The psychology of choking

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9085
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:10 pm

Paul Robson wrote:Often their legs are boucing up and down
I am guilty of this in time trouble in rapidplays. :oops:

LozCooper

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by LozCooper » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:11 pm

Paul Robson wrote:
Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:One strong player in my team gets so nervous in time pressure that he starts violently shaking and has difficulty writing down his moves and even pressing the clock. Last time he was holding his pen in one hand and using the other hand to dampen the shaking and move the pen in roughly the right direction, taking about twenty seconds or so to write down one move. Fortunately his nervousness doesn't seem to affect his ability to find good moves and he rarely throws away winning positions under time pressure.
I think if I was playing such a player I would ask him to stop shaking ,(AS I HAVE DONE ), shaking can be off putting to others.Sometimes the whole table shakes and they really need to calm down. Often my polite request means they falter and blunder. If I got up and starting dancing around, (now theres a vision) ,on my opponents move this would be considered poor form. Often their legs are boucing up and down - really need to go to frontline IRAQ, then they can shake for real.
Please try to remain calm under pressure unless its Monopoly of course ! :wink:
But what if they have a medical condition such as Parkinson's disease? Would you really get pleasure out of distracting them so they falter and blunder? I thought one of the good things about chess was that it allowed players with illnesses, disabilities and blind players etc to all be able to compete without fearof discrimination.

Paul Robson
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:23 pm

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Paul Robson » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:28 pm

A disability is a different matter and as you mention Parkinson's they, (not wanting to be harsh), would probably be shaking from the start which might allow me to assertain they have a condition.
Some players shake near the money end of the game and have no considertion for those playing around them - I am aware that due to the nervous nature of some players they are often unaware of the effects of their shaking- I am simply pointing this out to them by asking them to stop shaking the table. They may well not be able to control the urge to shake.
As stated I do this in a polite manner and I am sure any player I have played would consider I had the utmost respect for them both as a person and a chess player - not something every chess play could stay
I would take no enjoyment in dancing ! however you may have a laugh and yes it would certainly put people off as does the nervous nature of some players with me. I am all for diversity in chess and fully welcome all to enjoy.

Michele Clack
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:38 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Michele Clack » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:15 pm

Alex H
We had a relegation playoff tonight against two other clubs
Alex how did you get on? Any idea how Redditch did in the Division 3 championship play-off against Lichfield?

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 9085
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:17 pm

michele clack wrote:Alex H
We had a relegation playoff tonight against two other clubs
Alex how did you get on? Any idea how Redditch did in the Division 3 championship play-off against Lichfield?
Badly; we have two adjourned v Olton that need to be finished off in Hagley. We have 1, Olton have 2.5, Birmingham have 3.5. Birmingham are safe. We need to win the two remaining games.

Redditch drew 3-3 with Lichfield. All six boards were drawn. So they'll replay for the Championship in two weeks time.

Michele Clack
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:38 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Michele Clack » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:25 pm

Thanks Alex. Sorry it's not going well for you. I just had an e-mail, apparently the Redditch players were outgraded on all 6 boards but still drew them. The opposite of choking perhaps?

Mark Howitt
Posts: 475
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:20 pm
Contact:

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Mark Howitt » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:40 am

There's more chance of 'choking' aka over analysing and not being "in the flow" in chess than most other games as there is so much thinking involved and not much 'action'. I've written a few articles on my blog on this and similar subjects- will be doing more in future. Feel free to read and if you have a decent blog too I may exchange links...

Michael Jones
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:37 pm

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Michael Jones » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:12 am

I'm not sure whether you'd call this choking, complacency, over-confidence or something else, but I usually play best when I have a completely lost position, and stuff up when I'm winning or at least better. Possibly something to do with nervousness at the prospect of actually winning a game (particularly if my opponent's graded higher than me) vs determination not to make a loss too embarrassinng?

Michele Clack
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:38 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Michele Clack » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:35 pm

I'm with you on that Michael. I'm sure it's a problem for me too.

matt_ward
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by matt_ward » Sun May 01, 2011 5:07 pm

I for some reason play better in tournaments than league games possibly it is because the conditions are not as strict.

I have not played in a month or two and I can only stress it has had a positive impact. I do have a game week Monday and I do not feel so confident it is a club championship match towards next seasons grading.

Does anyone have any tips how I can get back into chess, as I have lost all motivation too play.

Matt. :D :D :)

Jonathan Berry
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:49 pm

Re: The psychology of choking

Post by Jonathan Berry » Wed May 04, 2011 10:08 pm

Richard Thursby wrote:Possibly not quite what you're looking for, but Karpov in his first match against Kasparov springs to mind.
I don't think so. Here is the pseudo-conversational advice that the seconds / psychologists gave: "Garry, you're down 4-0, but if you don't lose another game, you can never lose the match! He cannot beat you." (followed by something similar but less convincing when Karpov reached 5) "Tolya, you're up 4-0, and if you win 6-0 he won't be a fabulous talent waiting to take your crown when he matures, he'll be your biatch--forever."

Or you can believe what Bobby Fischer said about the match. In either case, the choke card is not in the deck.

I wonder if a more homespun example might not be the Slater Prize. Weren't there a lot of near misses by other worthies before the late Anthony Miles snatched it before their very eyes?

Post Reply