17 July 2019

Training quote of the day #24: Jay Bonin

From IM Jay Bonin's Active Pieces: Practical Advice from America's Most Relentless Tournament Player
When asked about my own study habits, or - more directly - when someone asks, "Jay, how did you make it to 2400?", I don't always have a great answer. I never had a coach, and in the '70s and '80s as I was climbing the rating list, game databases, chess engines and computers in general were neither as powerful nor as ubiquitous as they are today. Taken together with the fact that the Internet had not yet created the possibility for the instantaneous and free exchange of information, this meant that as an autodidact I had little in the way of formal training other than what was available in Chess Informants and Shakmatny Byulletens when I could find them, and taking the time to thoroughly understand the critical positions in the games published there. I would try to understand not just the tactics that occurred in a game, but the missteps that led to them. Ultimately, I learned by playing stronger opposition and subjecting my own games to the same scrutiny.

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