A forgotten aspect of chess: Mental Toughness!


One very important aspect of chess which is often not talked about is:

Mental Toughness!

For example, take a look at Magnus! No one wants to play him after he loses a game (which does not happen too often). He immediately wants to torture and punish his next opponent.

In the same situation, some players will lose their 2nd, 3rd, 4th game in a row after having an initial bad game. They simply cannot shake it off. The major difference is their minds are already checked out and they are mentally done.

No one is immune to losing. But how they handle losses matters!

For example, I lost my first game (with white) in the 1996 Women’s World Championship. I could have folded because I prepared so hard for this match and the result was devastating. But I did not. It made me stronger and more determined. I came back and score 8.5 - 3.5 in the next 12 games!

It is never easy to deal with losing in chess. But if you want to reach the pinnacle, you must learn to suck it up and fight harder in every single game after the loss. If you cannot do this then perhaps it is time to find something less stressful. Because if you expect never to lose then you are simply dreaming!


Ask Susan