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Dealing with losses: avoid the second arrow

“When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical and mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterwards, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the […]

Shining confidence

From time to time, you stumble upon a foreign language word that describes a concept or an idea you had noticed but had no words for it.  When I read the following:  If you see any of the great Tibetan teachers, they appear radiant even in very simple robes. This radiance that shines forth is […]

Chess team rotation: what can we learn from Manchester United? 

“I need a 6-month holiday, twice a year” Alireza Firouzja’s t-shirt. The 2021 European Chess Team Championship is currently underway in Slovenia and the French Chess Federation has been posting a series of very interesting ‘Behind the scenes’ Videos – we gain insight into the team dynamics, and the ups and downs of the performances.  […]

A Lesson in Resilience: the Infinite Game of the Roman Republic

“A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”  James P. Carse Punic wars: Rome vs Carthage You have probably heard of the Roman Empire. Before the Emprice, Rome was a republic led by two elected consuls. It fought long wars with Carthage, another […]

Musashi: what can we learn from the greatest swordsman of all time?

‘I have put my life on the line many times in combat. I have learned the Way of the Sword by risking everything in the divide between life and death. ‘ ‘The victor is already determined before the fight even begins.’ Miyamoto Musashi is indisputably the greatest swordsman of all times. Born in Japan in […]

Effect of jet lag on elite chess results

Top-level chess players are constantly travelling from one continent to another to attend over-the-board tournaments. The effect of jet lag has not been investigated. While individuals have a highly variable ability to recover from jet lag, we can study the average effect. I have analysed 26k games between players above 2650 Elo, using the time […]

Zen and chess

Master Dizang asked the visiting Buddhist philosopher Fayan, “Where are you going now?” Fayan answered, “I am resuming my pilgrimage.” Dizang asked, “Why do you go on pilgrimage?” Fayan said, “I don’t know.” Dizang said, “Not knowing is most intimate.” Hearing these words, Fayan had an opening experience. I could not resist starting this post […]

Winning Deep

I would like to tell you about two women you may not have heard of before unless you’re either a chess player or closely following the English national football team.  Pippa Grange is a sports psychologist who is known for her outstanding work with the English team at the 2018 World Cup. She is credited […]


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