The Chess Angle

Ep. 76: Decision Fatigue and Brain Fog at the Chessboard (Game Analysis #6)

August 06, 2023 Long Island Chess Club Episode 76
The Chess Angle
Ep. 76: Decision Fatigue and Brain Fog at the Chessboard (Game Analysis #6)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Our episode features an engaging analysis of a chess game from the Long Island Chess Club. We dissect every plan, delving into the nuances of a Queen's pawn opening and strategies for preventing Black's e5 idea from White. We also unravel the mystery around the hyper-modern idea of striking in the center. In addition, we're sharing our insights on tackling higher-rated opponents, the significance of game review using an engine, and the importance of a positive mindset.

Lastly, we touch upon chess's cognitive aspects, particularly decision fatigue and brain fog, and their impact on players. If you've ever found yourself overwhelmed by the mental energy needed to navigate a chess game, you're not alone. We share valuable advice on taking breaks, resetting your mind, and doing so without falling into time pressure. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you on your quest to improve your chess skills.

00:00 - Intro
01:49 - Mailbag: Starting a Chess Club
15:08 - Game Analysis Begins
26:07 - Mistake Frequency
27:03 - Decision Fatigue and Brain Fog
37:05 - Solutions for Decision Fatigue
40:30 - Production Notes
46:20 - Outro


  • Guide to a Successful Chess Club (US Chess Federation)
  • Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? (NY Times article)
  • Game Analyzed: 1. d4 d6 2. Bf4 g6 3. e3 Bg7 4. Nf3 Nd7 5. c3 e5 6. Bg3 Nh6 7. Be2 O-O 8. h3 e4 9. Nfd2 f5 10. h4 b6 11. Qb3+ Kh8 12. c4 Nf6 13. Bf4 Qe8 4. Nc3 Nhg4 15. Bg5 Bb7 16. Bxf6 Rxf6 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18. cxd5 Rf7 19. Qc2 Nf6 20.h5 g5 21. h6 Bf8 22. Bh5 Nxh5 23. Rxh5 Rf6 24. Rh2 Qf7 25. Qc6 Re8 26. O-O-O Rxh6 27. Rdh1 Rxh2 28. Rxh2 f4 29. g3 Re7 30. gxf4 gxf4 31. Qc4 Qf5 32. Kb1 Bg7 33. Qc6 h5 34. Qc1 Bf6 35. Qc6?? Bxd4! 36. Qa8+ Kh7 37. Qd8 Bf6 38. Qf8 Qg6 39. Rh1 Rg7 (no remaining score due to time pressure) 0-1

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Do I play 95 or bishop takes g4? 95 or bishop takes g4. He's threatening c5. Geez, I don't know what to do. This is so frustrating. So 95, if he takes, I get a double pawn, but then Getting a better knight, no, because then he would take. I'm trying to think here 95 or or bishop takes g4. If I go, bishop takes g4, it ruins his pawn structure, but then he gets an open f file, but then 95, he trades his bishop for my knight and then I get a double pawn, but then I get pressure on cl. Man, I don't know what to do. Do I go 95 or Bishop takes g4? Has this gone on in your head during a game? I bet it happens all the time. Welcome to decision fatigue. We're gonna talk about that and a whole lot more. So stick around.


Welcome to the chess angle. This is not your typical chess podcast. If you're an amateur or club level player, the chess angle is for you. Our content is aimed at busy adults who are serious about the game but have limited study time. Featured guests include both amateur and titled players alike. And now here's your host, director of the Long Island chess club, meal Bell, on.


Welcome everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Before we dive into a recent game of mine, let's see what you had to say.


You've got mail.


