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curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40] 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 537
Location: The Netherlands
Rating: 2202
Rating Class: National Master
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
Curtains, can you please send light a sock or some used underwear for him to complete his shrine to you? Perhaps if there are more, you could start some sort of clothing-line or something? This is what happens after 230 videos! With every video you sell a little bit more of your soul to us. We own a part of you now. Toanails for everybody!

And seeing the beauty of the Dragon-variation, the cosmos re-aligned its stars and immortalised it. For even now, we call that constellation the Dragon constellation.

Dutch elo: 2202
FIDE: 2233

Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:19 pm

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:45 am
Posts: 12
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
I listened to the whole thing. I paused it in the middle for a bit but came back to it.

Curtains, I think the most interesting thing about what you're saying isn't the part about greatness, but rather the ideas about life and the amount of time you have.

Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:24 am

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:38 pm
Posts: 161
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
I thought what he said about how what you learn as a child "shapes" you was very interesting too. It's really true. For example languages you learn as a kid, you'll just learn much easier and better, with a fraction of the effort it would take to learn it later on in life. Masters at complex things like piano, violin, chess, almost always start learning as children. I find that sad somehow. Brings our own mortality into perspective.

Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:43 am

Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 3:29 pm
Posts: 4
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
I listened to the whole video. I guess that means that there is something wrong with me, but isn't there something wrong with everybody? I understand your point about the amount of time it takes to improve significantly when you are already really good. I am in school and I aim to achieve a B average because I realize that I would have to spend about twice as long studying just to move up to an A average. I personally do not think it is worth it to spend all of your time on one thing. There are many other things in life that you could spend your time on. I think it would be better to step out of our comfort zones and try many new things and socialize with many different people. Chess can be fun, but it's just a game, one game. How much can you expect out of life when spending all of your time studying a complex board game? I would rather be really good at a lot of things than be great at only one thing because after doing the same thing for a while it becomes boring. I sometimes question myself "what am I doing spending 3,4,5 hours a day playing chess when I could be playing soccer or trying paint ball or swimming or learning to play guitar?"

Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:58 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:57 am
Posts: 324
Rating: 1900U
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
Q: Should a person strive to be the best at only one thing, or a lot of things?
A: The purpose for man is to serve his function well... every person seems to have different strengths, so I imagine that the answer is different for every person.

Oh, and to be honest, I skipped to like 10 minutes after the game, but the rant at the end was interesting enough for me to leave it running.

The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it." - Benjamin Franklin

Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:50 am

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:24 am
Posts: 18
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
I listened to the whole thing.

Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:25 pm

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 247
Rating: 2075
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
Curtains, I understand where you are coming from. You've gotten some good and varying bits of wisdom from the previous posters.......but ultimately you've got to choose your own path.

I don't know how old you are (though I would guess from listening to most of your videos mid to lates 20s?), but you sound like you are going through something similar to what I experienced approx 15 years ago. I started playing when I was in grade school, but lived in a remote location and had limited access to resources. I must have had some natural ability as I somehow managed to win our state's high school championship a couple times. But it wasn't until I was out on my own that I had the opportunity to really get consumed w/ chess; I was steadily increasing but at the master level I suddenly started to burn out - or at least find other things more enjoyable than studying and playing chess. It was a source of great conflict for me as on one hand it didn't hold the same interest for me, but on the other I felt awful at the idea of giving up something that I had so much invested in. However, it just so happened that at that time (mid 20s) I made a career change, which required an enormous amount of time, and also we had our first child, so naturally the correct, or responsible, decision was to put chess on the back-burner.

What I have learned is that I too enjoy a variety of different things. And, as someone else posted, I prefer to be better than most at a variety of different things, than to really be exceptional at just one discipline. While I have an affinity for games, I have found a great deal of satisfaction in other areas as well: poker (sidenote - I too enjoy this and have found it to be profitable, however - it's not as profitable as my business so I rarely play anymore), I'm a better-than-average golfer, I've completed a couple marathons, etc. etc.

Now I come back to chess after 15 years and it is bitter-sweet. At times it is frustrating (due to being rusty) and I think I want to put the time & effort into getting back to that master level and perhaps beyond. But then, realistically I realize I am not willing to devote that much time to it - so I just let up on the "competitive gas pedal" and enjoy the game.

Good luck in figuring out what is right for you. By the way, I too really enjoy the videos - otherwise I wouldn't have listened to your whole rant. I wish you the best.

-- A friend in chess

Coming out of retirement!

Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:40 pm

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:07 am
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 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
As the buddhists say let go of your ego. In a way it might be better to do the most boring stuff.

Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:46 pm

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:22 pm
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Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
Very instructive! thx for the heads up!

Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:09 pm
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 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
My thoughts are basically as follows. I think you are misguided in your rant, because you are looking at end results instead of the process. Achieving "greatness" at one thing or "goodness" at many things is really irrelevant. I think you should pursue those activities in which the study itself gives you the most pleasure. Do you think all of us class players study chess because we hope to become IM's or GM's? Certainly not, for me at least the joy comes from learning more about the game itself. In your case, this may be such a high level that you would basically be memorizing opening variations and current theory or whatever; if you find that tedious and boring, I would skip it, regardless of whether you could gain 50 pts or not. Put it this way - if there were no USCF ratings or scrabble fame or whatever, what would you do out of passion? Would you study chess if all you could do was play Unrated tournaments with no name recognition? I think it says a lot about a persons motives the way they answer that question. Kasparov or Fischer would probably say yes, chess is my life. Joel Benjamin or Nigel Short, maybe not so much I guess.

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Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:02 am

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:04 am
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 Re: curtains - L229: W vs Valet [31:40]
TheEnterprise wrote:
I listened to it.

Answer) I'd rather be good at many things than amazing at one thing.
I can't fathom this answer. If you devote yourself primarily to one thing, you can have an overreaching goal (rather than half-hearted ones that you fade away from when something more interesting comes along), you can find out your true potential, if you're very gifted, you can break new ground, and reach high levels of innovation, achievement, notoriety, fortune. If you spread yourself among many things, being okay and ultimately forgettable at all of them...I just don't see the comparison at all.

Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:28 pm
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