Fighting The Zombie Within

This thought provoking piece in the New York Times has interesting implications for the chess improver. If the ‘Power of Habit’ is indeed so strong, and rather than changing habits we can only acquire new ones, shouldn’t we be very careful about what we learn in the first place?

Indeed we should. One of the biggest problems most players face is in forgetting what they thought they knew; most people are unwilling to throw up their hands and admit that they were on the wrong path for years.

I learned the hard way when I set about getting the GM title in the early 1990s. There was a lot of stuff I was doing that was simply rather dubious and I had to change. Kind of like Rocky Balboa learning not to have to fight as a southpaw: