Today’s INSIGHT into the meaning of LIFE
Chess, Memory and Skill
The great Emanuel Lasker (1868 to 1941) was a visionary who predicted the increasing role of information in our noble game and cautioned us to avoid some associated pitfalls. (See my article ‘Reflections on the Database Generation’, which was inspired by Lasker’s insights)
One of my all time favourite books is Lasker’s Manual of Chess (1925), and in this book on page 337 Lasker writes:
”Chess must not be memorized, simply because it is not important enough. If you load your memory, you should know why. Memory is too valuable to be stocked with trifles.
Of my 57 years I have applied at least 30 to forgetting most of what I had learned or read, and since I succeeded in this I have acquired a certain ease and cheer which I should never again like to be without…
If need be, I can increase my skill in Chess, if need be I can do that of which I have no idea at present. I have stored little in my memory, but I can apply that little, and it is of good use in many and varied emergencies. I keep it in order, but resist every attempt to increase its dead weight.
You should keep in mind no names, nor numbers, nor isolated incidents, not even results, but only methods. The method is plastic. It is applicable in every situation…”