07 January 2014

Silman on Chess.com: To Master an Opening You Need to Embrace Defeat!

IM Silman's full article can be found on Chess.com and is in fact a deep and instructive treatment of a King's Indian Defense setup.  Some of the learning principles he cites are general in nature, however, and could for example be applied to Annotated Game #111: A first Dutch Defense - especially the following:
I might seem to be harsh, but Black’s mistakes are actually a healthy part of learning. He put in the work and absorbed various key setups – that’s great. And now he’s using them incorrectly, which is also good since he’ll learn a lot from this game (the pain of defeat is an incredible teacher). That’s how one gets better – a mix of study, trying to use the knowledge from that study, screwing it up badly and losing, making adjustments, and eventually getting it right and discovering that the wins start to fall into his lap.
It's useful to understand that losing badly is in fact a natural part of the learning process of a new opening - you just need to make the effort necessary to make sure that part of the process doesn't last for too long.

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