Microsense Kramnik Gelfand Program Day 2: To become a good chess player, just chess is not enough
"If you can keep improving your chess skills each day, you will become one of the best players in the world". While this is an extremely logical statement to make, I would say it is incomplete. Chess improvement involves much more than simply chess! And top players know it the best. That's the reason why at the Microsense Kramnik Gelfand Training camp special emphasis has been placed on matters beyond the chess board as well. The food that is being consumed by the players and the trainers is being carefully prepared by expert chefs. An expert yoga instructor visits the premises each day to make sure that the day begins with physical as well as mental fitness. Check out this article to find out how in order to become a good chess player, just chess is not enough!
The naive chess player thinks - in order to improve at chess, you must work hard on just chess. The experienced chess player knows that in order to become a better chess player, you need to work on many factors beyond even the chess board. Chess is a psychological sport. To have your body and mind functioning at an optimum level is a pre-requisite in order to play good chess. Yet, we have innumerable examples where people have spent all their energy working on chess, on different openings, middlegames and endgames and when they go to an event, their neck, back or some part of the body is paining. Also often, mentally they are so drained out that there is no creative energy left for any work to be done. With the Microsense Kramnik Gelfand Training Program we are trying to avoid this burnout. Yes, the main aim is chess and six hours of intensive training is being imparted to the 14 youngsters by Kramnik and Gelfand, but apart from that also there are several things which are being done, to make sure that the kids are in the optimum frame of mind.
You have to understand this extremely important concept that the food you eat determines your mood during the game. Hence, it is extremely important to have a well chalked out plan as to what you would be eating during a tournament/ training session. In the case of the training camp an ex-oberoi (five star michelin chef) hotel's chef has been hired. His job is to ensure that the students get the best possible food for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Two things are given the most importance when preparing the food - the food should be simple and homely, so that the kids do not miss their home food and there should be variety in the dishes so that each one has something that they like. A few of the players and their parents were asked before the camp about the food that they would like to have and the menu was prepared accordingly.
Yoga and meditation
In Chens Sur Leman, for the first training camp with Vladimir Kramnik, one of the issues was to get the youngsters out of bed in the morning! And when you were able to do that, it was quite impossible to stop them from playing blitz! No such problem is being faced at the second camp here in Chennai and the main reason for the same are the Yoga classes! Of course, the main aim is to make sure that the kids indulge in the holistic practice of yoga and meditation which will help them to calm their mind and get better at chess. But one cannot overlook the obvious benefits of waking up on time and having a fixed regime thanks to the yoga sessions.
No one is left out!
Before the training camp IM Aditya Mittal met with an accident and the fracture meant that he could not travel to Chennai. Would he miss out on the training camp? Well, where there is a will there is a way! Microsense ensured that high speed internet was setup in the premises. ChessBase India made sure that the appropriate cameras were setup in the training room. The result?
After the yoga classes end around 9 a.m. some kids have their breakfast, while some go to the swimming pool to have fun! Yes, it is fun, but in the process they are also making themselves fitter. When fitness and fun meet each other that's the best combination. Because then you do not have to motivate yourself to stay fit! Fitness becomes a way of living!
Photo Gallery by Amruta Mokal
Position for the day:
Antipov vs Saviliev, Russian team championship 2019