Practice Makes Perfect

January 21, 2009
By Ben Neb, Odessa, AK

I began playing chess when I was five years old. Chess taught me a huge lesson: practice makes perfect. How I learned this? At the beginning of my chess carrier, I didn't practice for any tournament- even when there was a huge tournament. It took me very long too learn this lesson, because at that time I was very stubborn.

One time, my chess teacher persuaded me to prepare, practice, and study chess before a tournament, because the results weren't very good. I only listened too him because I wanted to play as good as he did. So I did practice. And you know what? That was the first tournament where I received a trophy! My first one!

Of course, as stubborn as I was back then, I believed it was good luck, and for the next couple times I didn't practice at all, once again. Of course, on the days of the tournaments, I was unsuccessful, again, like before. However, since not practicing was the easy way out, kept on going to tournaments unprepared. Only at one point I learned a lesson.

There was a US. Open tournament going on in the other side of the country. I didn't want to go, since the flight was a couple hours, and I simply hated flying in planes. But my brother mocked me, saying, “I'll get a trophy that is so big,” holding his hand up high in the air. And I knew that this was true- those trophies are huge. So I couldn't resist the thought of winning one.

As lazy as I was, I didn't fly prepared: unlike my brother. And guess what, he won a huge trophy, while I didn't even get close to winning one.

I thought about myself being “unlucky”. I had flown in a plane for hours, there, and then back, because I wanted a trophy, and not only I didn't win one, but I also got teased by my brother.

And from that moment and on, I stopped criticizing my bad luck for being unsuccessful- not just in chess, but in everything- and started blaming my lazy self. And that turned me from unsuccessful to more successful. This story happened to me when I was approximately eight years old.

At that point, I started believing that practicing and preparing maybe does make me capable of achieving more- after all, Kasparov practiced, too, and look how good he played. And from then on, I started studying hours at a time to try winning a trophy in tournaments. And from that point, I started winning trophies.

Today I have 56 trophies. Even though I still have to get fifteen more trophies too have as many as my brother has, I learned a important lesson from this experience: if your going somewhere where you care about being successful, practice. Because Practice Makes Perfect!

I'm sill not perfect, and not even close too that, so maybe I don't practice enough yet. But I'll keep trying, and never give up, which is another lesson that I learned through chess.

Even though this lesson I learned is very important, and guided me through numerous amounts of obstacles in life, I still have millions of lessons too learn (that is why I will never stop playing chess).

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