Becoming Invincible (At Your Club)


Table of Contents

Who doesn’t want to become invincible? An impossible task, I will immediately admit, but a goal that is worth striving for.

Everybody is striving for it and some, in limited periods of time, manage to achieve it. Capablanca went 8 years without losing a game, Carlsen, Ding Liren and Tiviakov had more than 100 games going without a loss.

These are only a selected few, for us lesser mortals, these feats seem superhuman. And yet, it is possible to achieve some level of invincibility when playing our peers, even if it is on the level of our own local club.

So, what is the big secret?

The secret is in mastering 2-move tactics.

You see when playing at your club, people usually won’t drop pawns and pieces in one move. However, they will drop pawns and pieces in 2 moves!

The solution, therefore, is simple. Solve 2-move exercises of all types ad infinitum for a long period of time. This includes studies like this one:

White mates in 2.

Or like this one:

White to mate in 2.

But it should also involve simple 2-movers that win a pawn or a piece, for example like this one:

Black to play and win a pawn in 2 moves.

Or this one:

White to play and win a pawn in 2 moves.

Or this one:

White to play and obtain an almost winning position.

It is important to do this type of drilling for a long time because it will take time for the brain to become fast at detecting these possibilities in the games. When drilling these exercises you pick up tactical motifs, but you also train the brain to recognize and sense these motifs when they appear in your games.

Sometimes the tactic will be elementary, sometimes less so, but the crucial point is to see it is there. You must not miss these 2-movers, regardless of whether they work or not.

At your local club, they will work 90% of the time because your opponents will leave material left and right. By being able to exploit those mistakes you will become invincible following this simple strategy:

1. Play a normal, solid opening,

2. Stay alert and attune yourself to the tactical oversights of your opponents.

3. Pounce on the blunders and win the game.

To achieve this level of tactical awareness, the most important thing is to persist with the training. Not to let a single day pass without doing it for at least 1 hour (ideally – if not possible, do what you can). After several months, you can expect to see the results of the training. But even when you start seeing results, do not stop the training. The training should never stop. And this is the other big secret to becoming invincible.

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