There is no shortcut to success

Not a day goes by without someone asking on one of the many chess forums what it takes to become a GM, or how many rating points they could gain in a year, or whether their 1100 online rating really means they’re 2000 OTB, because of all those cheaters. What these people are really asking, without wanting to admit to it, is “show me the secret shortcuts to becoming great at chess”.


Well I have news for them. There are no shortcuts. Chess cannot be life-hacked. There simply is no substitute for continuous hard work, deep focus and even then you have to prepare yourself for setbacks and plateaus.

Over at Art of Manliness, guest contributor Kyle Eschenroeder recently wrote a good, long read on why we should stop hacking our lives. His point of view was life in general, but I feel the arguments he sets out apply well to our attempt to master chess.

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4 thoughts on “There is no shortcut to success

  • 20th February 2018 at 7:55 am

    I absolutely. Like most things in life worth doing, getting to a GM level in chess is no easy feat and there is no substitute for hard work and continuous learning and improvement. That being said, everyone is built differently and while some may reach that level in 10 years, others will require 20 or maybe 25 years. Others still won’t ever reach that level altogether.

    The important thing is to enjoy the journey.

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