I started playing chess around 8 months ago and dedicated a lot of my time to it, reading books, studying, understanding the game, but I seem to have a problem, when I play against people I really understand the game when it comes to being sound and understanding principles, but I really have no discipline, meaning if I get into a critical position I have trouble simply sitting there and just start calculating its like mentally I just go with my intuition because Its almost as if I'm lazy, and generally this doesn't always work out for me, and I think its what really holds me back from moving on to the next level in chess, and I was wondering if anyone has advice on how I can stop this bad habit and really start to become more disciplined in the way I play games.
I think you answered yourself this question. Laziness is hard to get over with, but if you want to improve then committing yourself to work on the latent aspects of the game is fundamental. Bobby Fischer was known to have a more than strong devotion to chess as he dedicated 8 hours daily to evaluate positions and systematize his knowledge by the principles of chess. For anyone, 8 hours may seem a little too much, but we can't blame Fischer for chess was his profession, however setting a schedule that suits your activities and focuses on the main factors of the game like solving tactical exercises and analyzing strategic elements is appropriate for discipline.
About thinking in critical positions, it's alright to employ your intuition but that doesn't always suffice without a good definition of what a critical position is, and because in each game positions differ constantly is good to have a general concept that guides your perception, in Iosif Dorfman's book The Method in Chess, he describes three parameters to define a critical position:
"Position in which is indispensable to make decisions due to a possible trade of pieces. If the trade is forced then there is no change in respect of the previous critical position. / A position in which you have to make a decision regarding a possible change of the pawn structure, especially of the central pawns. / The end of a sequence of forced moves, not considering the moves of a combination the same as the forced moves, since combinatory moves have a more flexible nature regarding to planning skills." [This is a translation from the spanish edition I have, so in the english edition the terminology may vary, but the basic idea is a rupture in the hierarchy of strategic elements.]
With such mindset and general principles, the thinking process at calculation is way less confusing, see for example how Nakamura plays in this video, his understanding allows a natural spontaneous projection of moves according to the way a position gets shaped that is almost mind-boggling: youtu.be/19H08RZJAAs?t=63 of course he is playing blitz, I don't recommend blitz to improve seriously at chess and surely Nakamura had to play and study a lot of good classical chess to get at that level of comprehension and speed, but the idea is how objectivity in positional nuances is the way to focus the development of your chess as that is how it seems to me the most accurate description for this issue on planning and critical thinking. Moreover, if you need some advice on training independently you can refer to this other forum topic (lichess.org/forum/general-chess-discussion/hey-i-want-to-know-if-im-on-the-right-track-the-way-im-studying-chess?page=2#13) for an approach to improve which has worked for me, the thing is about balancing your sportsmanship so that the enjoyment of the game doesn't be blurred by subjective selfishness or to say it objectively, by a lack of discipline.
"but I really have no discipline, meaning if I get into a critical position I have trouble simply sitting there and just start calculating its like mentally I just go with my intuition because Its almost as if I'm lazy, and generally this doesn't always work out for me"
"When you see a good move, wait, do not play it, you might find a better one" - Emanuel Lasker
Set targets for time use. As most games are decided by move 30, you should spend your time accordingly.
Think long in the opening. That gets you into a state of concentration.
Get physically fit, so you do not get tired.
Do not calculate during opponent's turn, only during your own turn. That gives you a break. During opponent's turn only do general evaluations of pawn structure, desirable trades, desirable squares.
Thanks for the advice guys
"...really have no discipline..."
"Discipline, you need discipline" (Frank Zappa, 1940-1993)
N.B.: Don’t confuse this with www.chessprogramming.org/Zappa
But I guess if you want to get so far you really need some discipline.
And i solved yet another puzzle.
"...Get physically fit..."
Always a good thing/advice. But you are aware that Lasker probably was never fit for even one day in his life because he was a couch potato and spent his time with studying math, playing chess (for the money) and hanging around in some bars playing cards (for the money) when he was bored?
I've never seen a picture of Lasker without a cigar.
I always found it strange that the time control has been shortened, but the quality of chess has gone up.
A quote from a lichess developer:"Please move this nonsense to lichess.org/forum/off-topic-discussion".
@jonesmh #7: No nonsense here...and no developer. O.K. the only developer here is me but i‘m retired...
@Makropoulos From another thread talking about chess, a lichess developer posted this quote. Now whenever the topic strays even slightly from chess, for example, health issues, I have to repost judgement.
You can't post in the forums yet. Play some games!