Psychological Tricks

There are a lot of psychological tricks in chess that fall within the letter of the law. Deliberately getting into time trouble can raise an opponent’s blood pressure as can turning up late for the game. And then there’s the universe of draw offers, playing offensive openings (such as Tony Miles’s 1…a6 against Anatoly Karpov) etc.

What’s the best way to deal with this kind of thing? By keeping calm! And then these tricks tend to rebound against the perpetrator as their attempts to distract the opponent can take their own focus away from what matters most; the moves.

It’s impossible to know whether Garry Kasparov turned up late for the following game deliberately, there might have been another reason. Magnus Carlsen certainly found it nerve wracking but he kept his cool.