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is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

Getting in the Mood to Play Chess

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Chess is a mental sport. It’s mostly about logic and precise calculation. 

There is no room for error and that’s why computers are becoming very helpful in chess study today. However the dynamic completely changes when it’s just you and your opponent on the board. No matter how many variations you’ve memorized or how crisp your technique is in the end game, no one can escape the fact that we are human. 

Chess is as much a psychological battle as it is a technical battle.

We have all heard how chess professionals may sometimes not be in form and their performance isn’t like their usual. I think that’s partly because they may not be in the mood on a certain day and that affected how they play. Of course, those guys at the top usually play each other most of the time. So they probably know how to prepare for one another and how to deal with one another on the board.

Even so, there will be times when extraneous factors like health, sleep, or personal matters might get in the way of their performance. Likewise, when they feel on top of the world, that feeling can also give them a slight confidence boost that could propel them toward record-breaking results.

Chess may be a mental sport but we all know that physical, physiological, and emotional factors can affect one’s performance.

People with more stamina can outlast others even when their skill level and expertise are most likely equal in strength. The more one gets mentally fatigued, the harder it is to analyze the position on the board. So people who can handle stress and fatigue over a longer period of time have a higher probability of winning tournaments.

Being physically fit usually also translates in being more emotionally stable. One would be less prone to feeling any adverse condition that might hamper them to perform at their optimal level.

However, circumstances may still get in the way.

A player might get frustrated or irritated about something and that could bother them. Or if a player is worrying about something other than the game, it would detract their attention from developing a good strategy or maybe even cause them to miss tactics and other opportunities.

So I think one of the best traits that a chess player can have is the ability to have control over one’s emotions and thought processes. That is, if they can compartmentalize or set aside certain matters just so that they can focus on the game, it will be a great help.

This would be different if we were talking about online games though. Perhaps, the only issue that one would have in that scenario is lag. That can definitely screw anyone over and annoy them so much. But take that away and I think people will be able to perform in top shape or close to it.

Adrenaline can still affect people and I think that’s where we can find excitement in the game. Who wouldn’t want to checkmate someone with only 0.02 seconds on the clock? However, those are rare occasions and not so relevant in over the board play.

So now, I’ve been thinking about how being able to get in the right mood or disposition can help boost someone’s performance. I have noticed this in my own games especially when I’ve stopped playing for a while. Being able to take a breather from chess and experiencing other things help clear out the stress. And I feel that when I do play again, I’m able to face the board more calmly.

How can we get in the mood to play chess?

I think it’s as simple as having a balanced life.

Sure, professional chess players play for a living and so they probably spend a lot of time training or studying. But that may only be partly true. I mean they have lives outside of chess.

It’s just that they’re earning their income through playing chess so they need to put a considerable amount of time into training for it and preparing for matches. It’s a matter of being used to the mindset and the environment of the game. But I think since they have been playing the game for so long, it’s become part of their lives. They don’t need to be so rigorous because they have plenty of experience to draw from.

For casual players, it’s probably just a matter of when you want to play, that is, when you feel like it. Then you play and move on. However, if you take it a bit seriously and you want to become a pro, I think that would be enough motivation to get you fired up to play chess.

I think it also depends on whatever one’s motivation is in playing chess.

Some play it for fun and to them, it’s really just a game. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose as long as they have fun. There are others who do it because of their competitive spirit and they want to keep getting stronger and better at it.

So I guess it’s understandable that professionals don’t always play in peak form. They have their off days for whatever reason. It’s possible that they just weren’t in the mood and that’s just fine. For other people who enjoy playing the game, don’t take your losses too hard and don’t be a bad sport. It might just be that you only enjoy winning and not necessarily playing.

These are just some of my random thoughts on chess.


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