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Showing posts with label chess improvement app. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chess improvement app. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Mind Training Chess App: Psychologist Bjarne Eiholt, WFM Louise Fredericia

Improve your chess by mental training 
Introducing the MindMaster App


For decades it has been common practice in physical sports to use mental training as a means to improve performance. In some mental sports as well, like bridge and poker, mental training has become a common training tool. In chess however, the benefits of mental training are uncommon and underestimated.
Until now, a mental training program for chess players hasn´t been available, but with the recent release of the MindMaster App, it is now! Chess players now have the opportunity to use mental training just like other athletes in physical and mental  sport have done for years with good results. The purpose of the MindMaster App is to provide chess players with strategies to feel more at ease, focused, self-confident and motivated when they play chess. In this introduction, we will give you an insight into mental chess training and why we believe you can improve your chess by mental training using the MindMaster App.

Why mental chess training?
A wise man once said: The most dangerous weapon of a chess player is his mind. To this he could have added: The only weapon of a chessplayer is his mind. It follows that the more you work on the mind the better it will work for you, just as a sword must be sharpened before a battle.  No matter how many chess books you read, or how many hours you spend preparing your opening, such work cannot prevent you from losing your confidence and nerves, or help you to rebound after a defeat and focus and concentrate during your game.
In certain situations, a chess player’s mind can trick him to the point where he misses moves that he would easily have seen in a blitz game. In situations where there are high stakes at risk chess players tend to miss mates, give away pieces, lose track of time or lose focus on the board.
Sometimes you can hear statements like these from chess players before a game:
- I always play badly against a lower rated - or higher rated - player.
- When I lose, I cannot motivate myself to move on for the next game, and then I tend to lose that one too.
- I can already see myself mess it up in the middle game because my opponent is such an annoying player.
- I’m so nervous – how can I focus and concentrate?
- I haven’t slept all night because I lost yesterday.
- I gave away a piece yesterday, so I’m an easy victim today

Now the interesting question with regard to mental training is:
Who is surprised when these scenarios actually come true and the one who stated them losses?
The list is – almost – endless on how chess players’ expectations to the game, preparations and sleep can be disturbed and affected. No matter how long the list above may become, the bottom line is the same: in situations where you perform way below your normal level, it is not because you suddenly have become a bad chess player and lost your chess skills. You perform below average level because of your poor mindset.
Now the answer to the question above shouldn’t be that difficult – should it?

What to gain with mental chess training?
When you start mental chess training, the aim is that your average level of performance will increase. The increase in performance is caused by an improved mental condition and mindset.
Our users tell us in feedback that they sleep better, that their loses affect them less and that they are able to focus better on the next game. Others have sensed a good feeling of mental preparation and fewer nerves, which has lasted throughout the game. Others tell us that they have felt in a strong winning mode, which has made them play with more energy and belief in themselves.
The mental training sessions in the MindMaster App have different themes. It is therefore the user’s choice what to focus on, and thereby what to gain. Focus, concentration, increased confidence prior to an event, the proper mental state for competing – there are many different effects of the mental chess training. The effect will depend on how often, how much and how the training is used. The more you use it, the better it will work.

What does the MindMaster App contain?
The MindMaster App is developed for tournament players, regardless of strength. It contains no opening theory, no advice on the latest novelty in Ruy Lopez, no explanation of chess technicalities, strategy or structure. It can be used by any chess player.

The app contains 15 sessions of spoken text, with optional background music, spread over three categories of themes of mental training:



Optimise your thought processes – 6 sessions
Deal with distracting thoughts – 6 sessions
Achieve mental wellness – 3 sessions

Each session has its own specific aim well recognised by tournament players. Examples are:  move on after a defeat, regulate your use of time, control your nervousness,  play your game when it is best, prepare mentally for your game.
The sessions in the first two categories incorporate three elements, each serving their own purpose:
Physicality: Breathing and deep relaxation of body and mind. The relaxation will get you in the right state of mind.
Visualization: You visualize different scenarios, based on the idea that if you can imagine it, you will be able to do it.
Repetition of a statement: You make a statement, based on the idea that if you can tell it to yourself, you can also make it happen.
The sessions in the third category (achieve mental wellness) are mainly about getting your mind to be calm so that you can stress down or get help to fall asleep.

If you are interested in the idea of improving your chess by mental training you can visit our homepage: http://mindmasterapp.com/ Here you can try a free sample of a session Prepare mentally for your game. On the homepage you can also find details and further information.

The MindMaster App has its own FB-page: Mental Chess training. Here you can post questions or commentaries.
The MindMaster App is available on App Store and Google Play and costs 7 Euro.
The authors of the app are Bjarne Eiholt, who is a chess player and psychologist, and WFM Louise Fredericia, who is a chess player and mental trainer.

-- By Bjarne Eiholt and WFM Louise Fredericia

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