Rust Removal: Part III

Having done the before and during of rust removal, here’s the after. And this means the action one takes after the feedback offered by a tournament.

The important thing with this stage is to listen to your inner voice during stage two, the tournament. It’s at tournaments that you receive the most reliable feedback on the state of your game, particularly when you contemplate your next game. Being fearful of your opponent’s opening moves, tactical play or endgame prowess gives a very good indication of where we are deficient.

On the other hand we get far less realistic in the comfort of our own homes, a brandy by our side and without an opponent trying to kill us. This is why a tournament diary can be a massive help, even if this amounts to nothing more than notes scribbled on the back of a score sheet.

When you have this feedback stage three becomes a simple matter of acting on it. If you were afraid of being ground down in an endgame then this indicates that your technique needs attention. Not knowing what to play in the opening can be more complex because often it relates to middle game understanding. Fear of tactics can be difficult to admit, but when you become aware of this then do something about it.

In this way many character traits are drawn into the process of chess improvement. There’s the self awareness to listen to your inner voice, the honesty not to deny its message and then the willingness to work to improve. Great champions have such traits in abundance whilst great talents may not.


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: