Friday, June 19, 2009

Chess and real life time management

Lately, the USCF or United States Chess Federation has been the site of interest for this blogger, owing to successful campaigns by our Filipino players based in the US, particularly Enrico Sevillano and Rogelio Barcenilla among others. Browsing the archives, I came upon this one informative and insightful article by GM Joel Benjamin in his regular column, Ask GM Joel which I want to share with everyone. It's all about time management during actual chess games, and since chess imitates and represents life in many aspects, including real life time management, the article is worth reading not only for improving our games but more importantly on how we can apply what we learn from playing serious chess on our every day life. Here's an excerpt from the article GM Joel on Time Management:

Dear Joel Benjamin,

...I am 11 years old and in sixth grade... When I play the higher rated players I often lose on time because it takes me five to ten minutes to evaluate the position and more time to calculate my moves. Is there any way to see all of these things quicker and still see them thoroughly without taking as much time?


GM Joel Benjamin: You want your thought process to be as efficient as possible. It should go something like this:

1) Examine your opponent’s move to see how it affects the position (does it threaten something, or prevent your plans?).
2) Look for “candidate moves.” This process doesn’t have to exhaustive and should take less than a minute. Two to four candidates should be enough for most moves. Analyze the ones that look best to you, and try not to jump back and forth too much. Don’t feel you have to spend a lot of time (if any at all) on choice #4 if the first option looked really good after a bit of analysis.
3) Make your decision and do a final check for safety before playing your move.

Please read the complete article by GM Joel from the USCF website.

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