Unrated/Low rated Chess players are the scariest to play against

I’m now practising how to play chess against less experienced players. There is a knack to this believe me and it’s something that often baffled me.

Several cases in point I have opened up ok, then pressed it a little too much thinking my opponent wouldn’t see the patterns to gain advantages and low and behold they do and I’m left down a pawn or main piece.

I now know why I get disadvantaged in this way and its not down to pressing too much, but more about understanding the psychology of the game. Lets take the martial arts for instance, if a person wore a yellow belt in a karate class, the expectation would be that they are not that experienced in self defence or being able to protect themselves, what a load of twaddle. As you know a belt does not show how good a person is at being able to defend themselves, they could be the meanest baddest street fighter that ever walk this earth, you just don’t know. So what’s that got to do with Chess psychology? Well it identifies to me that in the past I looked at the chess players grading like it was some kind of badge of honor that had to be adhered to i.e. a less experienced player should never beat a more experienced player, this couldn’t be further from the truth, just take a look at the young players beating the old guard, how is this explained, simply because the art of chess is not dictated by the experience/rating of a player, it is dictated by who on the day at that moment in time is willing to do this;

  • Do away with preconceptions
  • Open safely with no preconceived ideas about the opponent
  • Look at what is actually happening on the board and not any preconceived thoughts about the opponent
  • Really analyse the game in front of them and don’t slacken off due to preconceived thoughts about the opponent
  • Make moves based on what is actually occurring on the board and not any preconceived ideas about the opponent

Sounds simple right. If there is a doubt about it’s simplicity check out some of the outstanding performances from lower rated players versus higher rated players on youtube. It can and does happen time and time again so I’m running with it.

‘If you know your opponent then you can adjust your performance fairly easily’

‘If you don’t know your opponent, act like you don’t know your opponent, keep playing like you don’t know your opponent, become one with the moves they are making on the board no matter how basic their moves may seem, keep moves simple and last but not least remove all thoughts of fancy showy moves’  If you can resist the urge to try and blast the lower rated player off the board, you might just surprise yourself by gaining solid correct advantages throughout the game.

‘Never underestimate an opponent, always overstate their skills and play against the moves on the board and not what you think you should be doing to them as a person because of their rating’




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