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Questions tagged [psychology]

Questions related to cognitive, motivational and other psychological aspects of chess, both during and before/after games.

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How do I face the Sicilian wisely?

When I play the open Sicilian with White, I have this constant unjustified urge to “do something” and “do it immediately or Black will take over”! I am good enough of a player to know this is stupid! ...
Behnam Esmayli's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

Why not keep opponents anonymous (hide their identity) in elite events?

Without changing the format, ensuring the correct number of games are played between the correct players, but hide the identity of who's playing who while the game is in progress (from the players, ...
alices_and_bobs's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
122 views

Sudden drop in performance

I usually play against playmagnus age 10 and I always lose to it more than I win or draw. But recently (around few weeks ago) I've been trying to improve my games and I saw some results, I'm ...
Adrian's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
128 views

How do I get over not wanting to move in my position?

I start the game, get through my opening, my knights are on good squares, bishops on diagonals and king is castled. Now in the early middle-game, my opponent (similarily rated to me) is not a computer ...
Haadi Husain's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
129 views

would a board for calculating "non-blindfold" help GMs in slow games?

I have often wondered, how would it be if the rules were different and you could calculate on a "non-blindfold" board during slow games. For example, you could picture each player in the ...
Chris Sanders's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
107 views

Why do certain chess combinations start with moves that can be intuited before understanding the full sequence?

There seems to me to be a strange phenomenon in chess where a combination exists and pays off if and only if you make a series of accurate moves without any deviations. Often times you can find many ...
Dargscisyhp's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

Chess fever (literarily)

Has someone tested how it is to play chess under the flu? (Perhaps online, as you don't want to infect the whole room.) I claim that with 40° fever, the only effect is that my brain processes speed up ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
365 views

What are some of the present and past GM known to be autistic?

As an Asperger player, I played from 5 to 10. I won at school and at regional tournaments. I left it I returned at 18. I spent 15 years playing online and OTB (a lot of daily hours). My best: 2900 in ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
204 views

Do top players get discouraged if they cannot beat the best player in the world?

Magnus Carlsen has been the best player in the world for a decade. The other top players try, but they haven't been able to beat Carlsen, who's consistently 50+ elo above them. Do the other top ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.9k
1 vote
1 answer
75 views

Can electronic music really have a positive effect on online chess? [closed]

I ask this question because of the public figures I have seen playing electronic music in the background, among them the runner-up Ian Nepomniachtchi. I cannot rely on my experiences, as they may be ...
Lixue Zhao's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
186 views

For a chess learner, isn't spatial phase after time phase?

In their Steps Method, Brunia and Wijgerden identify the chess development of a child as several stages, namely Material phase, Spatial phase and Time phase in that order (see the image at the end). ...
Cyriac Antony's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
154 views

Will repetitive thoughts affect chess calculation and visualization?

I have an issue wherein my thoughts are on repeat. My counselor told me to pick an affirmation that I should repeat all the time. Will such repetitive thoughts affect my ability to visualize and ...
Gonja's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
4 answers
222 views

How can I deal with low confidence and 'chess esteem' while I am learning to play, even when I repeat mistakes?

I posted a popular question a couple of days ago, and it brought up another topic that is worthy of a question. For reference, I've been playing 6–7 weeks, and my chess.com rating is a laughable ~300. ...
tomdot's user avatar
  • 273
3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Which books cover the concept of Imagination and Creativity in Chess?

I came across two books on Creativity & Imagination in Chess. Are there other books that cover the topics? Imagination in Chess by Paata Gaprindashvili Creative Chess by Amatzia Avni
Arun J's user avatar
  • 1,885
1 vote
3 answers
140 views

Does having played the actual game make it easier to spot a tactic?

So, I looked at a tactic quiz for my kiddies. I needed whopping five seconds to see that a fork (yes, that was given too!) could be applied on a square that wasn't really protected due to a pin. (I'm ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
198 views

What explains self destructive behaviour?

I was recently playing chess and lost a few games back to back. I don't know why but I played several games after that and lost all of them deliberately. Making it extremely easy for the opponent to ...
Akshay Takkar's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
139 views

Ultra-beginners mostly moving their pawns

I always wondered why ultra-beginners make so many pawn moves. (I don't have any recollection on my first steps, but I daresay after the first Scholar's mate I immediately added 1 and 1.) After all, e....
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
459 views

How to convert better positions and not to get swindled OTB?

