Football is a game of chess. The success of a tactic is dependent on awareness of the development and necessary adjustments. A game is either built around a keystone that is held protected by the necessary balance on either side, where capability and stretch of the area are adjusted proportionally throughout the game or is rather divergent or amoebic depending on how situation shapes up. A subtle politics is really, where you have dark arts, magic, curses flying around, motivations that change the dynamics of the play so easily and with command.
Fair to say, it is not as dull as it looks and definitely not as simple. You play with your head more than your feet. You play the ball around, calculate how many men you want to put forward versus probability of inviting potential danger; you see how cluttered the middle is, so you decide to use the flanks. You proceed with extreme caution, precise calculation – wait and wait long enough for the opponent to make a mistake and you slide right through it.
This became the founding philosophy of Juego de Posicion. You probe, pull back, adjust, examine, probe again and wait for one wrong move. If waiting is not enough, you set up and lure them to a trap. With right tactical execution, mistake on the other end is inevitable. When you trap the opposition in a probe-pull back continuum, you paralyze their purpose at some point.
Patience is boring. Patience is a rare virtue. Mastering it does not just bring victory, but is the victory in itself. Of course, mistakes are a part of the game. And it takes more than just a series of practice to get it right- it takes sheer amount of patience to commit to counter errors and cope up with rejuvenating over the errors.
Mistakes are results of miscalculation on dimensions of defense and attack. Both games need almost perfect estimates of defensive bands around the king/goalkeeper depending on the need of the situation. Both games rely on options during possession and movements of individual players. A good chess player is capable of thinking future moves of the opponent and generating replies for any possible outcome. A good coach also possesses similar qualities – coming up with an answer for any impending danger whilst contemplating outcomes based on the quality and position of individuals on the other team.
Foresight during buildup is a key quality. Contemplation on and off the ball, picking out correct game-flow algorithm, calmness of the ocean and space-time awareness turns a player into a legend. A good player plays football like a good game of chess- with patience, persistence and overall- calibre of anticipating what consequences a move brings.
Football and chess- two conundrums only few can circuit and revamp to.