Calculation, Determination and Habits

When you read the title of this post you might think that I am going to talk about candidate moves, the tree of analysis or concrete variation. But actually that’s not true.

One day Nigel told me that human thinking appears disorganized, everyone has their own thinking style and it’s difficult to think in an organised way as if we are a machine! I must say that I agree. I believe that calculation skill is very closely related with your habits and that is not only related to chess but also to life. Some people tend to take risks whilst missing simple moves in their calculations and others who, like me, believe in the simple life, often miss complex or tactical moves during whilst calculating.

Another problem I’ve seen is that if you habitually move quickly it automatically means you will be calculating badly. I had previously tried a lot of things to overcome this habit but without success. But in my last tournament it seems that I finally did it.

The only thing that helped me was strong determination. Before the tournament what I did was quite interesting and might help you. I wrote down a few questions which, according to the experts, should be asked before making a move and added some my own based on my swot analysis (here you need a mentor). I also tried playing one game a day on the internet, not to directly work on my chess but just to make a habit of playing slowly and answering the questions before making a move.

What was the outcome? Well I can say that I didn’t achieve everything I was aiming for. Instead there was just a very slight improvement in my calculations, but even this was enough to pocket me 47 rating points! Accordingly I will keep doing the same exercise in order to achieve further improvement. And the moral of the story is the if you want over come your weaknesses you should create good habits, and these won’t come over night but rather by strong determination and hard work.

Ashvin Chauhan