they find themselves banned.

Note: A serious catch 22. Kowtow without justification or reason then you cannot play strong chess again. Don't kowtow and you get banned. What a dilemna we pose our players.

And so very early in life they are taught to kowtow to the little people. And they are fed lies like if you are not GM by 15yo, you are all washed out. They are taught to respect players who do not train before representing the Country. Their role models are heros that crash spectacularly in International Tournaments. Respect is not earned in this land, you are bludgeoned till you "respect" them.

And so over time the light begins to extinguish. They need the backdoors in. They have learnt to kowtow to ghosts and petty people.

And then they are sent to fight giants without training. And when they lose, they are given a handbook of excuses perfected over 30 years. The book is titled "How to crash spectacularly and then confuse them with technical jargon."

They fail to realise that it is not what technical you know, but your fighting spirit shown by how you prepare, how you train. Everyone at your level has more or less the same technical knowldege. It's the discipline, the training, the fight that takes you to the next level.

Thinking is forbidden, asking questions?....only if you have a death wish.

So we are really fortunate that doesn't happen here. This is just a story of a fictional place far far away called "No GM land" where chess makes smart kids dumb.

Lucky for us here chess makes our kids smart. Aren't we fortunate?

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