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is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

Honing Your Chess Instinct

Instinct. Some people describe it as a gut feeling telling you what the best course of action is when you are faced with a certain situation. Garry Kasparov has referred to it once when he was doing an interview regarding his match with Nigel Short saying that there were moments in the match where he relied on his instinct given the position. He was making moves that did not need deep calculation. It is important to note, however, that the match was in a blitz format.

What is this instinct that we keep on hearing so much and can we use chess instinct to win much of our games? I would define this instinct as a person's ability to recall or recognize the best course of action to make in a given situation as a result of accumulated experience. And the short answer to whether we can utilize this instinct, particularly chess instinct, to win games would be yes and no. It is true that in many professional sports or even fields, instinct can propel one to beat the odds but the reliability of one's instinct is dependent upon the vastness of his experience and knowledge.

Chess is, for the most part, an intellectual game. There are elements of it that tests one's ability to handle pressure, one's psychological and emotional mastery, as well as technical prowess. It also brings out one's creativity and ingenuity to think of new ideas or to come up with new ways to use old ideas or to combine different common ideas and reinvent them. But instinct is something that taps more into one's emotional predisposition and as such would be much riskier to trust than say cold, hard calculation. However, let us not disregard the importance and practical value of harnessing one's accumulated experience through instinct. It is emotions that drive one's instinct for the most part but there is a part of it that may be rooted in a more solid foundation.

There is worth in going with your gut but 9 times out of 10, instinct should not be completely relied upon rather it should simply be a stepping stone in your decision making process when thinking of a way to get out of a bind or to deliver the final blow whatever the case may be. One still has to make logical conclusions based on the assessment of the position. Chess instinct must still be scrutinized and one must use sound judgment whether to go with your gut or to play the safer option. However, I do not want to be remiss to say that sometimes instinctive moves may actually seem logical at first but upon closer inspection, they are not the best choice.

Having said all that, how do we hone our chess instinct? I think it would be obvious by now. It is honed through practice, through continuous experience of playing the game. They say "Practice makes perfect," but really, one cannot expect perfection rather one should only expect improvement. I think the better question would be whether I should rely on my instinct 100% of the time or not, and as I have said, one should tread with it very carefully, under intense scrutiny if possible.

Perhaps, some of the best situations when instinct would shine best are speed chess games, wherein rapid thinking is preferred over careful calculation. I would also like to say, chess instinct may largely differ with other fields such as basketball or football because these activities rely more on kinesthetic abilities and so they would work out their instinct with action. Chess would work out instinct with the mind essentially. You are trying to stretch your mind beyond what instinct says although there are cases when the instinctive move is the best move, but most of the time that would not be the case.

More experience in chess or in anything simply means there is a bigger database from which you can pull different methods or techniques to solve a certain problem or a certain task that is given to you. In the case of chess, when you have deep instinct, you are able to look at a position and know what plan to follow, what threats to consider, what opportunities to take advantage, and what the desired outcome is.


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