Chess is a difficult game that demands a strong memory, ingenuity, patience, and a variety of other skills. Perhaps the most important requirement is the ability to think. Most of the players, for whatever reason, never truly focus on refining their cognitive processes. Instead, they devote all of their time on to learn chess openings and riddles. It’s still a smart investment that will pay off in the long run, but to completely realize your potential, you must eliminate thinking errors.
In this post, we’ll look at ten distinctions between club players and grandmasters’ cognitive processes. Hopefully, this will assist you in identifying areas where you may enhance your thinking in the future.
- Being able to see more alternatives
Good continuations are frequently missed by club players. The fundamental reason for this is that they do not even consider other possibilities during the game. Instead, they see a good-looking motion and quickly strive to learn as much as they can about it. As a result, they neglect numerous strong and crucial choices for both sides early on. Such a miscalculation not only restricts their options, but it also frequently leads to mishaps. You may enhance your chess calculation by paying more attention to the intricacies and spotting more choices from both sides.
- Calculating just the variants that are required
Calculation is one of the most crucial and difficult parts of chess to master. Every chess player understands how simple it is to become lost in the game’s numerous variants. Furthermore, in a difficult situation, it is impossible to calculate every conceivable step. Despite this, many club players attempt to do so. It frequently results in weariness, time management issues, and errors. Grandmasters travel the lines they calculate using their positional and strategic knowledge. It significantly reduces the amount of work required. A club player, for example, can calculate every important response to their move in the situation, but a grandmaster might consider, “If my opponent plays this move, I’ll have a powerful centered knight.” With such a lovely knight, I can’t possibly be much worse. So the only thing I should think about is trading it right now.” You can see how little effort a grandmaster would have to perform because of his positional and strategic knowledge.
- Grandmasters have a higher level of faith in their intuition
Grandmasters have a wealth of expertise in a variety of events. In their careers, they’ve had a plethora of combinations, mistakes, strategic decisions, varied openings, and ups and downs. This extensive experience frequently aids them in determining the best course of action in their games. Grandmasters sometimes just have a gut sense about which move to make. This sensation is commonly referred to as intuition. Club players have intuition as well, but it is usually underdeveloped or they don’t trust it and strive to double-check everything. This, like the preceding point, might lead to tiredness and time constraints.
- Effective time management
Certain club players, of sure, are faster than some grandmasters. When everyone has their own personality, approach, talents, and limitations, it’s tough to compare. Grandmasters, on the other hand, require less time to observe tactics and calculate variants; they typically have a greater understanding of the openings and hence spend less time on them during the game. However, their quick play is the result of not just more information, but also more experience. Grandmasters, in general, pay greater attention to the time. They approach it as though it were a full-fledged element of the game, and they strive to improve.
- Structured thinking
Calculating lines in a haphazard manner is a common blunder in the cognitive process. A player can keep going over the same line, come up with strange notions that will never materialize on the board, overlook critical candidate movements, neglect to check certain lines, and so on. Grandmasters use a more systematic approach to calculating variations. Of course, everyone has their own tastes and approaches, but the faults listed above are rarely made by strong players. Structured thinking demands self-control and focus, yet it may vastly increase your performance.
- Paying attention to the thoughts of the opponent
You won’t be able to become a grandmaster if you never listen to what your opponent has to say. Chess is a game in which two players compete against each other. As a result, both parties establish plans and debate each other’s views. Grandmasters frequently prioritize neutralizing the opponent’s strategy, but club players typically prioritize their own ideas. It’s also worth noting that prophylaxis is more than just a plan. It also aids in the avoidance of traps and errors. Grandmasters are always on the lookout and anticipate all of your tactical dangers.
- Recognizing pivotal occasions
A chess player is required to make a variety of judgments throughout the game. Some of them are basic and have little impact on the game’s natural flow. In such instances, making a move usually doesn’t take long. Other positions need a high level of accuracy from the player. A single decision can change the course of the game. The problem is that novice players are prone to missing such opportunities. They don’t think it’s necessary to take a break and spend more time planning their next step. Grandmasters are skilled at spotting important moments, and as a result, they pay more attention to them and make less errors.
- The materialistic mindset
When the implications can be calculated, sacrificing material is not an issue. Club players are well-versed in a variety of common sacrifice concepts and can effectively employ them. Giving up stuff in exchange for positional considerations, on the other hand, is difficult and frightening. Grandmasters have no preconceived notions regarding the subject matter. They can either sacrifice a pawn or open a file for their rook to harm the opponent’s pawn structure. They can give up a piece in exchange for two pawns and the long-term initiative over the opened king. Such concepts are difficult to assess accurately, and putting them into practice necessitates not just bravery but also a thorough comprehension of the game.
- Changing your position
Some folks are conservative and don’t like to try new things. In chess, we frequently witness the same thing: certain players never attempt different openings, ideas, or approaches. It might be due to laziness or a lack of study time, but it could also be due to a fear of change or leaving one’s comfort zone. This may sound philosophical and too broad, yet anxiety may influence our judgments even throughout a single game. Changing jobs isn’t always the greatest way to keep a job. If you have an additional pawn, for example, the simplest approach to win is to give it up in return for an attack on the king. Alternatively, you may have been attacked, but at some time, entering a superior ending will be the greatest option for you. It’s difficult to make a choice to completely change the game’s nature, but grandmasters are typically able to be adaptable and resist the urge to maintain things the same.
- Defying the rules
We all know how important it is to castle early, battle for the center, and bring all of the pieces into play, among other things. These guidelines are intended to make learning the technique easier and to provide some suggestions for better opening navigation. Modern grandmasters are well-versed in these norms, but they also recognize when it is advantageous to break them. In the majority of positions, a knight is badly placed on the board’s edge. However, in other circumstances, sending the knight to the edge is the wisest option. Because other aspects in the job are more essential, this occurs. Grandmasters adhere to the main principles of chess, yet they are willing to bend the rules when necessary.