Tuesday 18 February 2014

Forgetting how to "chess-think"

Losing games of chess often affects my thinking in the next game. Unlike the Russian's players of old, making a draw after a loss isn't always a good strategy, given the disparate rating differences in a lot of club events. Of course in trying to recover from one bad loss, I managed to lose a second game last week, leaving me with two losses to start my 2014 season.
So when I sat down to play tonight I realised I was no longer "chess-thinking". My hands were moving pieces but I was not concentrating on what those moves were doing. So after rattling off a few moves of opening theory I took a deep breath and tried to think about thinking. Fortunately it was a long time control game, so I had a few minutes where I could let my brain readjust itself. I was kind of helped by the fact that (a) the position was simplified and (b) I was a pawn up, but there was nagging suspicion that my brain was going to double cross me at some stage. As it turned out, a couple of pauses at the key moments were very helpful, and I was able to find the right moves at the right time. Picking up the point was nice, but just calculating a few moves ahead was even nicer.

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