Okay, own up.... how many of you chess players have a pre-match ritual or a keepsake that you bring along for every game for good luck?
Do you carry any items of good luck such as lucky charms ("They're always after me Lucky Charms!" - okay, I can't resist that line), any special pre-match rituals (see inset), that has no link whatsoever to chess at all?
What about my pre-match ritual?
Before I head down to the club:
1. Empty my bowels of all solids 1-2 hours before
2. Eat lightly from lunch onwards and a small dinner - Just enough to half-fill my stomach
3. Drink water in moderate amounts
4. Wear something that doesn't make me look like I haven't showered in months and comb my hair (if need be).
4. Pick a nice sweater to wear to ensure I'm nice and warm
10-20 minutes before the game:
1. Relieve the water pressure buildup in the body
2. Wipe hands dry after toilet business (hygiene, people! you don't want to look like one of those who hasn't bathed in months, do you? :) )
3. Switch off mobile phone
Well, unfortunately, due to the massive brain functions (or malfunctions) in the course of my job during the day, having a brain meltdown is not uncommon in my case like last week, where I gave away a free bishop.
And no, I don't have a good luck charm - I've never believed in it.
I can understand why chess players can be superstitious, much like athletes/players in some of other sports. Some people swear by rituals, lucky items and for me, I'm okay with that.
The idea is to put your mind at ease (having a placebo like effect) so that you start your game on the "right foot" as they say (and I don't mean a rabbit's foot).