Is there a cheap, easy and quick method of improving your rating?
When I was younger, my concentration was better. I could literally play chess in a disco, and the noise would not bother me. Before you ask, it was not I who had brought a chess set into a disco. It was a fellow student.
But now , I am more bothered by distractions.
Most chess players do not play in ideal conditions, Very often, the playing area is noisier than it should be.
So now I wear ear-plugs.
I am convinced that ear-plugs are a quick, cheap and easy way to improve your game.
Some may point out that surely they just cut out distracting noise, and I don’t get distracted very often during a game by background chatter – perhaps just once or twice, perhaps not at all.
I have found that ear-plugs have a more subtle effect than just cutting out the one or two times in a game when it is too noisy.
Ear-plugs cut out background noise all the time. After 30 minutes of wearing ear-plugs and concentrating on the game, I find that I get much more into the zone, I can concentrate much better. Although there had not been any overtly distracting influences, usage of ear-plugs for an extended period of time, coupled with concentration on the game has produced a state of mind in me when I am much more focused on the game.
I am certain that this is helping my game.
Recently I had to play a blind person. I could not wear ear-plugs because I had to hear my opponent say his moves, so that I could play his moves on my board.
My thinking during that game was much more unfocused. I overlooked even more things than usual. I felt distracted and nervous.
So now I will go back to wearing ear-plugs. I’m sure they have improved my rating.
And , if you don’t wear ear-plugs, don’t make any excuses about losing a game because your concentration had been disturbed by background noise.