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R. D. Holland


5 Tips to Help James Altucher Win More Chess Games.

This is in response to one of James's lists:

Note: I used to teach chess to kids but James is much better the game chess than I am so I could be wrong about everything I say here.

    1. Be a spider

    Since you have the tendency to try and be too active in the beginning only to get into trouble later on, I suggest you pretend to be a spider. Play the beginning and early middle game as meticulously as possible like a spider painstakingly weaving a web. What happens next? If the web is good then there will be many ways in which your opponent can get snared. This is just another way to say that good solid positional moves early on lead to great tactical opportunities later.

    2. Carlsen their asses

    You worry that you need to know your openings better than any man on earth. Perhaps you should play openings that are light on theory? Carlsen famously started doing this (including using the London System, which was a lot lighter on theory back when he started using it), and revitalized chess as a result. Maybe you've tried this already? If not, maybe it's worth a shot.

    3. Black to move and... improve his position

    View positional moves like you would a tactics puzzle. Black to play and make his knight better. Black to play and prevent white's pawn break...
    When you look at the work and games of John Bartholomew you see someone who focused on the fundamentals of positional play and safety more than anything. Of course he has a great tactical eye as well, but his focus seems to be on making good positional moves. What happened when he entered the 2020 IM not a GM against 15 other IM's? He CRUSHED.

    4. Walk away

    If you game starts to run long, start to take more breaks if you can. Get up, walk around. Do some breathing, maybe some 4-7-8 breathing. https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-to-know-4-7-8-breathing
    Drink some fruit juice, get sugar into your system to feed the brain. Fruit, MCT oil or coconut oil, nuts, dark chocolate, green tea all help to either fuel the brain or wake it up.
    Do some jumping jacks to get your blood flowing.
    Whenever you feel like your brain is grinding, or like your body aches, or your energy is low try to take a break, even if it's just for 90 seconds.

    5. Willpower is infinite if you believe it is

    With the right mindset you can tap into resources that were previously unavailable to you. I'm sure you already know this to some extent but now there is science backing it up. This is from an article in the new scientist:

    "In 2010, Dweck and her colleagues Veronika Job at the University of Zurich and Gregory Walton... found that those who believed that willpower is finite showed the usual ego-depletion effect, whereas those who believed that willpower is potentially unlimited showed no signs of running out of steam in the second task.

    "Further studies have discovered that you can improve willpower just by telling people that such a thing is possible. When people were shown statements such as “it is energizing to be fully absorbed with a demanding mental task”, they continued to improve through a tough 20-minute memory challenge. Another group that was told willpower is limited stopped improving about halfway through the task."

    Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531420-400-dont-quit-now-why-you-have-more-willpower-than-you-think/#ixzz7RbQivL00

    What are some ways you can use belief to endure and excel during a long chess game? Maybe part of your Alter Ego can be Data from Star Trek, unflappable and inexhaustible.

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