For context I am new to OTB chess with 30 games under my belt and a rating of around 1930 fide. I have a very definite problem. Last tournament I dropped 3 pieces in 3 consecutive games in either ...
gunslinger1994's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
170 views

Mental block on a tactics challenge

We do a lot of tactics training with our kiddies in the chess club. This one was a real migraine maker for them, none found the solution. (I'm not 100% sure if I remember each piece correctly, but it ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why after 1. d4 Nf6, 2. c4 is so common but after 1. c4 Nf6, 2. d4 is so rare?

I am using Lichess's master database and after 1. d4 Nf6, 71.63% of the game continues with 2. c4. However, after 1. c4 Nf6, only 5.22% of the game continues with 2. d4. Are they not essentially the ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
11 votes
5 answers
412 views

What real world benefits are there to playing chess?

What are possible real world benefits to be gained by playing chess? Has this been studied?
Alsaraha's user avatar
  • 119
4 votes
1 answer
292 views

How do super-GMs, with the white pieces, avoid drawish positions?

I'm an amateur, so I don't have too much knowledge of contemporary opening theory, especially now that engine analysis allows frequent innovation. But I would like to ask the following: If two super-...
Chris Sanders's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
183 views

How do you encourage juniors to play slower?

Question to chess coaches: the common problem with beginning juniors (ages 5-8 years old) is very fast playing. What are your methods to convince/encourage your pupils to play slower chess?
emzet's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
188 views

Adapt play style when playing against stronger / weaker opponents? [duplicate]

Is it a good idea to change one's style of play when facing stronger opponents? If so, what would be the better approach: Play very solidly / dull (e.g. Exchange French / Caro-Kann as White), ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
  • 6,222
5 votes
3 answers
348 views

Does learning chess make you smarter?

I noticed that a lot of chess experts state or imply that teaching kids to play chess is good for them. I wonder if there have been any reliable studies of this (As in, randomized controlled trials)? ...
MWB's user avatar
  • 475
-2 votes
3 answers
206 views

Why did I improve quickly after stopping resignation?

About a week ago, I decided to never resign unless I am in a completely losing endgame and to always play to checkmate unless it would be a complete waste of time(say in a queen vs lone king endgame). ...
Gregory's user avatar
  • 19
5 votes
1 answer
192 views

Tempting bad moves

The following is, unfortunately, a very common experience'o'mine: Chess book. Grandmaster game. Diagram. I (after 1 microsecond): Play Nxe6, willya? scrolldown, author: "Nxe6 was the decisive ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Hard anxiety playing chess

There are many similar questions to this, like Problems with chess anxiety, or How to relax when playing chess, but though they seem to be tackling the same question, I feel like my situation is still ...
Ultimate Qwerty's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
165 views

Chess health benefits [closed]

I recently read an interesting article, and was surprised to see that there are actually mental health benefits to playing chess. How often does this happen, and in what instances?
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
270 views

Openings that tempt opponents to overextend?

What are examples of provocative openings where the opponent can be baited into playing more aggressively than they normally would, ie. pushing a lot of pawns or sacrificing material to keep an ...
James Ko's user avatar
  • 1,977
18 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why do children move so quickly?

I played a game against a 6 years old child where I launched a strong attack against the poor child: [fen ""] [white "Me"] [Black "6 years old child"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why do women have a lower Elo requirement to obtaining (women) FIDE titles?

As well as FIDE norms, you need a certain Elo to obtain a certain title. Women need around 200 points lower Elo to obtain the analogous women's only title: Grandmaster (GM) 2500+ International master ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
635 views

What is the physical response to a high level chess game?

Chess is used as an example of how the body can be influenced purely by brain activity: In the middle of a chess Grand Master tournament these people are maintaining blood pressure for 6 hours' ...
stevec's user avatar
  • 2,107
26 votes
6 answers
9k views

Is chess a good game for recovering addicts?

In this interview to FIDE Master and psychologist Maria Rodrigo the interviewer asked her about chess and addictions: XL. There are those who are not able to prioritize and get hooked. M.R. Yes, ...
user avatar
30 votes
9 answers
9k views

How has chess managed to remain a competitive sport despite engine dominance?

