Chess is purely a psychology!
Vladimir Bagrunov, the candidate of psychological sciences
Vladimir Pavlovich Bagrunov was born in July, 11, 1945. He began studying chess at ten years old in the Smolninsky district of Leningrad city, being tutored by a known draughsman L.M.Ramm. He continued chess perfection at the Palace of pioneers, being guided by V.G.Zak. However, not only a chess, and football attacted the young at those years. Fifteen years old V.Bagrunov fulfilled the first chess category and entered into the ten of the strongest schoolboys of the city. But chess and football had to be put off for long. His labour life began at that time. He had to join the work with studyes at an evening school. By 19 years when in 1964 Vladimir entered a psychology faculty he had already four years' industrial work probation: In 1969 he graduated from the psychological faculty department of the Leningrad university by correspondence, and to astonishment of many fellows V.Bagrunov was taken at once at a wage rate of junior research worker of the engineering psychology laboratory without past graduate course: ( From V.P.Bagrunov's biography)
One warm summer day I visited Vladimir Pavlovich as a guest and in cordial atmosphere began my inquiries about his life. I don't conceal that I was interested in the most questions long ago. Psychology as a science about soul is nevertheless very young and arisen in our country at the epoch of atheism. And chess got its development at the time
V.P., and how may chess and psychology be coupled together?
- Chessplayer for psychology the same as drosofil (the fly under research which genetics is based upon) for biology. Chess is purely a psychology. Much may be said of a man by having seen his games. Both what he thought and what he got, on the whole, everything about him. At the same time a chessplayer himself understands life, as it is add learns to live improving in chess. For he lives out many lives, because every game is life in a miniature!
- It turns out, chess helps to understand life better...
- Undoubtedly, it is so.
- And what do you think, Vladimir Pavlovich, what should be based upon? I have in view now a young, non-formed chessplayer yet.
- The task of a parent and trainer is to find out how the child reacts to his defeats. If his reaction is turbulent all the time then chess is better to be left. It is very important to choose individual methods of alleviating stresses as a chess game takes nervous energy very much. And balance must be restored. Chess is military playing though the rivals are not in immediate physical contact with each other. At the same time, if we have already taken player is greatly responsible for actions of his virtual army what accumulates much emotions. And it is known they should be rehased. It is dangerous to restrain them. Now we have came up to a principal point. The most problem is how to do that emotions have helped and not have injured. Pay attention to the fact that adjourament of the game and shortening of time control being cancelled the role of psychological training increases incredibly. After all, in strict time limits the chessplayer must display everything he is able at. That since has still been added to the above-mentioned conditions that since some time chessplayers are left to their own devices. More often they themselves should secure financially their chess performances.
- V.P., what could you advise how the chessplayer should prepare psychologically for competition on the whole and for a concrete game in particular?
- This task may be divided into a long-range and an operation one. For example, one may sing inwardly one's favourite songs during the game. It is according to A.Nimzovich'es advice. And just before chess training, and simple in life they would be sung when awake. It is useful not only for comleat mood before a tournament, or concrete serious chess game. It is very important for keeping health for I'm deeply convinced that singing in its different forms is capable of strengtheming and restoring health of eliminating stresses. It is called a vocal therapy. And it means that a man will not have to seek the known "folk" remedy, or to use medical pills. That and other has side effects. It is widely known that the seventh world champion is a great admirer of the vocal singing. Another outstanding chessplayer Mark Taimanov many times acted as his accompanist. The both being in a venerable age have kept good health and interest into life! Is it not quite a fine example for the young generation? I may say still more that Valery Salov was taught by me guitarre-play lessons, and after that he managed to win a victory at the International tournament in Linares. Andrey Sokolov who now lives in France have use to singing with guitarre accompaniment. And "Hungarian Botvinnik" Layosh Portish regards his time singing. I consulted the parents of Gata Kamsky and Peter Svidler when their young talent were not still so widely known. Till recently I have had permanent contact with Zhenya Alexeev, he is (as is well-known) the youngest Grandmaster in our city and with his dad. Some contenders for this title reach me though various channels, but they prefer our co-operation should not be made public at large. Serious studies at psychological training enkances results of a chessplayer by 20% as minimum. The thing is that chessplayer is pressed by the result, and not aimed at the process itself it impedes him seriously in playing.
Vladimir Pavlovich, how would you advise at making one be in resolute mood for decisive games?
- I remember, how Romantcev was making the Russian selection football team be in victorious mood when it had to win a selection match against the team of Farer Islands: " To win or die at the field!" One must control himself to the end of the game; hence there is complexity in winning a won position. At that moment a chessplayer is overwhelmed with positive emotions. The most people should better consider chess as a hobby. As said S.Tarrasch: "Chess like love and music enable a man to be happy". Chess is the best of models of man's life. The advantage of chessplayer before a non-chessplayer is that he may live out a lot of lives. Chess helps better take bearing in one's life, makes it more valuable. It is understood, measure is important in everything. I tell you more. Man cannot continue his evolution; his physiological resource is not great. Here is tennis, it is a primitive play, but very spectacular. On the other side to study chess and to know the world, thereby receiving positive emotions one can do it throughout one's life. Chess is a universal education for harmonizing men's mentality, it teaches them to restrain themselves. Man will adhere to this model of behavior in his life as well.
But on the other side, even great chessplayers are known to have cases of psychiatric disorder.
- One must begin playing chess as early as possible; a child must be interested that chess is an interesting play being able at teaching him to restrain his emotions and to develop his logic thinking. Chess must be introduced into personality development structure lastingly. As to nervous system disorders, then it is important here as I told you at the beginning to eliminate stresses, say, by singing. It may be any songs, with the non-aggressive text and tune music. It is enough even to pronounce sounds, a kind of groaning (remember A.Alekhine). I put down in more detail about all it in my book "The ABC of Voice Possession". I revealed methods in it which are based on mastering the three secrets of Shalyapin's phenomenon. It is a small breathing singing indeed. Having half-opening a mystery of Shalyapin's phenomenon, I was able to explain to myself why I sometime lost my voice. The sound, being born within depths of the tracheobronchial tree, in membrane trachea, is rather subjected distortion which is coupled external muscles and diaphragm, and just in this I exercised myself intensely when I executed scales and vocalizes. Now remembering my fatal mistake I have elaborated new methods of teaching, tested it first of all on myself, and my voice returned.
I know that you are a leader of the popular voice-developing and training "Bagratid". Here every one of the trainees is given back one's natural and original voice. Can you tell us of it somewhat in more detail?
- Singing is the best way of eliminating psychological load. Army and church know it well. Well-known football-players like linging. It's widely known of such famous stars like bullet, Pele, Gullit and Maradona. Modern psychophysiology proved experimentally, that endorphins which appear when singing are stimulators Affecting beneficially all system of the organism without exception and catalyzes of operation of the nervous system. It's the sambas oiling of gears! Speaking of singing One can't by pass breathing. Many tell nesses arise as a result of oxygen excess in the organism. I accordance with academician Buteiko's system it is said in his "formula of life". That breath must be three times shorter than expiration. It you remember and follow it you will keep your health and prolong capacity of your entire organism! And of course you will better chess in log spirits.