Is there a place for mind games in Chess?

Taskinen wrote:

Do people actually talk or mutter stuff during OTB games? I have never played one, but I thought it's sort of against the etiquette?

"OTB games". What a broad term.


It totally depends on how strong that OTB tournament is. Is it local, international, is it a 4th country league of 1500s, or a WCH match.


I just got an alert that someone commented, but I don't see it.


Here is a book that might be of interest to someone reading in this mind games thread. It's titled Chess For Tigers by Simon Webb.

It was written in 1978 and extra chapters added in 1990. The book is a bit dated in that it examines postal chess in the last chapter. The Kindle edition was updated in 2005 to a Correspondence Chess chapter instead of a Postal Chess chapter. Its not your typical chess book. It's about playing the game according to who you are, who your opponent is, mixed in with what is on the board. 

From the back cover of the book:

Are you a one hundred per cent chess-player? Do your results do full justice to your ability? Or, are you wasting some of your natural talent? Chess for Tigers tells you how to make the most of your playing strength, how to play on your opponent's weaknesses, how to steer the game into a position which suits you and not your opponent, how to get results against strong opposition, how to avoid silly mistakes. The Tiger is a vicious beast. he doesn't care about the aesthetic side of chess. He doesn't even care about making the 'best' moves. All he cares about is winning.

brink2017 wrote:

I think a stronger way to play mind games is to choose to play the moves on the board in a way that most club players dislike facing. 

Generally speaking, club players cannot defend well and we know we can't. In the mind games frame, one could use an aggressive opening repertoire (should have some quality to it). For example, Black can seek to sack a pawn early using the Attack With Black book's opening repertoire and Smerdon's Scandinavian book perhaps. As white possibly the book A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire . 

However, if playing aggressive chess is against your natural instinct (if it is you might attack worse than they defend) another approach is to become a good endgame player and then head towards endgames at every feasible opportunity. Most club players have neglected endgame study and are quite uneasy when that stage of the game arrives. Your endgame knowledge along with their uneasiness should be worth a lot of rating points. 

I usually take the second one.