Questions tagged [psychology]

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

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81
votes
17answers
27k views

Can I improve my chess? Or am I too old?

I am 25 years old. I have been interested in playing chess since my school days but I never played seriously. One year back I realized that I want to become good chess player and I started. Most of ...
52
votes
14answers
21k views

How should I make a 6 year old think more?

I have been teaching my 6 year old daughter chess for past 2 years. She plays reasonably well. She often defeats level 25 in Chess Lv 100 app and sometimes Level 6 in Chess.com app. So I am guessing ...
44
votes
17answers
10k views

How do you keep chess fun when your opponent constantly beats you?

How do you keep chess fun when the only person that wants to play against you beats you all the time? I am struggling to want to keep playing, because I get smashed all the time, and it is not fun ...
39
votes
14answers
21k views

What is the most effective way of reducing blunders?

Many people suggest tactical exercises as the best form of study for this purpose but I find that it only attacks the problem from one dimension (not making the strongest in a position). Analyzing my ...
37
votes
13answers
9k views

Why do so many children stop playing chess?

I've spoken to many people who played chess as children; some of them were very good players, playing at the national level. Around age 11 or 12 they stopped playing chess competitively and lost ...
30
votes
7answers
12k views

Why aren't there any women super Grandmasters (GMs)?

In chess you don't need to be physically strong. Well, you need some kind of endurance, but is it the real reason why there aren't any super strong women GMs? Yes, I know about Hou Yifan and Judit ...
28
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
26
votes
9answers
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 ...
25
votes
5answers
8k 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, ...
23
votes
18answers
6k views

Psychological tricks in chess?

Are there any psychological tricks that can be used in chess to throw off an opponent regardless of rating? It also does not matter if it is the opening, middle, or end game. By psychological, I ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Do Grandmasters think using algebraic notation?

Is algebraic notation used just to communicate chess moves in written and spoken form, or should players strive to use it during their thinking process as well? In Dan Heisman's excellent The ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

How to recover from a blunder?

I have been in a situation where I have not been paying attention and suddenly I move my queen to an unprotected square and it is taken. My initial thought is: Oh $*%! :) But if the blunder is ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

How to relax when playing chess?

I always tend to be tense when playing. I guess you could say I find chess somewhat stressful? I see it as a fight to win as opposed to some ordinary board game like Monopoly. I really can't relate to ...
20
votes
10answers
9k views

How to minimise your opponent's fun in a game?

I play numerous online chess games and in this question I am self-centred: I play for two purposes: to win the game, or when winning is unlikely, to draw the game. to improve my chess skills, which ...
20
votes
9answers
14k views

What to do after losing a game?

What to do after losing a game? I think that this question is on everyones' minds after a loss. I am guessing that everyone has their own way of coping with a loss. The best way to cope with a loss ...
19
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the better way to stop blundering all my games?

I am on the road that starts from the "Beginner" stage, trying to leave this "town". I know and understand the rules, I also understand most of the "classic" tactics. I am able to reproduce some ...
18
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do professional chess players point at the pieces with a middle finger?

I've recently heard and then actually started to notice more and more that professional chess players tend to use a middle finger when pointing at pieces on the board like in this Anand vs Caruana ...
18
votes
2answers
5k 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. ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

Carlsen beat a high ranking GM with 1 Nh3. Conclusions?

In 2018, Magnus Carlsen played a rapid game on chess.com agaisnt Grandmaster Aleksey Dreev in which his opening move was 1. Nh3. [Title "Magnus Carlsen-Alexey Dreev, Pro Chess League, chess.com INT, ...
16
votes
4answers
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 ...
16
votes
13answers
12k views

Why do people say blitz chess can be bad for your chess?

I keep hearing blitz chess is bad for you but the I've only been offered two explanations for why that is. The first reason I've been told is that it ruins your ability to focus since you it forces ...
16
votes
5answers
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 ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I stop blundering my queen?

I have a particular bad habit when I play chess. I play reasonably well (at least by the standards of people I play with), and am quite careful with my pieces. But in about 80% of games I play, once I ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Getting rid of a chess addiction

How do I get rid of achess addiction? Both winning and losing just make me play more, and in the end, after many hours of play, I feel miserable.
15
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5answers
3k views

Always losing to the same opponent?

I am just asking if anyone here suffers a problem of always losing to the same opponent. This problem occurs to me so often against one particular player. Well, the story goes like this: When I first ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Why would a player throw a game?

So I am kind of new to chess and I have been playing online. I have been playing for a year and I consider myself a mediocre player, not too good and not too bad. Recently I got this invitation from ...
14
votes
7answers
830 views

How can I deal with defenses I don't like?

