How life affects our chess
So, I recently broke my back, have been out of work, and have had more time to devote to chess during my recovery. In this same time, I have lost more games than ever before, against players that I perhaps should have beaten. Okay, in reality, the number I have lost has been due to shorter time constraints, so I have played more games over all as well.
However what I want to focus on more, is our mood during the game. When someone feels great, they tend to play better, than say when we are hurt, or sick, or just depressed. I believe this is due to our minds being less capable, or maybe less willing, to be imaginative during trials in our lives. When I play, I strive to imagine the board, in as many (mostly logical) variations as possible given 3 to 5 moves out from my current position, and see if I can see any imbalances, any weaknesses on either side of the board. I try to envision some of the most dangerous combinations, to see if either side could think to construct them (like an Alekhine's gun) or your "usual" mating net/combos.
Now, looking back over the last month and a half, and analyzing my losses, and a few wins, I can see how my vision or scope, had tunneled. My own trials lead me to almost outrage at the game until I took the time after healing a bit to revisit some of these games. I would focus on one goal to the point of neglecting king's safety. I would move a piece before properly preparing for it. Like a knight on a weak square, with no way to defend it. And a knight or any piece on a weak square can be a great tool, but only if it isn't a liability. However, these chess lessons have been reinforced by my reflection, as well as a few new ideas.
So, my conclusion I came to, is study, and play, when not in decent mental/physical condition, aren't a bad thing. Just remember that you are impared to some degree, and that you may want to keep your emotions geared to more mistakes ahead of time, and use games from these times to study and learn from.