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Mental Domination by IM Jeremy Silman

  • erik
  • on 9/2/08, 11:08 AM.

Chess is a perfectly mathematical game where steel-cold calculation wins and emotions are irrelevant, right? Wrong! International Master and famed chess author Jeremy Silman says: "Much has been made of psychology in chess, but rarely have I seen anything about how one player can get inside his opponent's head and make him accept a false image of what's really happening on the chessboard. And, once you buy into your opponent's version of reality, defeat isn't far away. This course is all about making an opponent accept your "orders", while also showing you how you can avoid the same fate by not falling for this kind of subliminal illusion. How often does this kind of thing occur? All the time!"

In his new Chess Mentor course - Mental Domination - Silman gives us 20 crystal-clear examples of how you can alter the reality on the chessboard and use your mental edge to win.

Here is one key example from the course:

This position comes from a game between A.Saidy - R.Russell, National Open 1999, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 a6 11.Be3 Rb8 12.a4 Nc5 13.Qc2 a5 14.Rad1 Bd7 15.Ndb5 b6 16.Rfe1 h6 17.f4 Bxb5 18.axb5 Qe7 19.Bf2 Qf8 20.Kh2 h5 21.Bxc5 bxc5 22.Ra1 h4 23.g4 g5.

 

Black's last move (23...g5) was a wonderful try since his position was absolutely awful: White has an enormous space advantage, the a5-pawn is dying (which adds a material advantage to the equation), and Black is devoid of counterplay. With 23...g5 Black offers a pawn but hopes to gain many positional and dynamic perks. Black is telling White, "I don't intend to go quietly into the night."

In the actual game, Saidy (a strong, legendary IM) was gliding along happily, quite sure that he would win this game without too much trouble. Black's 23...g5 upset the applecart, and though White maintained an advantage after 24.fxg5 Nh7 25.Nd5 Be5+ 26.Kh1, black's pieces had become quite active and white's King was suddenly a bit loose. In the end, White lost when some errors allowed black's active pieces to get a bit too close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what SHOULD white have played? Can you figure it out?
Try making the best moves in the problem below!




As this illustrates, you don't have to let your opponent have their way! You don't have to accept their reality - you can force your own will and mentally dominate your opponent!

(see below for more on Chess Mentor)


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9551 reads 8 comments
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Comments


  • 3 years ago

    sryiwannadraw

    Great article, thank you

  • 6 years ago

    WanderingWinder

    Llama, I'm sure Mr. Silman just loves being a background character in your horror novel, and I'm just absolutely sure that he reads these forums, too.

  • 6 years ago

    lapin

    cool i didn't know that mental plays such a role in chess.

  • 6 years ago

    Kami5909

    So this is a book on how to make your opponent blunder?

    What if he doesn't?

  • 6 years ago

    NM-or-bust

    I got the solution on the first try thankfully, I never trust that my opponent knows what they're doing.  That change in phychology is boosting up my rating, especially OTB.

  • 6 years ago

    LlordLlama

    I love Jeremy Silman's books. As a tribute to him, I wrote him in as a background character in my horror novel. I even mailed him a free copy, but they guy is so busy I doubt he has read it. HAVE YOU JEREMY? It's okay. Just promise me you will someday, and when you do, ignore the typos/errors in your 1st draft copy.

  • 6 years ago

    Xyo

    this reminds me of the playing style of someone I played OTB, he played slightly passive moves that were still strong, creating inequality, inviting aggresive moves by the opponent that all turned out to be disastrous, there's nothing more frustrating than being the instrument to your own downfall!

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