The Conceptualizing Chess
Hi, it’s Aiden.
Chess is a complex and beautiful game.
There seems an infinite amount we could learn about it. A never-ending stream of knowledge that we could devote our lives to and in which we would barely make a dent.
The deeper we go, the deeper still we see there is to go.
Grandmasters would be the first to admit this.
German Grandmaster Robert Hübner once said, “Those who say they understand Chess understand nothing.”
The sheer amount of things we could learn is overwhelming.
Thousands of Chess courses and books and videos promise to build our knowledge of openings and endgames, tactics and strategy.
Thousands of opportunities to increase our Chess knowledge.
Implicit in each of these courses is one idea: that an increase in your Chess knowledge will lead to an increase in your rating.
Knowledge is power.
But that’s not quite how it works. And you’ve already felt that.
When we’re “studying” Chess – notice how even the word implies “acquire knowledge” – we feel great.
We solve the puzzles, spot the tactics, revise our variations, memorize the masters’ games.
But there’s a vast gulf between what we’re able to do in our study, and what we can do over the board.
We study, we learn. But we don’t see that knowledge in our games.
We struggle to apply the things we’ve learned. We miss things, forget things, we make mistakes.
The reason is simple.
Knowledge is only half the story.
As Napoleon Hill put it, “Knowledge is NOT power; it is only potential power.”
We also need to build the muscle of Chess.
Don’t get me wrong. Knowledge is important – critically important. Chess is a knowledge-heavy game. Study needs to be part of the journey to improvement.
But all the study in the world is useless if we haven’t built the mental muscles that let us actually use any of it.
Without the muscles, we’re like the quarterback who knows the plays but can’t hit the target.
The singer who knows the words but can’t hit the notes.
Without the mental muscles, we become the Chess player who knows the tactical ideas but can’t find when to use them.
Who regularly misses things in games. Gets tunnel vision. Hangs mate in totally winning positions.
Whose rating goes up and down like a yoyo.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned tournament player, you’ve felt some version of this.
And it’s frustrating.
As adults, when we pour our limited time and energy into something, we want to see measureable results in a reasonable period of time.
And so few of us experience that. This is why:
The average Chess improver is all knowledge and no muscle.
They know things but can’t use them.
The fruits of their hours of study remain locked away in their mind, unusable in their games.
If we want to improve, we must develop both our knowledge AND our mental muscles.
The smarts AND the skills.
They are two sides of a coin. Each nigh-on useless by itself, but incredibly powerful together.
We need both.
There are plenty of ways to learn the knowledge of Chess.
Loads of people far better qualified than I to discuss the intricacies of tactics, openings, and endgames.
But if you want to build the mental muscle of Chess, you’re in the right place.
My work is focused 100% on that muscle.
The muscle of visualization – or as I prefer to call it, conceptualization.
(Visualization doesn’t have to be “visual” at all. Plenty of players, including former blindfold Chess world champions, never saw pictures in their head. So I say “conceptualization” instead.)
I’ve designed the Conceptualizing Chess series to be your starting place.
This series will give you the tools, tactics, and insights to start to master conceptualization and reap the rewards.
It takes the form of five emails, delivered one-per-day for the next five days.
To get you started, the first email will orient you with what to expect as you move through the series.
After that, I’ll share with you the key insights and exercises to help you train your mental muscles for Chess.
I suggest you reread the series many times.
There’s a lot in there to unpack. Each time you read it, your understanding will go a little deeper.
All I ask in return is your attention.
There is nothing to buy at the end of this series. No hard sell anywhere.
I believe that my business will grow when I help you grow first.
The next step is yours.
If you want to come on this five-day journey with me, enter your best email address below.
NO CHARGE. NO SPAM, EVER. UNSUBSCRIBE ANYTIME.
See you in your inbox.
My ethos is based on value-first. You will NEVER be coerced to buy anything.
Here’s to the journey.