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How to become a grandmaster


The Persians called their monarch "shah", and the Arabs use the word "mat" in the meaning of "dead." Thus, the Persian-Arabic “chess” means “the king has died”, which precisely determines the ultimate goal of the competition - the death of the opponent’s king.

There are many legends about the birth of a chess game. And here is one of them, in my opinion, the most curious. It was in the 6th century AD. The sage came to Raja and offered to play an unprecedented game with him on a checkered board. Although the raja was defeated, he liked the chaturanga - the so-called fun - and decided to generously reward the sage. “Ask for what you want,” the lord said, “I will not regret anything.” The sage replied: “I am a humble person and do not crave gold or pearls. Order me to give me only bread grains.” "Do you need a lot?" the king asked. “As long as this chessboard suggests. Put one grain on the first square, twice as much on the second, twice as much on the third, twice as much as the third, and twice as much as the third. And so on - the last, 64th. It will be quite enough. " But this turned out to be impossible: not only in the barns of the Raja, but also in the barns of all countries of the world combined, there would not be such an amount of grain. The court mathematician calculated that 9 223 372 036 854 775 808 grains are placed on the last cell, and 18 446 744 073 709 551 615 are placed on all! (In the language of mathematics, 1.84 * 10 19.) By his request, the sage wanted to prove to the crown bearer that in chess there are a lot of possibilities!

From the history of chess

The Indian war game Chaturanga, the progenitor of modern chess, came to Russia directly from the East. Archaeological evidence suggests that chess in Russia has been known since the 11th century. A kind of gymnastics for the mind fell to the hearts of Russians, and by the 15th century it had spread to the most diverse sections of society. She was especially popular among the military. Incredibly fond of chess, Peter I, who introduced the custom of playing them in assemblies. And during the reign of Anna Ioannovna in the Winter Palace even arranged a special Chess room. At the end of the 18th century, the first Petersburg Chess Club appeared, and a few decades later the Society of Chess Game Lovers appeared. Then its members were L. N. Tolstoy, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, J. P. Polonsky, I. S. Turgenev and many others. By the end of the 19th century, Russia already had its own school of chess, the grandmasters M.I. Chigorin, A.A. Alekhin and others became its brightest representatives.

In Soviet times, the state took custody of chess. All conditions were created for the training and training of players, the winners were honored along with the astronauts. Needless to say, the country was someone to be proud of. Here are just a few names of world chess champions, which have become role models for many generations - Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Tigran Petrosyan, Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov.

With the advent of a market economy, the situation has changed dramatically: the state has more important things to do. As a result, many grandmasters and experienced teachers left to work abroad. And the enthusiasts who stayed in Russia are forced to travel to world tournaments at their own expense, to seek funds for the organization of competitions. But there is good news: various computer programs for chess have appeared. Now children and adults, taking their first steps, in an accessible and exciting way can master the vast theoretical material and consolidate it by playing with an electronic opponent. The masters are offered the so-called electronic simulators, which help to effectively work out the individual stages of a chess game, for example, the endgame is the final stage. You can test your abilities without leaving your home, participating in numerous online tournaments.

In the chess wilds

In principle, everyone can learn to play chess, just like strumming a guitar. But to obtain a genuine work of art, you need a special state of mind and soul, as they say, a gift of God. Chess is endless like. music! Scientists have calculated: the length of the vault containing the records of all chess games would be such that a ray of light, flying past it for a million years, will pass only one billionth part of the pantry. The inexhaustibility of combinations makes chess one of the most exciting games on earth.

Different people, regardless of age, profession, language and skin color, spend leisure time at the board. Unfortunately, many people get down to business without experienced guides and faithful guides. And it often happens that, wandering and winding along an unfamiliar chess road, they go astray and turn back without having comprehended the secrets of chess. Overcome all obstacles for beginners with special knowledge, hard training and, of course, a love of the game.

It is best for students to start their journey with training in a specialized school, preferably according to the author’s methodology of some eminent grandmaster. However, there are very few such institutions in the capital. Admission to them is usually conducted at the beginning of the school year, in September. Primary schoolchildren do not require any skills for admission, they are accepted into primary training groups. Two years later, the most capable are transferred to training groups. At this stage, as a rule, chess players participate in various tournaments and lose sports categories. As a result, the strongest leave the alma mater as candidates or masters of sports. But future grandmasters continue classes in sports development groups, where the main form of training is individual work with a trainer.

