Working Together At Chess

In business a partnership can bring more mutual benefits compared to being a sole proprietor. In chess too, if you work together with understanding, you can improve efficiently and effectively. But there are a few points which you should consider before working with someone.

First and foremost the partners should be of about equal strength. They should also be very serious about their chess careers, casual players should not be welcome.

You can work together on any phase of the game but what’s important is where to focus. What I have learned from experience that it would be much better if you focus on soft reasoning and ideas rather than finding or guessing good moves and concrete variations. For example take a look at the following position:

White can win by playing any pawn move except a4, but for me the important thing is why White is winning with material balance on the board. The reasons are as follows:

– Ability to create a passed pawn
– Position of both kings
– Pawn crippling

Based on this you can find good moves, and it’s merely a matter of time. So focus on soft reasoning and ideas rather than calculating variations.

Keep your ego aside: This is a common problem among chess players who are working together or discussing any position. They want to prove they are right at any cost after which healthy discussion becomes debate (and this sometimes happens between coach and students!). Avoid it by accepting your mistakes.

Knowledge sharing: It is possible to choose different topics, work on them separately and then discuss them together. This can be a real benefit of working together as it saves lots of time and energy, but be honest as it is chess players’ tendency that they don’t want to share or disclose their preparation or knowledge.

Ashvin Chauhan