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  • GM Avetik Grigoryan GM Avetik Grigoryan

The Game-Changer Question

This will speed up your growth in chess.

Improvement Hacks | 5 min read
The Game-Changer Question

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
J. R. R. Tolkien

Is it useful to watch chess videos on YouTube?
Is it useful to solve positions? What about learning to checkmate with a King and Queen using pre-moves?

Yeah, most probably they are useful.
But for fast growth, not for linear but for explosive growth, you should ask another question.

Is it the Most Effective?

This is a game-changing question. Before continuing to read, please pause here, and think about yourself. What are you doing in your chess career? In your life?

Most probably you have some dreams and goals. Are you going in a fast way or in the fastest way?
Do you do useful activities or do you do the most effective ones?
Can you honestly say to yourself that you use your time effectively?

Time is Limited

Recently, in a book, I read a sentence that gave me goosebumps.
It simply said; “We’re dying.”
And it’s true. With each day, with each hour, even with each second we’re getting closer to it…
Our time is not infinite. It has a beginning and an end.

Our time is limited. We don’t have enough time for just doing useful things.

Well, if you don’t have any specific goals, or you have some, but there is no competition, or it’s not very important for you to get there fast, you can chill.

But if you’re not interested in chasing your goals, but are committed, or if you want to get there as soon as possible, you can’t afford the luxury of doing useful things.
You should concentrate on the most useful activities instead.

BMW or Opel?

Imagine you’re a big fan of street racing. You’ve always dreamt of participating there.
Now you have a good job, you don’t have any problems with money, and you go to a car dealer to buy one.
You enter there, you show a car and ask a question, “Is it a good car?”.
He says, “Yes, it’s good”.
You pay $3000, buy an Opel, which is already 20 years old and go to a racing competition.

Funny, right? 🙂
Would you ever do that? No, you wouldn’t!
You would enter there and ask the dealer another question, “What is the fastest car?” or “What is the best car for racing?”.

The same mistake is made by many chess players, when instead of asking what the most useful thing is for them to do, they ask, “Is it useful”?

Good is not good enough...

In the previous example, we assumed that you didn’t have any problem with cash.
But now let’s suppose, that your max. budget is $10,000.
Then you shouldn’t ask the question, “Is it a good car?”, or “What is the best car?” because you can’t afford the best car.
You should ask the question; “What is the best car for racing within my budget?”

In our article about investing in ourselves, we’ve already spoken about the importance of it. And when we’re investing in ourselves, we should again ask ourselves the best question.
Instead of asking, “Is it a good investment?”, we should ask, “Is it the most effective investment”? Or “Is it the best investment I can do right now?”

Good is not enough…

Even if you ask yourself, “Should I buy ChessMood Membership?”, that’s the wrong question too.
The right question would be, “Based on my budget, would buying ChessMood Membership be the best investment?” Or “Would it be the most effective way to improve my chess based on my budget?”

Ask the right questions

Recently one of my friends ordered a chess book and when I asked him why he bought it, he was very surprised by my question. After thinking for a while he answered, “Because it’s going to be very useful for me to read it.”
I asked him how many hours he needed to consume the information of the book.
He said, “Maybe around 100.”
Then I asked him, “Is it going to be the most effective way to spend 100 hours?” 🙂
He got stunned for a moment, then a gentle smile appeared on his face, as he got the point of what I wanted to say.

It’s very cool to buy chess books and DVDs, to invest in yourself and in your dream.
But next time you buy something, don’t ask yourself if it’s a good book, or if it’s going to be useful for you to read it.
Ask yourself, “Is it the best book that I should read now, and is it the most effective way I can spend my time?”

Don’t work hard

If you search in Google “Hard work pays off”, you’ll find thousands of quotes, nice images, motivational videos. And that’s true – hard work pays off sooner or later.

But what pays off as soon as possible is not hard work, but hard and smart work.

Quote by GM Avetik on hardword paying off!

Don’t work hard. Work hard and smart.

You could spend 8 hours per day studying chess, but if you don’t use your time wisely, you could be less effective than someone who spends just 2 hours per day.

When people get a ChessMood yearly PRO membership, they get a 1-1 call with a Grandmaster. Why? We don’t want to have hard-working students.

We want hard and smart workers. So during the 1-1 calls, we give them personalized chess study plans and get them working in the most effective way possible.

And that’s why we have so many success stories in the end.

Our students don’t do useful activities. They do the most effective ones.
So should you. Forget about useful activities. Concentrate on the most effective ones.

Actions points

  1. Ask yourself if you’re using your time effectively – and answer honestly!
  2. Find activities that you do, which are just useful.
  3. Remove them from your day.
  4. All the time think in a way, “What is the most effective ...?” It can be, “What is the most effective book I can read now?”, “What is the most effective investment I can make now?”, or “What is the most effective way to chase my dream?”
  5. Take action.

Speed up, my friend, and hopefully, see you soon at the top...

P.S. Do you have something on your mind, but not sure if it’s the best way to grow your chess skills?
Feel free to ask in the forum. Just don’t ask, “Is it useful?” Ask, “Is it the most effective?” 🙂

Originally published Aug 03, 2020

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