Sunday, January 15, 2012
Transferable Game Lessons
Pretty boring, eh?
The *endgame* is precisely that - the end of a chess game, marked by very few pieces on the board.
BUT, one wrong move and you're dead! Your opponent will promote a pawn, and that's it. You might have out-played her all game long only to cough up an embarrassing L.
It took me twenty years to fully understand that the *short game* (pitching, chipping, and putting) was the MOST IMPORTANT part of golf.
Thankfully, I've parlayed that experience to an early understanding of the importance of the endgame in chess.
In fact I would say that there's almost a 100% accurate analogy between the two.
It doesn't well matter if you're impressively splitting fairways and sticking pins if you are missing short-putts and flubbing chipshots. Take it from me!
I always found the short game a BORE to practice. I mean why would I want to chip and putt when I could pump my driver down the range and impress all the Asian wives there?
And I'd much rather play *games* on chess.com than study soporific endgame pawn puzzles...
Here's the key - you have to work at putting and pawn games SO MUCH, you have to FORCE YOURSELF to put the time in to the point where you relish 10 foot putts, where you relish trading pieces down to an endgame.
No one else really likes to practice these games-within-a-game's, so you have to look at this reality as an *opportunity* to gain on all the Morons.
I'm not quite there yet with the short game, not to the point where I really enjoy wedges and long putts....but I'm getting close.
And I'm just getting started with these tedious chess puzzles.
When I was in high school competing in math competitions...each math meet had 5 or 6 *rounds* delineated by subject; and each student participated in 3 of them.
Kids who did the earlier rounds saw the easier categories (algebra, number theory, probability, etc.) and the ones who took the later rounds were met with much more difficult questions (geometry, analytic geometry, trigonometry, complex numbers, etc.)
The wimps had much better chances of winning the awards each year.
BUT I asked to be in the difficult rounds - almost from day one. I dove into, and thrived in the stuff everyone else wanted to avoid at the expense of my *scoring*.
Regardless, it definitely paid off in the long run.
I think a lot of these self-help gurus suggest the same - to move TOWARDS discomfort. Confront weaknesses head-on and turn them into strengths!