Apr

27

BaseOne of Tom Wiswell's favorite things to say was "make sure you have a strong base of operations." I find this true in all aspects of life. In the market, it would involve the preparation for the investment or speculation. Certainly having all the equipment and getting in on time. And having the proper capital and vig relations. Certainly not being distracted. Tom liked to say afterwards "checkers is a game of architecture." The importance of a proper foundation in a building, a proper base relative to the tower, and proper communication between the various departments of the building is also clear. I have been thinking of this subject in conjunction with a note I am going to send to Aubrey on his third birthday. It is important to have a good base of operations in whatever you do. Always prepare in advance. Don't rush. Plan what you're going to do. Don't act in haste. Make sure you take in the proper foods. That you get a proper sleep. That you don't run around too much distracting yourself from the important essential goals to survive and prosper. Have a proper financial foundation. Be prepared for adversity. Put things aside in case things don't go as planned. Move forward when healthy. Develop your talents. Get proper mentors.

The thought leads me to suggest something controversial. I am a very weak chess player and my thoughts on it must be taken with many grains of salt. However, i took lessons from Art Bisguier for about 20 years, and I have seen Adam Robinson and Dr. Vic play many games as well as watched many games in Brighton Beach where they played every day. I think from my observations that checkers provides many more life lessons than chess because the rules are less specialized. Moving forward or backward, except when a opposing man is in front of you where you jump, is a very binary kind of thing from which all kinds of ultimate outcomes arise including its proximity to computers, electrical relays, and logic circuits which are also on/off or 0/1 systems. Thus, I would recommend  checkers as more helpful to kids as a game to prepare for life than chess.

Nigel Davies comments: 

I've found myself that the number of rules in chess has diminished with my level of understanding, and I tentatively suggest that this might be applied to all fields.

Douglas Roberts Dimick adds: 

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

Chapter 1 — Laying Plans explores the five key elements that define a successful outcome (the Way, seasons, terrain, leadership, and management). By thinking, assessing and comparing these points you can calculate a victory, deviation from them will ensure failure. Remember that war is a very grave matter of state.

As for state, so to for money…

All battles are won before they are fought.

Anatoly Veltman comments:

 I can speak from personal experience: Aubrey's received an essential for a 3 y.o. memo!

My parents handed me over to a personal checkers coach when I was 5, and I was taught basic framework. Master trainer in charge of Odessa Women's Team took over - within the next year, I've traveled the Soviet Union (without parents) as part of the Women's Team. My paradise ended when other teams filed protest over "unfair advantage". I proceeded to score enough wins in Men's tournaments to qualify for "Master of Sports" title by 12 - youngest in Soviet history of any sport. They exempted me from statutory "age 13" requirement, when I've scored double the required points… And curiously: I was not a "natural". Topping eventually over a million registered competitors in my sport for three straight years in Play-off finals - admittedly, I never felt as the gifted one. For instance: the blind-folded record on 100-square board was 10 simultaneous; but I could never complete more than 2-3 games at a time.

What gave me edge over competition was iron discipline and preparation. At 6, they taught me to sit straight and down-the-middle. At 10, they trained my peripheral vision, so I could gaze the entire 100-square board and successfully transition from the 64-square game. Consequently, I could count 30 moves ahead on 100-square board, without touching the pieces. My coach kept me away from alcohol, smoking and all-night bridge sessions. In course of Round-Robin, I'd review each opponent's favorite openings, prepare surprise divergence and win on time-clock alone. Others in my age category often felt defeated, just taking a sit in front of me. My first trades happened to be in Comex gold, and it surprised me how many of "big punters" were totally oblivious to basic idiosyncrasies. It took me only a couple of 50-lot orders, which remained "unable-on-10" - to figure out that physical arbitrageurs were seeking out 40-lot = 10 400oz bars! It took me a forfeit of a million-dollar unrealized profit in Silver on April 27, 1987 to figure out that Comex notice/delivery rules were skewed in favor of Shorts (over the next two years, I made a client $5m profit based on this quirk alone)… It always amazed me that even largest speculative funds neglected 80-lot Yen futures increments = exactly a billion yen; and worst of all neglected two-banking-day settlement duration. That translated into significant Yen and Gold carry on Wednesday evenings year-round (and a real kicker in front of long weekends and numerous Japan holidays!) Since Nov 1997 split, trading 4 or 40-lot bigSP makes much more sense given new $25/point denomination than 5 or 50; but 90% of the participants neglect that too… Dark pools and market-maker wigs have been a "wet dream" of high-frequency trading outfits for years, translating into billions of nearly risk-free profits for them. Yet, schools and teams of "stock day-traders" continue entering the industry in record numbers to this day…


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