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Think Like A Grandmaster!

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The ability to think like a grandmaster is every chess player’s goal. To be a grandmaster, you need to have sophisticated thought processes. Progressive thinking skills which have a strong emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking skills are the most common thoughts that a grandmaster should have. By mastering your way of thinking, you will be able to discover the significant improvements of your game that will lead you to more confident gameplay. 

The insights in this article will help not only the aspiring chess grandmasters but for everyone who wants to develop their mindset and use it to be a better version of themselves. 

So, how can we change our mindset to reach our full potential?

Study and Analyze The Position

Think like a grandmaster: Analyze

To be a better chess player, analyzing the positioning of every piece must be your greatest asset. The decisions that you make come from your previous assessment of piece positioning, so any bad evaluation will lead to a poor plan and vice-versa. So if you find out exactly what is wrong with your positioning of the pieces, evaluate and try to improve. 

However, if you find your pieces in the right position during the right situation, remember not to deteriorate the quality of your position and maximize everything on it. Observe if your pieces are kept on making improvements and do not engage in any tricks. Let your opponent take the risk. This move is popular for the GMs, they strengthen their positioning and wait for the opponent to do the wrong move.

Dig Deeper

Think like a grandmaster: Dig deeper

One of the common mistakes of newbie chess players is they are too distracted by the weak tactics of their opponent and start to be overconfident during the game. They are easily tempted to do quick attacks without spotting weaker attacks, especially in the middle game. The thought of “maybe my opponent won’t see it” is a poor mindset and has to be completely avoided to think about.

A grandmaster cannot easily be fooled by this type of tactic and it’s the last thing he will try during the game. But in some instances, it is convenient and promising by the looks of it but if it’s too good to be true, don’t do it. So, what you would want to do is look for deeper moves to improve your position to create clever problems for your opponent.

Appreciate Defense

Think like a grandmaster: Be defensive
“This way of opening the game … is absolutely defensive, and very far from being the best … but it is a very good one to try the strength of an adversary with whose skill you are unacquainted.” – André Danican Philidor opined of the Sicilian, 1777

Defense is an essential part of chess, so every player should learn the value of defense as they also appreciate attacks. It is an interesting opportunity to help you improve in chess tournaments. Very often, attacks are highly praised than defense especially when you find your piece in an ugly position or even when it is difficult to defend for our opponent we tend to overlook our chances thinking that the victory is our when the game was not yet over.

But sometimes, chess players must try and win at all costs. We often pressure ourselves and result in deteriorated positions and losing but we should also be aware of our opponent’s position and chances especially at their worse.

Handle Your Emotions

Think like a grandmaster: Handle your Emotions

An artist, writer, or graphic designer by profession has a very creative mind and their visualization should be good especially if they do it for a living. Often, they let their emotions handle their craft to produce great artworks or any input. However, a chess player or an aspiring grandmaster should handle their emotions well because calmness and concentration are crucial in every game.

So, if you’re feeling sad or angry during a chess tournament, you should set aside your emotions and don’t let them ruin your match. Think like a grandmaster and remember that whatever causes you to think too much will is going to be your distraction in the game. To deal with this, might as well stop for a while, address what causes your frustrations to calibrate your mind, and condition it to be in a better state of mind to play.


Think like a grandmaster: develop a strong confidence

Confidence matters. The way you look at yourself in every game and situation you’re in is crucial to success. To achieve the skills and the determination of a GM, you need to play the game of chess with confidence, so if you believe in your moves, then just play it. How you will lose at the end of your game won’t matter, as long as you’re confident with your tactics, there will be no losing – only learning. 

If you find yourself in a bad position and have a risky move for it, take the risk and embrace the consequences. Do not be intimidated by your opponent, you’re perception is different from theirs. 

If you really want to be able to think like a grandmaster and improve your chess skills, you need to have your goals and study plan. You need to work on your gameplay in an orderly way. 

  • tactics
  • positional play
  • attacking skills
  • endgame technique
  • classical games analysis
  • psychological preparation

Final Word

To be and to think like a grandmaster, you need to work in all aspects of your life to find balance and passion. You need to believe in yourself and surround yourself with people that are the best and bring out the best in you. If you want to be a grandmaster, think like a grandmaster! As Grandmaster Gary Kasparov said, “Ultimately, what separates a winner from a loser at the Grandmaster level is the willingness to do the unthinkable.”. So, explore the different path even if it means you have to do it alone. 

Related Questions

Can a normal person become a grandmaster?

Anyone who is willing to invest a huge amount of time and effort to learn and develop his chess skills could become a grandmaster. To think like a grandmaster, practice and get better one day at a time. The impossible is possible with hard work, perseverance, with the right people. László Polgár proven that “genius is made, not born” when he has his three daughters Sofia, Judit, and Susan Polgar who are all the best women chess players in their generation. 

What is the IQ of Magnus Carlsen?

Magnus Carlsen has a genius-level IQ of 190!

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