Grandmaster tips: Patience is a real virtue in chess, by GM ALEX COLOVIC


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As the saying goes, “The hardest test in life is having the patience to wait for the right moment.”

We know that patience is very important during a game. But I will not talk about that patience now. I would like to share my thoughts about patience during a tournament.

Tournaments can develop in all sorts of ways. There are good ones, there are bad ones. Some start excellently and finish thus. Others finish badly. Some start badly and finish with a triumph. Or a catastrophie. Anything is possible.

Some tournaments are harder than others.

Don’t get frustrated!

I have found that the hardest ones are when you’re playing well, but you are not getting the results.

It burns inside, it is frustrating. Game after game, you outplay them, you are winning, but then something happens and you don’t win. Or you play well, but they also play well, in spite of being much lower rated than you, so you don’t even get a chance to win. Any way you suffer.

What to do?

There is only one constructive thing you can do: be patient. Do not, under any circumstances, go berserk and push your luck. When things are developing in the described way you will be punished.

The trend is not favourable and you cannot force it to become one. No, stay calm, keep composure. If you play well, you must keep your emotions under wraps, keep yourself under control.

Take your chances!

The next day, go in with the same motivation and desire. Do not do anything abrupt. Keep on playing your usual game. It doesn’t matter what happened before. Your chance will come.

You will probably have to wait for it longer than you’d want to. Perhaps until the last round or two. But if you manage to keep yourself composed, if you manage to keep the quality of your moves on a high level, if you do not lose your patience, you will be rewarded.

The chance will appear and then you will have to grab it. If you will, the tournament will be a success. And you will remember that tournament.

Patience in chess brings results

The chance will come, I can assure you. You will be rewarded for your patience. Patience will get you a chance eventually, but it is entirely up to you to take it.

Usually, you will. It will be too much pain if you didn’t. But that will also happen. And you will learn not to repeat the same mistake.

You will become stronger and then a tournament will happen when you go with the flow and all comes easily.

But even then, remember to be patient.

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