The Ford Memorial 2008 has started so I thought I took the time to relook at my past games. I've so far been involved in only 2 competitions - the Ryde-Eastwood club championships and the NSW Grade Matches.
While I was busy poring through my old games, I'd notice particular annotations I made on my scoresheets. In between some of the variations were personal comments I injected to relive the mood of the game at that time.
I notice one particular oddity. Players around my level (including myself) have a propensity to collapse at the critical moments especially under sustained pressure to the verge of breaking point.
This appears to be a far more common weakness than I realise.
Be it due to time-trouble or mental fatigue, the psychological warfare being engaged in the end tends to prove too much and mistakes inevitably started to show.
I also noticed that when faced against higher rated opponents, they steel themselves a lot better in the face of an onslaught.
But why then are so few chess books being written on the psychological aspects and mental training of chess?
Perhaps all along, we've not been 100% correct in our chess education during our formative years. One should not just solely concentrate on improving the calculative and combinatorial abilities. Instead toughening your mental strength should also be a core part of a person's training.