The Psychology of Online chess

Recently in an interview, Anish Giri, the former chess prodigy was quoted saying, “Chess is Extremely Psychological”. Everyone knows this, but still what grabbed the attention of chess enthusiasts is, when he mentioned that a player should be in his/her ideal state of mind. He also said that observing the body language of your opponent can put you in a good place in the game. But then what about Online Chess? How do observe your opponents?

How does online chess psychology work differently than classical chess?

There are various players who have multiple tactics to trap opponents. Some players also observe others’ body language and decide their next move. But it’s very difficult to choose your next move by noticing the others’ if your opponent is a computer or a person sitting across a screen. Thus, online chess psychology is different from classical board chess psychology.

You need to win and in order to win, you need to guess your opponents’ next move. This blog is all about how online psychology works.

  • While you play traditional chess, there is a constant emotional perspective that is put into account that could influence your moves. While playing online, you either play against a computer or a stranger, thus impulsive decisions are out of question. This must be taken into consideration.

  • Avoid cheaters who try to bluff online. Cheating in online chess can be difficult to trace. However, we have noticed some phenomenon that can be seen in online chess. One such instance is a sudden change in play style or play strength may indicate cheating.    

  • Playing online chess is fun when you intend to practice, but a major challenge is keeping up with your mental health. You know you are playing against a computer or a stranger. Being competitive is great but getting influenced by the way you perform can cause mental trauma. Being stressed is the last thing you want to be while you play chess. Don’t get overwhelmed by the other player’s performance.

  • There is a difference in dedication/focus that is needed to play chess. But over online, your focus can be disrupted by continuous pop-ups. These also entice players in shifting focus and drive them to gambling. Chess is a game that promotes patience, I.Q, E.Q etc, online chess on the other hand, may digress you from your target.

  • Motivation degrades as you don’t have a dedicated coach who could lift up your spirit in case of stress or depression. Call it a game or a sport, you need to be optimistic and come back with a thud. Thus being in the correct mindset is essential before you start aggressively playing online.  

Recognise your potential and practice online chess. But it is recommended, as beginners, you should start with a coach so that they build up your strengths and mental health.