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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chess thinking applied to daily life a la Kasparov

Hello Everyone!

Yes! Chess does help us in our daily life. And, here is what one of the world's best chess players Gary Kasparov says. This excerpt is taken from his book 'How life imitates chess'.

"Every chess player is familiar with the concepts of material, time, and quality. The balance among these three factors is the foundation of every move in chess - and in every decision we make. Making a correct evaluation and then a correct decision requires understanding the trade-offs and relative values of these core elements.


It was a curious experience when I first tried to think seriously about what exactly goes through my mind when I look at a chess position. After a lifetime of living and breathing the game, I can only compare it to trying to understand what happens in your brain as you read the book. For me, chess is a language, and if it's not my native tongue, it is one I learned via the immersion method at a young age.


Similarly, in decision making we all have an apparatus that gets us through life. But there are still improvements that can (or is it may?) be made.
To do so requires conscious thought about something you've done unconsciously all your life. Since the day you started to crawl, you've been making countless choices, and like the rest of us, you've developed systems and tendencies that you employ instantly, constantly, without being the least bit conscious of them.


We need to start out by becoming aware of the processes that work for us, then move on to improving them step by step. What bad habits have you picked up in your decision making? Which steps do you skip and which do you overemphasize? Do your poor decisions tend to stem from bad information, poor evaluation, incorrect calculation, or a combination of these things?

All of our routine daily decisions benefit from an improved process. The key to that is the ability to correctly assess and evaluate a situation. By becoming more aware of all the elements, all the factors in play, we train ourselves to think strategically, or as we say in chess, positionally.

Evaluating a position goes well beyond looking for the best move. The move is only the result, the product of an equation that must first be imagined and developed. So, determine the relevant factors, measure them, and, most critically, determine the optimal balance among them. Before you can begin your search for the keys to a position, you have to perform this basic due diligence. We can categorize these factors into three groups - material, time, and quality."

Nice advice from the former world champion - for life and for chess!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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