I used to laugh at amateur golf players. They seem like such schmucks. There’s a huge industry capitalizing on golfers’ desire to improve (see: swing analysis software, video instruction, lessons, etc etc). Golfers talk incessantly about shaving their handicap, fixing their slice, buying a new driver that’s going to add twenty yards off the tee, and so on. And do they get better? No. Just poorer.
I laugh no more. I am doing the same thing in chess. I study, I fixate on raising my rating, I obsess about how Jacob Aagard’s book is (at last) going to turn me from a puppy to a pitbull in the endgame.
And do I get better?
Last night at the club, I made a horrific endgame move that handed my young opponent a draw. He was so happy he literally got up and danced.
I’m a schmuck.