Being a chess player requires having a good amount of personality, being a great one requires a great amount. Talent can only take you so far, it is more of a tie-breaker is two people learn the same things.
This is true and will always be true if you want to be a strong player, here I am going to present such qualities that will give you a good idea of what it takes to get there.
As someone who is active in chess here is what I know:
In order to be a good player, someone needs to have diligence, passion, persistence, resilience, dedication, creativity, and uniqueness. It is not enough to be talented since modern chess requires a lot of memorization (preparation) that needs dedicated effort to study.
The goal of this article is to give you hope if you think that you are not talented enough! You can get to the level that you want but you have to work for it.
Here are the qualities that makes a good chess player:
1.) Diligence- Good chess players are very deligent.
Pouring through every single day to master your craft over a long period of time is not for the lazy guy.
Sometimes it will require you to break some limitations that you will put for yourself and just work hard.
Work ethic is the name of the game since that will be the key difference that would put you ahead of everyone else.
2.) Extreme dedication- Good chess players are dedicated.
Investing so much effort in studying can feel so overwhelming sometimes the dedicated one will always push through the doubts.
These are the people that can consistently accomplish their training routine no matter what gets in their way.
They are willing to go over and over again through various positions even when they’ve become bored (although relaxing is helpful too).
3.) Persistence- Good chess players are persistent.
There will always be a certain area of chess pursuit no matter the level where progress seems non-existent.
What is logically seen as stagnant growth is translated into a challenge something that will test your worthiness.
How much do you really want to finish your goals? The one who doesn’t quit is the only one who can have the opportunity to win.
4.) Resilience- Good chess players are resilient.
Every player will be faced with an emotional loss or tournament disappointment, something that can stick around in a bad way.
Being able to rise from this moment can distinguish someone who will succeed to those who don’t.
This is especially true in whatever level you’re currently in right now since you will always lose every now and then despite your skills.
5.) Has a hunger for learning- Good chess players learns constantly.
Chess is a mental game, knowledge through the opening, middle game, and game is the x factor of the industry.
Basically knowledge for everything you will have a hard time making progress if you don’t want to learn.
Enjoy the process, absorb as many times as you can and be happy with it, you will improve your game a lot this way.
6.) Creativity- Good chess players are creative-S
Now I know everyone is saying creativity is becoming more obsolete in top games now but it’s really not.
People don’t usually just appreciate little creative things that top players put into their games.
This can be a new theoretical novelty, positional maneuver, or pawn sacrifice, being creative is still important to succeed.
7.) Uniqueness- Good chess players are unique
This is something that no one has talked about lately which is the requirement for you to bring something new that separates you.
I know chess is not an entertainment show but just the repertoire, if you’re doing what everyone else does it’s hard to be the best.
You need to find your own signature whether it’s an opening line or style of play, this can make you a trademark player.
8.) Incredible Memory- Good chess players have an incredible memory.
No matter how much we want to deny it chess is starting to become a memorization game.
Now we don’t want to only memorize yes if we are still early in the process but is undeniably significant later.
Chess players can easily remember extensive lines and branches and even recall games from specific tournaments.
9.) Flexibility- Good chess players can adapt on the situation.
Things will not always go in the plan (that is rare by the way) so don’t resign immediately if you made a mistake.
Instead try to play it out and see if you can seize some sort of an advantage since adaptability is what you need to move forward.
Being able to pick up the positions in your side of the board no matter how big of indecision you’ve made can put you in the direction of success.
10.) Not afraid to try new things- Good chess players are willing to explore.
Since chess is so scientific that there are answers in basically every position some players think that there’s only one way to play.
This is absolutely false even the best players in the world consistently experiment to get the secret sauce.
And there shouldn’t be any difference in your case, try to find something innovative that works, it can be a low hanging fruit that you can utilize.
11.) Ambitious- Good chess players are ambitious.
No matter where you are any industry those that set their goals as high as possible are the ones that have the results.
Settling for less is especially dangerous in the chess world full of mediocrity and contentment.
The problem with this is people don’t usually unlock their full potential this way limiting their accomplishments.
12.) High Confidence- Good chess players are confident with themselves.
You can’t get in any place worth going if you don’t believe in your own capabilities that would allow such opportunity.
This limiting mindset of “I can only get this far” or “I cannot defeat this strong player” makes you weaker than you actually are.
Trust the process that you’ve selected for yourself since that is the thing that you believe in every single day.
13.) They know themselves- Good chess players are self-aware.
Good chess players have a fair understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and work on them.
They also know if they’re just making excuses to skip a particular regimen that they should be doing.
More importantly they don’t lie to themselves (we all have an idea of things we need to do).
14.) Focused on their goals- Good chess players are goal-oriented.
On your way up the ladder there will be a lot of negative connotations surrounding your play or pursuit.
Some can give you the “you don’t belong here” attitude that may discourage some aspirants.
But those that can shrug off the negativity and still believe in themselves and what they’re doing will be the only people to have a chance at victory.
15.) Passionate- Good chess players are passionate with chess.
I can’t stress this enough you gotta “love the process” it’s the way to win in chess and in life.
Just loving the things that you do can make the burden you carry so much lighter than it should be.
This will keep you motivated to actually stick through the scheduling and conditioning necessary to be a winner.
16.) Patient- Good chess players know when to wait.
The journey to become a good chess player is a long and tedious one where sometimes things are not progressing.
The capability to hold out feelings of withdrawal is a great recipe to see things through until the end.
Being patient enough to wait for things to actually happen not just on training routines but in the actual game is very helpful.
17.) Mentally Tough- Good chess players are mentally tough.
Chess tournaments are very mentally exhausting environments where a tremendous stress is applied to the brain to perform in a long time without losing focus.
Sometimes these events are decided by who can remain in concentration the most over who is actually the best.
A good chess player is mentally conditioned enough to survive these circumstances and come out on top.
18.) Physically Tough- Good chess players are physically tough.
Most people don’t realize this but chess games especially classical ones (30 minutes+) is one of the most physically demanding activities you can participate in.
Sitting for long periods of time without succumbing to the tensions of the back stiffness can take physical endurance.
And since most tournaments are played consecutively (one after the other) you are likely to do this for over half a day.
19.) Can be calm under pressure- Good chess players know how to calm themselves
Chess tournaments in particular are extremely stressful settings that will require some nerve to manage through.
Whether it’s facing a stronger opponent, having a better position, being on a time trouble, or trying to be at the top of the standings, suspense is always around.
The ability to remain composed in these crucial moments are a signature of someone who can reach very far.
20.) Good at preparations- Good chess players knows how to prepare.
Being able to compete properly in tournaments requires the player to have a systematized way of preparing.
Whether it’s the accommodation of the motels, recording of the moves, or the physical and mental workouts , it all follows a preparation.
Having the quality of being organized in such a narrow stressful schedule is also an important stepping stone to success.
Being a good chess player is definitely not an easy task, it demands several astonishing qualities that is hard to develop.
The good news is that anyone can actually possess such traits over a period of time with a little bit of belief in yourself.
This is what I have personally seen from watching a lot of interviews of chess grandmaster’s routines which is they are very hard and nerve-wrecking.
Here’s the compilation of my findings, sleep well and play chess.