Does the weather affect your play?

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MJMcCready
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Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:58 pm

Hi all, I was thinking the other day that I've never been able to play well in the summer, especially on a hot day as I've always believed I should be outside doing something more productive than being stuck inside playing chess. Conversely, on dark winter's evening where you can hear the rain lashing down on the windows, spending time inside playing a long game of chess does seem to be a good idea.

Once in the late 80's in December I played a match at the Open University about half way in dense freezing fog appeared out of nowhere, and those of us who traveled up in the same car lost a good 10-20 minutes on the clock standing outside discussing how (on earth) we would get back home as visibility was very low. As the away team we were put at a distinct disadvantage and spent more time worrying about the journey home rather than play OTB that night.

I once read in Edward Winter's 'Chess Facts and Fables' that Capablanca said that, owing to its 'raw climate' England should be one of the strongest chess-playing nations in the world. Perhaps his remark was a little tongue-in-cheek but do you play better when the weather is poor and its easier to justify being 'stuck inside'?

Any thoughts?

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JustinHorton
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:31 pm

I did once abandon a tournament in Barnet (on a score of 1/1) on the grounds that it was too nice outside to play. I went down the road to watch Middlesex play at Southgate instead.
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MJMcCready
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:35 pm

Tough decision to call between the world's two greatest games. There's nothing worse than a long drive in the summer to a match, watching everyone lazing around sunbathing and you are on your way to play chess inside without air-con. Last time I did that, everyone was lounging around in the sun before the venue opened...started play in completely the wrong frame of mind.

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by Barry Sandercock » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:42 pm

On a hot day, without air-conditioning and not much ventilation it can be unpleasant and difficult to concentrate. That's why Sean Hewitt's Congresses were so good. Always excellent conditions.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:44 pm

MJMcCready wrote: I once read in Edward Winter's 'Chess Facts and Fables' that Capablanca said that, owing to its 'raw climate' England should be one of the strongest chess-playing nations in the world
It has been claimed that the Icelandic climate has been one reason for their being disproportionately interested in, and good at, chess.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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MJMcCready
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:48 pm

Barry Sandercock wrote:On a hot day, without air-conditioning and not much ventilation it can be unpleasant and difficult to concentrate. That's why Sean Hewitt's Congresses were so good. Always excellent conditions.
the last time I played in such circumstances, I had many a good look around the hall. There were many sweaty faces and players who looked like they would rather be down the pub having a cold pint on that Saturday afternoon.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:50 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Barry Sandercock wrote:On a hot day, without air-conditioning and not much ventilation it can be unpleasant and difficult to concentrate. That's why Sean Hewitt's Congresses were so good. Always excellent conditions.
the last time I played in hot weather (without air-con), I had many a good look around the hall. There were many sweaty faces and players who looked like they would rather be down the pub having a cold pint on that Saturday afternoon.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:55 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
MJMcCready wrote: I once read in Edward Winter's 'Chess Facts and Fables' that Capablanca said that, owing to its 'raw climate' England should be one of the strongest chess-playing nations in the world
It has been claimed that the Icelandic climate has been one reason for their being disproportionately interested in, and good at, chess.
As well as a visiting Mr.Fischer probably.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:03 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
MJMcCready wrote: I once read in Edward Winter's 'Chess Facts and Fables' that Capablanca said that, owing to its 'raw climate' England should be one of the strongest chess-playing nations in the world
It has been claimed that the Icelandic climate has been one reason for their being disproportionately interested in, and good at, chess.
As well as a visiting Mr.Fischer probably.
It was true some time before then - one of the reasons why the match was at Reykjavik in the first place.

(Alekhine visited more than once and noted their enthusiasm for chess, for instance)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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MJMcCready
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:24 pm

Ah interesting, will look that up.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:20 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
MJMcCready wrote: I once read in Edward Winter's 'Chess Facts and Fables' that Capablanca said that, owing to its 'raw climate' England should be one of the strongest chess-playing nations in the world
It has been claimed that the Icelandic climate has been one reason for their being disproportionately interested in, and good at, chess.
I thought the idea was that it was because it's dark a lot there. I"m sure I’ve heard that before.


In answer to the OP, yes, I do think weather can make a difference.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:45 pm

There's a very healthy proportion of players who just don't think of playing chess in summer :)

Mostly including me really.

Steven DuCharme
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by Steven DuCharme » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:59 pm

Sigh x infinity
I float like a pawn island and sting like an ignored knight :mrgreen:

IanCalvert
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Re: Does the weather affect your play?

Post by IanCalvert » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:57 am

Naturally I have never played a brilliant game on Hastings Pier in mid-winter though I guess David Bronstein did. However I never saw an article on chess brilliances from Hastings Pier in mid-winter? Maybe bad weather/conditions also produces more draws and fewer blunders (more careful play and less cmplacency) which I guess is my experience

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