Questions tagged [psychology]

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

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71
votes
16answers
24k 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 ...
46
votes
14answers
19k views

How to 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 ...
39
votes
17answers
9k 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 ...
34
votes
14answers
15k 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
25
votes
10answers
8k views

Why do so many children stop playing chess?

First off let me say that I know this question doesn't really belong here, but I'm not sure where else to post it. I've spoken to many people who played chess as children; some of them were very good ...
23
votes
18answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
22
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
2k 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
9answers
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
13k 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 ...
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
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 ...
16
votes
6answers
2k 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
4answers
4k views

Rid of Chess Addiction

How do I get rid of chess 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
13answers
7k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k 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
802 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
9k 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 ...
10
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
576 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
565 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
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
3answers
272 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 play the ...
8
votes
4answers
953 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
1answer
511 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
4answers
2k 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
2answers
637 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
278 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 ...
7
votes
9answers
537 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
5answers
344 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
200 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
345 views

Effect of chess on work

I'm a software engineer, mostly working from home so I get to schedule my time however I want. I noticed few things recently. If I play more than 3 games a day, I can't work afterwords, I'd be ...
6
votes
3answers
390 views

Does swapping the colors of the squares affect the gameplay?

If for example, the bottom-left square is light instead of dark AND we place the queens in their colors: By affect I mean psychologically, etc., because it is pretty obvious that everything you can ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I become less materialistic?

I've identified that the weaknesses in my game are: Materialism: Most of my wins are where I've won some material and converted the advantage in an endgame. However outside of this plan, e.g. ...
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
719 views

Facing irregular or uncommon openings

How do you deal with this? I'm a bit of a chess perfectionist, and I always want to play the best move, so when I go up against an irregular opening, I don't do badly, but it's hard be 100% sure you ...
6
votes
4answers
618 views

How do i prevent blunders?

Playing Online Chess seems to get rid of my bad blunders but after playing with little kids on a real match, I've made a very stupid blunder that decided the game. Can't post the game, not recorded ...
6
votes
2answers
115 views

Dealing with flexible opening positions

For some reason I feel uncomfortable in positions where the opponent has not committed any of his pawns in the center and was wondering why is that? I guess it feels like I'm not sure how to carry on ...
6
votes
2answers
996 views

Problems with chess anxiety?

I've been dealing with this for a while and the game can just sometimes be overwhelming. I really don't know how to calm myself and it might be effecting my play. I've been told maybe its because I ...
6
votes
4answers
641 views

Tips to enjoy a tournament

During a long chess game, it's difficult to maintain an emotional balance. In some positions we feel comfortable, and in other uncomfortable. But, do you have some tips to stay emotionally balanced? ...
5
votes
9answers
709 views

Does knowing your opponent's personality have any influence on the game-plan

From Reputation and badges should be kept hidden until the question is answered, the below assertion is presented: It is often asked in chess, that does the personality of the opponent player has any ...
5
votes
2answers
350 views

Can a player be forced to neatly center their pieces on the board?

Following up on a question regarding piece adjustment after an accident, I was wondering if there is a rule which forces someone to neatly place their pieces on the board? I am asking in the context ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

How to exploit an opponent must-win situation

I am 1.5 points clear of the field, and my last-round opponent is in a must-win situation for a prize. Is there a mathematically/statistically proven way for me to take advantage of this state of ...
5
votes
5answers
696 views

How can I control my nerves during chess tournaments?

I always get nervous during a chess match and that really affects my performance. I can easily beat a 1400-1500 in a friendly match but when it comes to a tournament, I can't even win against 1300s. I ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

Ways to notice opponent's threats during one's own move

I am currently playing in a tournament and my last game was a total disaster. Without going into details, I missed a two-move threat my opponent had in the position (I'd expect a ~1600 Elo rated ...