Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Psychological Mistake

There is no doubt that psychology plays a key role in chess. Aspects like conviction when playing the pieces or playing quick moves create in the opponent the impression of playing against a well-prepared player.

In the past FIDE World Chess Cup, GM Hikaru Nakamura presumably tried to use it in round 2, when he played against GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu.

Nakamura played the opening fast and the critical moment arrived after he did 11…Rd8. (See diagram below)

At this moment, Nakamura still had 90 minutes while Nisipeanu had spent 12 minutes.
It is worth to mention that games are played with the standard FIDE time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the remainder of the game and an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.

Despite Nakamura’s intention to psychologically influence on Nisipeanu’s mood, his opponent firmly adhered to his initial plan and proceeded accordingly.

It is worth to remember here Mikhail Chigorin’s quote about planning in chess: “Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.”

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