Here’s a new “program” I am trying with Daniel & Jordan.

GMAD = Grand-Master A Day.

Every day we pick a famous grand master, and:

  1. Read on Wikipedia about him or her, their favorite openings, etc
  2. Analyze one of their famous games

This is a great way to improve your chess while at the same time learn about the history of chess, as well as other topics such as politics, geography and the like.

Our first GM will be Bobby Fisher, and we will look at his 3rd game against Boris Spassky in the 1972 world championship.

(Our second will be GM Dejan Bojkov)

The Dip

The Dip

The Dip

A few years ago, I read Seth Godin’s wonderful little book “The Dip

Seth explains that if you want to be “the best” at something, you must prepare for a difficult journey. If it was easy, then anyone could be the best.

Initially, your success may come relatively easily, and your performance improves rapidly. But then comes the difficult part – the dip – where your feel that you can’t make any progress, and doubt sneaks in — is that all I can be?

This is where most people quit.¬†Only those few who keep going and make it to the “other side of the dip” become true masters. And that’s why they are so rare.


This weekend Daniel played at the US National G30/G60 in California.

He did ok in the G60 (winning 2/4 games). When he lost his first game of G30 — he was quite upset; so much so that I was wondering if he might quit the tournament altogether at that point.

So I drew the dip diagram for him, and explained the theory behind it. “You are now in the dip”, I said. “If you truly want to make it to the other side, you have to make an effort and get there. It’s not easy”.¬†This had a big, positive impact on him. He went on to win all 4 subsequent games, and ended up tied for 3rd place overall. I was very proud of him.


By the way, I also played in both tournament, and had lots of fun. Here’s one of my games, where I blundered (opponent took my rook), but then recovered with a queen trap: