No Bragging please, We're British!

Russell Sherwood  Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In the real world, I spend an awful lot of time optimising and improving processes, something I am rather good at!

Where I can, I try and transfer some of the techniques to my CC play, often with success. The methodology I will now offer, I had very mixed views when first exposed to, mainly as it’s so “UnBritish” but it does work!

Ask a typical British person to list their (a) strengths and (b) weaknesses; the typical response will have the far more in list (b) than (a). To have more in (a) is seen as “Boastful and Bragging”, something negative. This in itself is something that is unhelpful.

So the technique I am looking at here is the of a “Bragging Board”. The technique is used to real world to record any successes, however small, by an individual or team. This is very useful for three main reasons:

  • A rich source of information for compilation of reports

  • A way to demonstrate progress, especially when success is hard to come by, which is a very useful positive psychological benefit.

  • A method to manage progress.

So how can the player use this method for CC?

Practically I believe a simple approach can be as follows:

  • Record your test best & worst wins

  • Record your 10 best & worst draws

  • Record your 10 best & worst losses

  • Record any Tournaments where you:

    • Perform better than expected

    • Place 1st,2nd or 3rd

    • Do anything that noteworthy (in your opinion)

  • Anything else you find noteworthy

It is worth mentioning that “Best and Worst” is your definition.  It could be by rating or by Title held or any other method you think worthy.

The reason for the “best” results is obvious, but the “worst” needs a explanation. The draws and losses here are painful but very informative and keeping them in mind is something the player can continue to learn from.

Once you have written up this document, keep it somewhere safe (and probably private!) and maintain it. Once you have done this, anytime you need a positive boost in Chess terms have a read through it. This is very useful in the situations discussed in “Form is temporary, Class is Permanent”.

On a personal note, being British, I can confirm the first sentence was rather difficult to write!

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