Question/Study on chess skill and psychology

Mkth0

Hey everyone ! 
I've recently gotten very interested in the psychology of chess and "outside factors" affecting play. More specifically on the chess.com platform. 

Examples of these include the (pretty obvious) phone play vs computer play, time of day, environment and mindset.

I've personally run a couple of tests and have concluded that I play much better in the morning on my computer with the game fullscreen, no outside distractions and headphones on with no music.
On the other hand, I play terribly when I'm on my phone in the Paris metro at rush hour.

Although these may be obvious at first glance I'd be happy to hear about anyone else's "peak performance conditions"

I'd appreciate any responses to the following questions:

What device do you play best on? worst?
Around what time is your peak play? worst?
Do you play better just after eating ? or before?
What mindset are you in when you play best (determined, fully focused, angry etc...)?
Does music or noise affect you?
Can you play many games in a row or does your performance drop quickly?
What rating are you? Has that increased recently or decreased?

I feel like this is a pretty interesting thought, let me know what you guys think! happy.png

nasusL

this is really interesting, no one really responded tho

Mkth0
nasusL wrote:

this is really interesting, no one really responded tho

yeah, oh well happy.png 

TwoDogs69
Device: Only an old iPad
Peak play: Before evening meal. Relaxing after finishing all the jobs that need doing. Crack a beer, get snacks, relax.
After eating: Forget it, I’m like a sleepy bear with low metabolism.
Mindset: Ideally, relaxed and focused, not always possible...
Music or noise: Background noise, no distractions; wife moaning and telling me to get on and cook dinner, yes very distracted.
Many games: If I lose, get tempted to fight until I win. Bad idea, performance degrades. Now limited to 2-3 games per day.
Rating: Beginner, only 600+ here. Have beaten 1400+ in correspondence match. Maintain 1000+ on another site. Not really bothered about rating, as I’m old and only play for fun anyway.

Thanks for asking, I think it’s an interesting question too, so that’s why I answered.

Btw, if you can play a game on the Paris Metro at all, you’ve reached Jedi status already, to my mind 😀
Mkth0

Hey @TwoDogs69 , thanks for the response! It seems like everyone whom I've asked feel like they have lower performance after eating, I guess it makes sense. However, I am still surprised at how many people prefer playing in the evening; I usually just feel tired and end up blundering quite bad. The thing about performance loss is also interesting, many of us get determined and keep playing, although I still see a pretty equal division between people who actually manage to improve by doing so and those who just end up losing. If I get enough responses I could probably make some sort of conclusion based off player stats. Thank you very much for your answer! 

 

Also about the metro, I said I played in the metro, not that I was any good. wink.png

B1ZMARK

Peak performance? Always when it's quiet, minimal outside noise. Music doesn't really affect my game much, if it's quiet and I start putting real heavy dubstep or something I can win lots of games. 

Mentality matters, too. If I'm too scared to play (i.e. I just won a game time to sit on my rating the rest of the day) I'll lose, then I'd start losing a lot trying to get my rating back up. But on good days (like recently my blitz has really been doing great) and I feel unstoppable, then I play many good games, put up strong resistence, etc... leading to many rating points. 

B1ZMARK

Best device: macbook trackpad (macbook pro)

Worst: I'm not sure. I do decent on ipad and phone. Probably phone is worse.

Time: Mornings, afternoon, nighttime... actually, almost all three 

Mindset: determined, confident

Music doesn't affect me, noise does (like someone doing dishes)

I can't really play many games in a row, especially bullet. I can play many games over the course of a day but not in one sitting.

rating: 2288. Recently increased.

bullet: 2107. Dropped 150 yesterday playing bullet on my phone during class. Perhaps that might have contributed.

Mkth0

Hey, @B1ZMARK , thank you for the reply! I'm quite surprised to hear that you can't do multiple bullets in a row, for most people I've asked it seems like it's more of a comfort time mode where they can do 5-10 in a row without getting discouraged. But maybe that's explained by your very high rating and how bullets get extremely technical the higher you go. I agree completely with what you said about mentality. Thank you very much for your time happy.png 

TwoDogs69

Well, as an ex gambling addict, I find chess just as addictive, when it comes to chasing losses. And just like when I used to play blackjack and poker, chasing losses means terrible decisions... but with chess, I’m not losing money, at least.

Best game I played so far was a week long corresponding match. Plenty of time to think, plenty to consider, up against a really strong player. His/her strategy seemed to be dismantling all my pieces by strong position and sacrifices. I believe they were going for a good open end game, which I probably would have lost...

But I won, probably due to two things. My one passed pawn on 7th rank, causing endless defence headaches for the opponent , and my opponent sacrificing his/her Queen for my last rook. They’d have won if either of those things hadn’t been the case. But they both were. And the opponent was still so strong, they gave me a tight game even though it looked to be all over....

Sorry if all that detail is boring. But it is a chess site, after all.

And I stand by my comment: If you can play at all. On a train. While some disembodied voice shouts ‘Pigalle’ at you, then you French players should be unbeatable. You know, like with rugby 😎

B1ZMARK
Mkth0 hat geschrieben:

Hey, @B1ZMARK , thank you for the reply! I'm quite surprised to hear that you can't do multiple bullets in a row, for most people I've asked it seems like it's more of a comfort time mode where they can do 5-10 in a row without getting discouraged. But maybe that's explained by your very high rating and how bullets get extremely technical the higher you go. I agree completely with what you said about mentality. Thank you very much for your time  

Playing while your math teacher is talking about logarithms and you knowing that playing bullet will cause homework headaches don’t help either. But yes, bullet games tend to be a real grind the higher you go. Especially with my play style. Long games but not much thinking, just fast moving. But again... trackpad give me finger arthritis after a while.