Achieving the optimal state of mind during a chess game is a very difficult thing to do. It is very easy to become distracted by the littlest things, to have your mental energy diverted by some completely irrelevant and trivial detail. The best chess players in the world are able to find the exact balance between using their mental and emotional energy while remaining completely calm and relaxed. Understanding the importance of achieving an aggressive state of mind while staying 100% calm and objective will certainly help your chess game grow, enabling you to brush off the distractions and put All of your mental capacity to work.
Emotional instability can be one of the factors giving rise to a failure by chess players in important duels. Under the influence of surging emotions (and not necessarily negative ones) we sometimes lose concentration and stop objectively evaluating the events that are taking place on the board” – Mark Dvoretsky
Identify Problems and Enforce Solutions
Lack of focus is the most common obstacle to a chess player’s improvement, detracting and devaluing the time you have spent working hard to study and prepare for tournaments by allowing anxiety and nerves to affect your game. It is absolutely imperative to keep a firm grip on your emotions during a chess tournament, careful not to allow them to negatively spill over into a game. Many players are simply unable to play their best chess without emotional energy and inspiration, but the best players are able to keep this energy in check and only allow it’s positive effects on their game such as more energy in critical moments and extra stubborn defense. Garry Kasparov is a great example of the benefits of turning emotional energy into a powerful motivational tool, enabling him to push harder and harder for the win in difficult positions. Kasparov’s games show an enormous amount of mental energy, and it was his fierce desire to win that pushed him to win and defend with longevity the title of world chess champion. Every chess player must individually find his/her perfect mental balance, that fine line between investing and pushing yourself emotionally while still playing an objectively sound game with machine-like analysis. After every chess tournament, you should be analyzing your games to persistently find ways to improve – and your psychological conduct should be examined under this auto-critical microscope with the same level of scrutiny as the moves themselves.