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  • Glenn Julich

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

This is one of my favorite quotes from Bobby Fischer:

As a genuine patzer, I lose a lot.  But never in the history of mankind has there ever been a better time to be a loser!  

What am I talking about?  Just think of all the analysis tools we have at our disposal these days.

I especially appreciate the new KEY MOMENT  feature that has added to the analysis features.  It will help you find key moments in the game where you blew it.  Or, where you did well!  (Once every six months for me)

So I need to work on this: losing better… ?  Or, being better at losing... ?  Being a better loser... ?  I don't know, regardless... I know I need to get my mind in the right place about losing.

If someone plays an opening I’m not familiar with... Then I will be familiar with it the next time I face them.

If I fall into a trap that I missed...  Now that’d I’ve learned it, I can avoid it next time and set it up for the next guy.

I will be working on this.  And I sure you guys will give me plenty of opportunities to do so!

Have any tips on losing well?  Share in the comments below.  I'd love to hear from you.

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  • Glenn Julich

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

I ran across this quote recently, and it really spoke to me:

As one of the world's foremost patzers, I suspect if there was a title "World Champion of Chess Errors," I would have likely earned this title in my teens and successfully defended it each subsequent year into the present day.

Johannes Hermann Zukertort was a European chess master during the 19th century.  His primary occupation was that of a physician and he served with distinction in the medical corps of the German army during the Franco-Prussian war. 

He started playing chess around the age of 19, which is much older than most of today's chess prodigies start learning the game.  Zukertort's great chess achievement was winning The London Chess Tournament of 1883. 

Unfortunately, he was destined to become rather ill and suffered from rheumatism, coronary artery disease, and kidney disease.  He would die at the young age of 45 from a stroke; while playing chess, no less.  

One of the many reasons that chess fascinates me is that the best move is always in front of you.  Generally speaking, guys like me can't see them. 

Yet...  I watched a 60-minutes interview with Magnus Carlsen recently and he was asked how he knows what the right move is.  His answer?  "I just know."  Incredible.

So how do I plan to address my error tendency?  Well, for years I've been thinking on and off about trying a chess coach.  I've never done this.  And since we are in the middle of a pandemic and I'm working from home, what a great time to give this a try. 

And now I'm going to do it!

So tomorrow I meet with my coach virtually.  I am very much looking forward to this and don't really know what to expect.  But my hope is that he can better assist me in getting my learning on the right track.  

I look forward to sharing what I study and discover on this eternal struggle against the error.

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  • Glenn Julich

Tonight I actually hit a personal milestone. I noticed a real difference in my games today.

Don't get me wrong; I'm still ranked in the 800s. No serious chess player would look at my recent games and be impressed, I can assure you. My games still show blunders, mistakes, inaccuracies, and the like. But the key difference was the way I felt about my Chess game today.

For the first time in my life, I was playing a game where I felt like I was being truly strategic.  I was actively looking for pins, skewers, and forks. For the first time ever, I intentionally set up a discovered check which cost my opponent his queen.

Even better, for the first time ever, I saw my checkmate three moves ahead. And it worked.

When I first started working with my coach I described myself as someone who has, for decades, been moving my pieces around the board and hoping something good happens. There was essentially no strategy.

While I have so incredibly far to go in my journey, the feeling I got after checkmating my opponent today is why we all place chess in the first place: to create a game that is a work of art. While my art is in no way a Picasso, it is at least a step up from the finger-painting that I was doing yesterday.

So in sum, today I made meager progress. Working with my coach who helps me analyze my games has been seriously helpful. So yes, today my games were different.  And I look forward to the games tomorrow brings.

Do you remember a time you first realized you were becoming a better player?  If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

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