How to set up your mind when playing with stronger opponent

Chess playerIt is highly probably your opponent is better player than you are. It happens and it is something which we have to take into account during our chess carriers. But how should we motivate ourselves to go to the playing hall without being beaten before the game itself?

What I am used to use is a setup of positive mind and combative mood. It sounds easy, but it really works!

If you begin to think about losing the upcoming game, then something – we may call it “The Universe”, if you would like – knows it and point things at that direction. One can try his best, but opponent “somehow” manages to get better position and win sequentially.

You may think, it could work similar but with another result when you think about grabbing half of point before the game with strongest player. No! It works absolutely the same as in the case when you think about losing the game! Weird, but it is really like this! And why? Your mind has been set up for fighting for a draw at maximum. So you are not looking for the best possible moves, which could brings complications on a board many times, but for the safest moves. Which is something completely different. Those moves are mostly passive in their essence. And passive moves front to passive position, which is hardly resistable playing with stronger player. So many times this attitude causes lost game again.

So what is the best way?

Be optimistic, in combative mood and ready to fight for a win! This is what works the best for me. When thinking positively about the direction of the game and trying to find the moves which brings the most problems to my opponents I am able to play with much stronger players. Not only play, but even to gain half or even the whole point.

Of course, it may happen (and it will happen for sure) that even if you have setup your mind to beat the stronger player, you will not beat him. Just because of his quality as a chess player. But even in this case the game gives you some positive conclusion. As you wanted to play an open game with your opponent, you forced him to play his best and in the opposite way – you also had to play your best. During the game and later during the analysis of the game you can learn how strong players fight and think. Which is something you could not learn in the case when you would be prepared just for quick execution of your own king.

What is your way how to prepare for a game against stronger player? Do you use similar technique or something completely else? Please, share it with the others in the discussion below the article.

Photo: EricMagnuson

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4 Responses to “How to set up your mind when playing with stronger opponent”

  1. Robert says:

    Nice blog, I will link!

  2. admin says:

    Hi Robert, thank you for nice words! I hope the blog will become even better ;)

  3. [...] point” and the game looked like that. It was in direct opposition of my older article “How to set up your mind when playing with stronger opponent“… I should learn from my articles at [...]

  4. P.N.John says:

    In 2001 I was playing a local tounament.I am an above average club
    -level player and in the first round I was paired against the star
    2100 rated player.But as soon as I heard this very unusually I told my
    friend(aggresively)-’I am going to thrash him’ and I did!!He is a
    far superior player who has beaten International masters.I think I
    could achieve this only because of my aggressive mentality and positive
    attitude that day plus a clear vision that I would win.It was
    instinctive and I have not been able to replicate my performance.

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