What grabbed my attention was early on in the programme Magnus spoke of playing by his “intuition” and not how so many Grandmasters play which is by strategy. As he got older he got better and better beating all before him. In his early 20’s he made it to the world final against the current champion, a very talented Indian guy who was world champion for the previous 4years. The game was the first to 6.5 points, 1point for a win and .5 for a drawn game and it was being held in the current champions home town. When Magnus arrived he was greeted by thousands of fans and the worlds media. It soon became clear that his mind was unsettled and he carried this into the first 4 games. As bad as he was playing he managed to draw the first 4 games but it was a matter of time before he fell apart and his opponent knew this as did the watching world.
Magnus: “you can just feel when your intuition doesn’t work, it’s like you can’t speak the language anymore and yet you used to be fluent”. This is something that I can relate to, something that was effortless becomes almost impossible, even though the task maybe the same it’s that I have lost that “intuitive feel”
This came to my mind. P=P-I. Performance=Potential minus interference. His polluted, distracted mind was the Interference.
His father knew something had to change, so that night his family played games that they did when he was a young boy. Cards, singing, dancing and just having fun. The laughter soon returned and the thought storm that had derailed him passed and freedom of thought returned along with the gift of just being.
The following days games were completely different, Magnus allowed his intuition to play the game. He won and it was now 3-2 points to Magnus. Game 6 and the same he was in flow and what he was doing was effortless. A commentator said “what he is doing just isn’t possible…not for the human brain” As I heard this I thought, that’s true as it’s not coming from the human brain it’s coming from intuition, wisdom a knowing or whatever you feel comfortable calling it
Magnus went on to win and in doing so became the highest ranked chess player of all time.
When I am in personal polluted thinking it feels as though I am disconnected from my intuition and something that I can normally take in my stride now appears nigh on impossible. Yet, the only thing that has happened is my relationship with my thinking has changed. I am taking what is going on in my head as gospel and believing all what I am thinking.
I can only assume that Magnus would not have seen that it was only his thinking that was in the way of his wisdom and sure he would have looked to externals for this, the media, the pressure, the cameras constantly taking his photo etc. We are designed to self correct, this doesn’t require effort it is built in. When you cut your finger it heals itself, no trying, no effort. It works regardless of whether you believe it or not, it’s just a truth. The same thing happens with our mind, it is designed to self correct, no effort no trying. Magnus went from someone with all the talent in the world but couldn’t access it, not because it wasn’t there but because he was getting in the wa of it. Like a kink in the hose, the water is still there it’s just unable to flow.
“When our mind clears, wisdom appears”
As always, take a look for yourself in your own life and that of others. The clues are always there.