By the way, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation is currently considering the introduction of chess in the primary school curriculum. And even as an experiment in 2004, one of the schools in the North-Eastern District of Moscow taught chess along with other subjects. The results were astounding: academic performance increased dramatically, discipline improved. According to multiple world chess champion Anatoly Karpov, such classes are planned to be opened in several more metropolitan schools. “My dream is to restore chess to its former popularity,” said Anatoly Karpov. “And therefore, I am doing my best to make them a compulsory school subject.”

As for adults, but inexperienced players, they can be advised to go to chess courses. This will help to significantly "advance", get or increase sports rank, as well as gain new partners in the game. Lessons are held both in groups and individually. The cost of training varies depending on the frequency and duration of classes, but is approximately 1000-5000 rubles per month. The amount may be higher. Here, a lot determines the purpose of study, the brand of the educational institution and the titles of teachers.

When chess becomes a profession

The famous grandmaster, eleventh world chess champion Robert Fisher wrote in his books that he is most attracted to chess because he has the opportunity to travel a lot, a lot of money and a chess atmosphere. Anatoly Karpov added to this list communication with many interesting people, a lot of new experiences and activities. However, this does not end with the list of advantages of a chess career, since no one has canceled the fame and crowds of fans. So it turns out that being a grandmaster is very nice. Especially if your passion for the game is genuine.

In general, grandmasters are special people. In addition to developed intelligence, excellent memory, the ability to grasp the essence of the problem on the fly, they need a lot of patience and perseverance in order to achieve good results. According to Anatoly Karpov, a strong player can be a person of any mentality and profession: mathematician, writer, singer. There are known cases when scientists became world champions, such as, for example, Mikhail Botvinnik, or poorly educated people like Robert Fischer. Ability decides everything.

As a rule, the sporting path of an outstanding chess player is marked by quick victories. Many talents from their youth stand out among their peers and sometimes give odds to grandmasters. So, for example, it was with Anatoly Karpov. The speed of his ascension to the top of Olympus is unprecedented. He learned to play chess at the age of four. At eleven he became the youngest candidate for master of sports in the country, at eighteen - the world champion among young men. And there are many similar examples in this sport.

That's just to look for and prepare young talents almost no one. According to Anatoly Karpov, Russia lost a network of children's trainers - chess teachers. "And this is real trouble!" - notes the grandmaster. Indeed, before, chess educators were engaged in identifying and preparing future stars. Today, they get out on their own. In such conditions, many children from distant cities and villages, as well as from low-income families, remain out of work. Fortunately, Anatoly Karpov and his many associates are not idle and are trying to restore this network.

True, universities and training centers offering a unique profession as a coach - a chess teacher, can be counted on the fingers. For example, in the capital, only the Russian State University of Physical Culture (RGUFK) and, since 2003, the Moscow State Social University (MGSU) conduct appropriate training.

“A new, so far little-known faculty at MGSU did not go unnoticed by applicants,” said Anatoly Karpov. “This year, 23 students were accepted.” The competition was small: only 1.6 people per seat. An indispensable condition for admission was profile testing. In addition, applicants passed exams in Russian language and literature (in writing). Somewhat different requirements in the RSUFK. In addition to the core discipline, it is necessary to successfully pass the tests in biology and general physical education. For those who have not passed the competition, there is an option for admission on a contractual basis, its cost is about $ 1500 per year. Graduates receive a state diploma. The demand for chess teachers is undeniable, but wages leave much to be desired. Teachers' incomes usually do not exceed 25 rubles. per hour of classes. For comparison: in the West, specialists receive $ 40-60 per hour. Nevertheless, one can hope that rates will rise. In any case, the Russian Chess Federation is making great efforts in this direction.

However, not only victories and teaching activities can earn grandmasters. Many of them write articles and books about chess for substantial fees, judge at tournaments, and consult newcomers. Especially entrepreneurial successfully organize their business using chess connections and abilities. And indeed in any case, a chess mind can come in handy. Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview said: “Chess is not just a sport. They make a person wiser and more far-sighted, they help to objectively assess the current situation, to calculate actions several steps ahead."


The book of the outstanding Soviet grandmaster A. Kotov is devoted to the general theory of the middlegame. This work highlights issues such as positional play, combinational flair, calculation of options, transition to the endgame, tournament mode. Each chapter is accompanied by examples from the practice of prominent chess players of the world.

Will you become a grandmaster, dear reader, after carefully studying this book? Hard to say. Naturally, this also depends on natural data, persistence in achieving the goal, fighting qualities. But in any case, you will take a big step forward in mastering chess theory, understand many of the subtleties of the process of thinking over moves, which, in the end, should lead to success in tournaments.