Emotional Regulation



So I have started to play in a few over the board toureys. It has been a good experience and I have enjoyed the games. I have learned a number of things and would like some advice.

First, I find that when get a lead in material, I often start to move too quickly and start to rush as though I just want the game over...Of course this leads to mistakes. Second, I often fo "on-tilt" when things do not go right? Then I can just fall apart after a simple mistake. Any advice on how to regulate emotionally during games?



think of your opponent as a computer...he/she might just make the best move...even if you think he's a dummy.

i've been playing on the internet mostly, but I played an ovver the board tourney a while ago and having to sit across from a living breathing human is a totally different experience.

you get to hear their breathing and you get to see all of their nervous ticks and they can see you too.


Perhaps you should consult a NM, such as ozzie_c_cobblepot, reb, or tonydal.


^^Always play NMs, that way if you lose it wont be a disappointment.


Do you realize that you are emotional during a game? If you do, then just get up, walk around the room and tell yourself to be patient and just find the best move. This is just discipline.


If you don't realize that you're on tilt until it's too late then you have a much more interesting issue. One strategy might be to make a habit of asking yourself if you're thinking clearly after every opponent move, right from move one. If you catch yourself wanting to just make moves then you're just back to paragraph one and should be alright after a deep breath or two.


Yes, it is a common occurrence to move faster when you are ahead in the game, but I no longer do that anymore. I used to though when I was around 1200 1300. It is something that comes to you after a while. I have lost a couple of games by moving to fast when I have been ahead in piece value.


If you read "The Art of Learning" by Josh Waitzkin and really take everything on board, I guarantee you'll really improve in those psychological areas. But even top GMs often struggle with remaining in the present after making a mistake, so it's not easy to improve your mentality...


I get it all the time, especially on the internet.
Stay in the game, don't think about the game or the consequences or whatever.
When your mind is truly dedicated to the game itself, outside emotions or values are of less importance. 
Also, I think really wanting to win should be about winning the game itself, but you shouldn't be distracted by results. This works for me, not always of course, but it seems logical.


Tricky subject, this. While conventional wisdom is to take emotion out of the equation completely, sometimes channeling it properly might help with your game.

I got beaten pretty bad by an about  equal-rated in the club yesterday and I got angry enough to take him down in  the next three games.  I was definitely not "regulating"  but I wasn't lashing out / blundering either. Somehow the loss triggered a deep desire to win at all costs ... they suddenly "stopped" becoming friendly games ... it was war!

That's a mere mortal talking ... but I've heard that the mighty Kasparov was infinitely more dangerous after he lost a game.  You just did not want to be his next opponent!