Mastery: Strategy

Mental Domination

Mental Domination

How do you get the opponent away from his or her plans and take over the game?

IM Jeremy Silman knows that much has been made of psychology in chess, but there’s not much out there about getting inside the opponent’s head and controlling the pace of the game. 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." Learn how to impose your plans on your opponents today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Learn how to take strategic control in complicated positions.
  • Practice determining which threats are real and which can be ignored!
  • Learn from Silman’s own games and those of top players!

"I think Mr.Silman is awesome. I love chess but didn't understand what it is really about. I dominate my friends with his simple teachings about imbalances. I think I'm learning at an incredible rate and I owe it all to Jeremy, and this site because the tools that they offer help! If you apply yourself, you will grow as a player and a person"! - user HarpersFerry7

  • Refusing to Be Obedient!

    Welcome! This is a first look at a subject I'll be exploring in my upcoming, completely rewritten, 4th Edition of How To Reassess Your Chess (all new examples, new chapters added, old ones tossed out). In our initial example, we will see a scenario that's...

    • 4 challenges
  • Don't Be A Reacting Robot

    Every (non-master) student I've ever had shares one trait with all the others: they all react to every threat, be it real or imagined. One might think that this problem would be easy to fix, but it's actually a hard "habit" to break; it turns out that...

    • 4 challenges
  • A Bolt From the Blue

    It's not uncommon to see one player wiping out the other throughout the game, only to relax (sure that the opponent will soon resign) and toss the well deserved victory out the window. To avoid this kind of practical and emotional catastrophe, a tournament...

    • 4 challenges
  • Doing Your Thing, Not His

    There are countless examples where one side suffers an hallucination and the other player joins him in the illusion: He captures, you recapture. He says, "I'm gonna sacrifice!" and you prevent it. He insists that a particular endgame is lost for you,...

    • 7 challenges
  • Demanding Play

    It's not uncommon to see one side possessing all the perks, while the other appears doomed to a long term grovel for a draw. At times you have to accept your inferiority and just hold on like grim death. But at other times you can spit on your opponent's...

    • 4 challenges
  • Just Say No!

    The most interesting chess occurs when your opponent comes up with a very interesting idea which could easily make you dance his dance. And, faced with this, you rise to the occasion and find a continuation that allows your agenda, not his, to rule the...

    • 3 challenges
  • He Says No, You say Yes

    It's always interesting to see two strong players voicing a difference of opinion. One says, "You can't make that move." and the other says, "Sure I can!" Even when one or the other is proven wrong, it's instructive to see how neither was willing to...

    • 6 challenges
  • Beyond the Mental Block

    Players often get so caught up with what is wrong with their position that they fail to see what is right with it. And, if the good things don't seem to really add up to much, they turn back to the negative and end up completely caving to their opponent's...

    • 4 challenges
  • Branding The Board With Your Vision

    When a very strong player is facing a good but weaker opponent, he wants to create tense positions that give him the opportunity to outplay his opponent. They don't necessarily have to offer him a straightforward advantage -- a hard game with mutual...

    • 3 challenges
  • It's My Party and I'll Do What I Want To!

    Threats are a dime a dozen and, if a pawn goes after a Knight, Bishop, or Queen we know from experience that it's no big deal since we can simply move that attacked piece away. But don't fall into an auto-pilot rut and move the threatened piece away...

    • 4 challenges
  • Total Supplication

    Every professional player has won countless games by simply doing the usual stare-down (one idea vs. another) and watching as the opponent averts his gaze and goes running for the hills. Put simply: when you are facing this kind of idea vs. idea moment,...

    • 3 challenges
  • Falling Over the Cliff

    Every player has experienced a position which seems miserable and/or lost, but it's your move and your job to somehow hang on. Resignation (a form of mental and emotional capitulation ... at times it can also be called "reality," while at other times...

    • 3 challenges
  • Standing Up to the Bully

    As in all things, every large "fish" will find a bigger one in some other pond. Thus, you might rule at your local club, but there's always some other player in some other place that will bounce you off the walls if you dare cross swords with him. If...

    • 4 challenges
  • I Love the Smell of Napalm on the Chessboard

    You're in a do or die battle. Your opponent has his stuff, and you have yours. As it so happens, your stuff is all about dynamics, and your opponent is making it clear that he's defended all his vulnerable points and you shouldn't even try and find anything...

    • 4 challenges
  • Is It Really So?

    As humans, we more or less swim in the ocean of preconceived ideas. And, when it comes time to step beyond the "party line," we often fail. This same thing constantly happens in chess. We can enter a situation that seems to be made of a huge warning...

    • 4 challenges
  • Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun

    When an opponent threatens to gobble up one of your pieces, it creates an immediate "you can't take my stuff" response. Thus, you will either block the attack, take the attacker, or run for the hills! However, at times the best way to deal with a threat...

    • 5 challenges
  • The Silent Consensus

    When a player looks at a position to see what his opponent can do, he often internalizes a checklist where he says, "After I make that move, he can't do that, he can't do that, and he can't do that." Oddly, the other player is also aware of that checklist...

    • 6 challenges
  • Expanding Your Perception

    It's long been well known that humans see very little of what's actually going on around them. In fact, many things are completely invisible simply because the human mind has preconceived ideas about what is and isn't possible. This same kind of blindness...

    • 3 challenges
  • Laughing At The Impossible

    When a player has a game "iced" because of a long term (static) plus (like material), it's very important that he take care to avoid tricks. In fact, usually one wants to avoid adventures altogether since they run the risk of something unforeseen hitting...

    • 3 challenges
  • The Argument Rages

    Chess is a game where two different opinions wage war against each other. One opinion says, "I'm going to do this to you, fear me!" and the other opinion tosses it back by saying, "That's rubbish! Instead, I'm going to do this to YOU!" This goes back...

    • 4 challenges
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