I like to play 1. e4, as I favor open and dynamic positions, and feel comfortable with most black responses, but I there are some openings I don't like, e.g. Sicilian or French. My aversion might be ...
13
votes
13answers
10k views

Is chess a game of skill or chance? To what extent?

I want to know whether chess is a game of skill or game of chance, and how much is the degree of skill or chance in terms of percentage. Edit (21 Feb 2014): Please make sure that your answer ...
12
votes
2answers
259 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' ...
11
votes
6answers
8k views

Why do high level players memorize specific games?

Inspite of having such a large number of possible positions and games why do high level players bother about some specific game from some million years ago ? It may be helpful in understanding ...
11
votes
1answer
666 views

Do chess masters think with the board flipped when playing black?

Or do they always keep white on the bottom, as is the case with most historic games? Wouldn't it be easier for them to spot patterns from old games if they always oriented the board the same way in ...
10
votes
5answers
773 views

How can a >2000 player stop making basic errors?

For the last 3 months or so I've been unable to concentrate and play chess to the level that I am used to. I'm rated 2050. I've been suffering from the following symptoms: Being completely unable to ...
9
votes
9answers
7k views

Is chess a zero sum game?

"Chess is a zero sum game" is a claim you see often, even on this forum. Game theorists will tell you that it is just obvious. Either the game is a draw, nobody wins or loses, or one side wins and ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Facing its own weapons

It's not a technically oriented question but rather a "psychological" one. Personally, I don't especially like to play against my own lines especially sidelines. If I decided to play a precise line ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Best chess player with Down Syndrome

Who is the best chess player with Down Syndrome? Wiki says that the mental ability of a person with Down Syndrome equals to this of a healthy person 8 or 9 years old. So, are there some players with ...
9
votes
3answers
297 views

Would you look for mate, if tactics to win materials are easier to spot?

I'm black, I defeated a 1830 very easily in a 11 + 10 game and I had plenty of time, but I played fast and didn't see mate, he was low on time. Analyzing with lichess engine [fen "2k2r2/ppp5/7p/...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

How do GMs “play the man, not the board”?

How do GMs "play the man, not the board" as some books say? Would that work for club level players or could they use other methods? Prepared variations? Trash talk? What are the ways one can ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Using chess for therapy?

Have there been any studies on using chess for therapy? If so, what conditions or illnesses have benefited most from using chess as a therapy? Are there certain conditions or illnesses were it has ...
8
votes
2answers
710 views

Can a single player's choice of opening dictate a more (or less) aggressive game?

Usually a player feels comfortable with few "positions" (unless he/she is a GM). That's why sometimes it's said that a player should choose and begin to study openings whose outcome results in a ...
8
votes
4answers
422 views

At what point does this mental trick stop working?

Sometimes, I'll be in a position where my opponent is threathening to do something and I cannot stop it. So, in response, I play a move that looks pretty dangerous and clever, but which I in fact have ...
8
votes
1answer
628 views

Is chess a good game to fight against gambling addiction?

I read a couple of poker books and I thought I could win, which was not the case. Fortunately for me I have a decent chess level, 1930 in rapid, and I simply changed poker books for chess books and ...
7
votes
6answers
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the difference playing against human vs chess engine?

I have been playing with chess engines for over a year now at extreme difficulty levels. I never played a single game with a human player. I am worried that when i face humans in a tournament, my ...
7
votes
9answers
615 views

Psychology in Chess

Having a correct mindset has been a frustrating endeavor in my chess career. I have some questions regarding how to get into a "correct mindset." 1) I can never seem to play against lower rated ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Well-annotated books for average players

I am looking for well-annotated books as a follow up to my reading Chernev's Logical chess: Move by Move. I have been playing chess on and off, but not quite seriously. I am also trying to build my ...
7
votes
4answers
488 views

Can playing too much chess make you see everything as chess moves?

According to this answer, some schizophrenics who compulsively play chess a whole lot see everything as chess moves. I looked for an alternate source of that information through a Google search and ...
7
votes
5answers
377 views

What do top players' get from coaches?

I read an article about how Wesley So hired a coach. Well, Wesley is rated 2800 and is far stronger than his coach ever was. I'm just wondering what a coach would have to offer to a player as strong ...
7
votes
1answer
240 views

Do you feel intimidated by higher rated players? [closed]

I beat this 1570 rated player (me being 1170), but the thing is that i had his rating covered by a youtube pop-up window so I didn't know he's higher rated until i finished the game. I feel like if I ...