Chess Speech: Motivation and Making Winning Decisions

9 04 2010

A few weeks ago, I’d TD’d my first event at a local scholastic tournament. Before the start of the first round, I read the followings speech. I think you might enjoy reading it:

Hey guys, most of you probably know me. For those of you who don’t, my name is Daniel Johnston.

A chess tournament; this is a chess tournament. So why do we play chess?

There are many reasons. Perhaps because of the competition, meeting your friends, stuff like that. But the main reason we’re here is to play chess. Why? Because chess is fun.

So what makes chess fun? Yes, there are all the usual suspects. I talked about this on my blog, But what I didn’t say there was the real reason that I like to play chess, and probably for a lot of you, too: Winning. What can possibly be more thrilling than just outwitting your opponent in a match, being congratulated, and feeling great? There’s really just no better feeling.

And we all know how fun winning is. But some of us don’t realize that the conscious choices that we make directly effects whether we win or lose. Some people will argue that discipline is most important, but what makes us discipline is really the most important thing; motivation. Are you motivated enough to make the right decisions; be patient, take your time, develop, castle? Realize that if you abide by rules like those and ones that you hear all the time from coaches that are a lot older than me you will win games.

Recently, I started taking more seriously some of the concepts. They are a cover-up for me until I learn the exact science of chess through studying, but although I may not be playing the best moves, I am playing better than before. Remember that advice from players better than you will make you better in the vast majority of cases.

But above all, have fun! And remember; chess is cool! Thank you.

At a later date, I’ll post a video of me saying the speech and share about my TD experience.