It is clear that chess talent is a gift of God, but nevertheless the role of a young chess-player’s parents is rather significant.
First of all, it is most important to identify a child’s abilities as soon as possible and create the conditions for their realization. In fact, chess abilities become obvious right after a child is shown the moves of the pieces and explained in the most primitive form the basic rules of chess strategy. It usually comes about at the age of 5-6, sometimes even earlier. So the parents should take steps to develop their children’s abilities as soon as possible. The tempo of chess life becomes faster and faster and makes us start as early as possible. World Champion Boris Spassky had his first class at 11, which was a great achievement in his day. Nowadays the Chinese chess-player Bu Xiangzhi became a grandmaster at 13 and Sergey Karjakin at 12!
There has been a lot of discussion as to the problem of whether chess is a sport or not. Former President of IOC Julio Samaranch even arranged for a special poll to be conducted, the results of which helped chess to be finally included in the Olympic family.
Chess players themselves have never doubted that chess is sport. Of course you can hardly achieve real success in sport if your parents haven’t given you strong health. Obviously good health is what everyone needs. But no considerable progress can be made without it in chess, as the game requires both physical and psychological tenacity throughout the whole tournament. This problem is particularly acute nowadays, when a round’s duration reaches 5-7 hours, and sometimes one has to play two games a day even at rather big tournaments, such as Capella la Grande (France). But some chess-players, including my pupils, spend hours and hours on their end games. That’s why I always ask my pupils “to run in the morning regularly and frequent a swimming pool no less than twice a week”. This is one of the components of their individual work. Running and swimming are the kinds of sports which suit chess-players best!
It is most important that the child should have a strong nervous system which the parents must take care of. The most significant thing here is the psychological climate, which is created by the child’s closest relatives in the first place. If the parents trust their child, understand his ambitions and desires, they imbue the unsophisticated young chess-player’s soul with confidence. Surely this adds to making the child’s nervous system stronger.
I would like to give you an example. One day a talented chess-player who had just finished the 8-th grade at school decided to come to me from his city where there were poor conditions for studying chess seriously. The “mother’s darling” had to live all alone in an alien city, manage the household and go to a new school. I asked him more than once how it had happened that his parents let him live all alone at such an early age. It was not until he had become a strong grandmaster that he told me his mother’s words: “No one has a right to kill a dream”. A mother like that deserves a lot of praise and thanks! Would many mothers do the same? And would that boy have become a bright grandmaster, if she had acted in a different way? Much to my regret, there are other examples to the contrary.
Contributed by : A.Vaysman Honored coach of Ukraine
Filed under: Coaching Tips |