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Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:55 pm
by Joey Stewart
You know when you wander around the room while playing a game and notice alot of players using distinct poses whilst thinking about their moves. I thought it would be interesting to try and collect a list of them all and see whether or not there is any correlation between this and their chess rating:

a. 'The headache'. This is a popular one during times of great difficulty (and a personal favourite of mine) whereby the player rests his head on both hands so as not to add any additional strain to the neck muscles and allow full concentration. It is sometimes accompanied by fingers in the ears.

b. The 'one hand' rest. A semi relaxed chess stance, whereby a mere one hand is used to support the great intellect of the chin or temple resting upon it. Often seen in less stressful positions, or when a player seems to be winning.

c. 'The military drill'. No arms on the table at all - the player sits bolt upright with them firmly folded accross his chest. This one tends to be used in moments of extreme confidence where the player is either winning or at least believes himself to be.

d. The 'no hand trick'. The player hides his arms under the table, often leaning into the board for a bit of extreme close up analysis. I have never attempted this one personally but I imagine it does help to cut out unecessary pieces getting in your line of sight when trying to calculate a sharp tactic.

e. 'The lean'. A less aggressive folded elbows stance, with them placed on the table and the player angled slightly towards the board - a common favourite.

f. 'The horse blinkers'. Hands clasped to the side of the eyes, allowing a tunnel vision of the board and cutting out any distractions which might cause the chessplayer to lose control and rear up.


Does anybody have any others to add to this list? What is your favourite? We will find out soon enough whether there is any evidence to support the claim that better players sit in certain positions.

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:47 pm
by Justin Hadi
This is quite a good one - looks like a variant of "the lean".

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:07 pm
by Rob Thompson
You're missing one, i call it "The Rudd". It consists of seemingly never actually thinking at the board

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:26 pm
by Gareth Harley-Yeo
Image

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:19 pm
by Sebastian Stone
Sounds are also an important aspect. :D

An opponent of mine was quite perplexed as I groaned my way to a victory, ie playing good moves (for my level! :roll: ) and then looking disgusted as if I'm totally lost. :oops:

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:20 pm
by Sebastian Stone
Rob Thompson wrote:You're missing one, i call it "The Rudd". It consists of seemingly never actually thinking at the board
Never think whilst playing chess, it only gets in the way.

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:21 pm
by Graham Borrowdale
I played a well known Australian player (now GM) who sat on the back of his chair with his feet on the seat. He berated me after the game (which I lost) for spending too much time looking at other games instead of sitting at the board concentrating.

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:06 am
by Michael Jones
The 'push glasses halfway up forehead' stance, as regularly practised by Boris Gelfand.

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:27 am
by Gavin Strachan
Image

why look at the board when you can look at the opponent and scare them into losing.

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:06 am
by Michael Jones
That could be defeated by another one I've seen - the "baseball cap pulled firmly down over face so your opponent never sees your eyes".

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:14 pm
by Justin Hadi
Image

Disturbing

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:32 pm
by Jon D'Souza-Eva
Gavin Strachan wrote:why look at the board when you can look at the opponent and scare them into losing.
I found a larger version of this famous picture a little while ago - you can see that Tal's gaze is really intimidating his opponent, Nikola Padevsky:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b177/ ... ss/Tal.jpg
(I haven't embedded the image because it's a bit large).

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:26 pm
by Jonathan Bryant
Warren Kingston wrote:
That's Chuky isn't it?
Indeed so. Played in a tournament when a bunch of the other guys were going down with colds.


Anybody got a photograph of Tony Miles playing flat out on some kind of trolley because of back problems?

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:29 pm
by Jon D'Souza-Eva
A small picture of Miles playing Korchnoi at Tilburg 1985 can be found here: http://www.endgame.nl/tilburg.htm

Korchnoi blundered horribly at the end of that game: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1082954

Re: Chessplaying 'Stance'

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:47 pm
by Michael Jones
Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:
Gavin Strachan wrote:why look at the board when you can look at the opponent and scare them into losing.
I found a larger version of this famous picture a little while ago - you can see that Tal's gaze is really intimidating his opponent, Nikola Padevsky:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b177/ ... ss/Tal.jpg
(I haven't embedded the image because it's a bit large).
Rubinstein apparently used to "withdraw from the board after making his move, lest his presence distract his opponent" (unfortunately I can't remember the source of that quote). Clearly Tal didn't follow quite the same school of thought!