As much as people fear losing their jobs to machines that can do them better, Chess has seen the exact opposite take shape. There have been extremely strong chess bots since Kasparov's time, and more ...
user3576467's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
411 views

Overcoming severe time troubles

I started playing chess 2 years ago and ever since I started, I have experienced consistent time troubles. Recently, I gathered some data from my 40 most recent rapid 10+0 games, and concluded that I ...
hexaquark's user avatar
  • 930
8 votes
1 answer
336 views

Why are retreating moves unintuitive?

I've heard IM and GM commentators on chess tournaments, from the Opera Euro Rapid to PogChamps 3, suggest that retreating moves, such as backwards knight and bishop moves, are unintuitive. I've felt ...
teddy's user avatar
  • 183
19 votes
2 answers
6k views

Do grandmasters think on every move?

While watching Hikaru's Streams/YouTube (GM Chess Twitch Streamer), he's no doubt extremely impressive when it comes to recognizing patterns that win him material and forced mates in like 7+ moves. ...
Timothy Oh's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
6k views

Is playing slow necessarily bad?

I play online chess on under 5+0 and 10+0(predominantly) time controls. I end up in time problems way too often (especially in 5 minutes TC). I contemplated a lot on certain positions, and somehow ...
Vasu Deo.S's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
300 views

How does competitive chess affect players' mental health?

I suppose that participation in international open tournaments has a positive mental effect on most amateur players. As for the professionals involved, if they have other sources of income and also ...
Labory's user avatar
  • 131
-2 votes
1 answer
269 views

Chess training to get to 2000 rating [closed]

I have been playing chess (sometimes a lot, sometimes none) for a very long time. I want to become an international master in 4 years, or have a rating of 2000. I am 15 right now and have a rating of ...
Juan Belza's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
429 views

Equalizing ratings across rapid, blitz and bullet?

I've been noticing that whenever I play rapid games at my current 2050 Lichess Elo my opponents are also between 1900-2100 blitz and sometimes their bullet rating is also sufficiently equal to their ...
hexaquark's user avatar
  • 930
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Being an Anti-Sicilian vs. Sicilian player

So I have been developing my opening repertoire on ChessBase recently and established that, as a 1.e4 player, I have to properly memorize Open Sicilian main line, Dragon, Hyper Dragon, Taimanov, ...
hexaquark's user avatar
  • 930
30 votes
4 answers
7k views

As a beginner, how do I learn to win in "won" positions?

I'm fairly new to chess (~3 months) and I have almost entirely been playing on chess.com where my rating sits somewhere between 1000 and 1100. Recently, I decided to sign up for lichess.org, where I ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 992
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

How can I improve after 10+ years of chess?

I've played chess for almost 13 years now (I'm 23), and I don't know how to improve my game level. I'm rated ~1400 FIDE, and have never been higher. I'm also ~1300 on chess.com after 700 games, and ...
LittleBig's user avatar
  • 403
5 votes
1 answer
162 views

What do we know about how to get better at chess? [closed]

When players here ask about getting better, there are frequent suggestions like "solve more puzzles", "study endgames", "read books", etc. But what do we know from a ...
Thomas Johnson's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Balancing chess and work

I started chess 2 years ago at 500 ELO and have climbed up to 1900 ELO (chess.co) recently. I have fallen deeply in love with the game and have made it a life goal to achieve eventually a mastery ...
hexaquark's user avatar
  • 930
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Famous grandmaster games of "torturous" winning or flaunting out of arrogance?

I was originally wondering why we don't see more torturous type of games among masters. For example, instead of proceeding to checkmate, the player in control methodically takes all pieces of his ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
676 views

Does the design of chess pieces affect professional chess players at all?

There are some unique designs of chess pieces such as the following: (For the one above, I am not even sure if the setting up of pieces is correct.) I will not feel comfortable playing with any of ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,091
20 votes
6 answers
6k views

Brain fog when playing chess

I've been playing chess from many years but started playing more from past few month. I only play 3 minute blitz games, have rating around 1350 in chess.com and 1700 in lichess, have played few ...
dronz3r's user avatar
  • 303