This email is from Benjamin. Good afternoon, neil. I want to first say that I really appreciate your podcast. I found it about a year ago and have listened to every episode. I play online and over the board with some family and friends who also enjoy the game. I am wanting to start playing in rated events OTB but struggle to find anything available in my area From Oregon. I am interested in starting a chess club but don't know where to start. I am also worried there won't be enough interest in my area for a rated club. I was curious of your thought about starting a casual club, building a chess community and then Transitioning the club into a rated organization. Thank you for your time, both with your effort on the podcast and for any insight you might have. Thanks for your email, benjamin. Really appreciate the kind words and I've received a number of Comments similar to yours about starting a chess club and I definitely have some thoughts about that. I could easily do an Entire episode on this. Maybe that's something I'll do, but I'll give you some basic ideas for now and I'm also going to link up a resource you might want to check out. So just some general thoughts first of all. Yeah, it's a great time To start a chess club because the chess boom is alive and well. Anyone who says that the chess boom is sort of waning I completely disagree. I'm recording this in August of 2023 and the chess boom again is alive and well, so you'll get numbers. Now you said maybe something about starting a casual club and then Transitioning into a rated club. You could do that, but I think if you jump right into a rated club, you'll get the numbers. You know, if you build it, they will come, type of thing. What was that field of dreams? Right, great movie. But I digress. The thing is, benjamin, you need to be patient. Like don't expect to start a club and and overnight you're gonna get like 50 people show up. I mean, you don't know, stranger things have happened. You'd be surprised. You might be expecting to get a small crowd and 25 people might show up. That might happen, and especially now because, as I said, we're in the middle of the chess boom. So you're in a better place to start than I was back in 2007, because we started out small. I think our very first tournament we had 12 people, which was actually more than I was expecting. But we also had some laws and there was actually a period where I had to shut down for a few months because we weren't getting the numbers and Then we reopened and I was patient, we built it up. I had to kind of shell out some of my own money to keep it going. But now you know, after many years, we're doing great. I mean, we're getting anywhere from 30 to 40 players on a regular basis. Sometimes we're getting close to 50. We're the only chess club on Long Island now. There was one, but they moved to Queens. I think there was an issue with their venue. But the point I'm trying to make is that you are gonna have these ups and downs as you get started. It's definitely a marathon, not a sprint. So a few things to think about. You're going to obviously need a venue, okay, a site to hold your tournaments at. You want ample parking. A lot of people are going to be turned off if parking is an issue. You're going to need Rectangular tables. You know these are logistical things you need to think about, because round tables are not going to work for two people playing chess. You need ample lighting, restrooms, ample space. There might be a venue that has a room to rent, but it's too small. Now some ideas to check out. These are common places for chess clubs. Check out libraries, churches, community centers, schools, anything like that. Most places are going to charge a fee. You're gonna have to pay rent, some don't, but the ones that charge rent you could probably negotiate that. Now a word about libraries. I'm only speaking about where I am, on Long Island. Our public libraries are Excellent. They're probably the perfect venue to hold a chess tournament. The facilities are kept up to date. The lighting is excellent. It's climate controlled, so you have central air in the summer and heat in the winter. There's usually plenty of bathrooms around on multiple floors. There's usually ample parking. The tables and chairs are really nice. I mean, libraries are a great venue because they generally do have rooms for activities, for meetings, for organizations. The problem we have on Long Island, though, is that, because their taxpayer funded, they don't charge you, but the problem is they expect at least 50% of your members to be from that area, and that causes a problem. It's such a shame, and they're really strict about it. Like if you ask a library on Long Island that you want to run a chess club, the first thing going to ask you are you know where are most of your members from. So it's unfortunate because, as I said, it's probably the perfect venue for chess tournaments, but the libraries are so draconian in their rules that you really can't use it. We had started out at a library, but there were so many issues I ended up having to leave. Now that's just on Long Island. I can't speak for libraries in other parts of the US or other parts of the world, but it's something you may want to check out. And I will say this often, the places that don't charge you, where it's like, wow, we can meet for free, that's where you're gonna have the most problems, believe it or not. It's not kind of a contradiction, it's ironic. If they don't charge you, there's usually some fine print that you have to check out, and you don't want to go through the process of Booking a place like that and then it's nothing but problems. So usually the places where you have to pay rent, you have a little more flexibility, okay, and, as I said, you may have to lay out your own money in the beginning until you get the numbers that you want. I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself here, but I just kind of wanted to give you some things to think about. You'll also need to get certified as a tournament director. You're going to need to get pairing software. You're going to need to get a portable printer All these things. Now, I don't want to overwhelm you. Ultimately, it's like any project in the beginning, the initial work is a lot, but once the ball is rolling, it's not too bad. I wish you the best of luck. These are just some basic ideas to think about. As I said, now that I'm saying this, this might be a good idea to do an entire episode on this, where I can really do a deep dive and get into the weeds of it. But for now, I'm going to link up a guide from the USCF the US Chess Federation on starting a chess club. It's like a 12-page PDF. It's online, it's available, it's free. It's called Guide to a Successful Chess Club and it's pretty good. I looked through it. I didn't read every word, but I kind of skimmed it and it's pretty nice. It goes from you know what is a chess club and should you start a chess club? Who is your target, what you're going to offer, how to become a US chess affiliate, getting off to a good start, keeping the club going, building a base. It has basically all the essentials that you need. Like I said, it's probably a little overwhelming in the beginning, but once you get the ball rolling you'll get into a groove and the benefit that you have again nowadays starting a club is that chess is on fire. Right now we're still in the chess boom, so I suspect if you spread the word you'll get the numbers that you want. But I wish you the best of luck, benjamin, and thanks again for your email. All right, so let's get to the meat of this week's episode. This is a game I played against a Long Island chess club regular. His name is Xylin Chen, really, really nice guy. I mean, just what a sweetheart of a guy. Really good person. He's just good people. But he is like the terminator at the chess board very, very strong player, very consistent, very tenacious. I have a lot of respect for him as a person and a player. He's a worthy opponent and he very rarely has a bad night. Now, to put this in context, this was a game I played that I lost because, as I said, I'm not just going to do my wins, because often the losses are much more instructive. So this was a game that I lost. Now Xylin is a 2100 player, so strong player, and that's probably part of the reason why he's so consistent and that he very rarely has a bad night. He's 2100 for a reason. We always talk about a year. Oh, everyone is capable of having a bad night. Everyone makes mistakes. But there are certain players like Xylin. Tim Marabale is another one. It's just so rare that they play poorly. I mean, they're just always on. So there are some players that you know. They just it's so rare where they play a bad game, like they have a bad night, like once every solar eclipse, right? Tim Marabale is one. I'm talking about local guys from the club Xylin's another one, rob Guevara, who was on this podcast, he's another one. And I like these kinds of players because they challenge you. You're not going to be able to get away with stuff If you slip up. They are going to find the right solution and they really sort of test where you're at, because if you can hold your own against players like these, then you know you're in good shape. Now I have to say, even though I lost the game I dropped the ball towards the end I was actually very happy with how I played against Xylin At one point I'll talk about this. One of the 1800 players at the club even thought I was better Like, because after the game he's like I thought you kind of maybe had him. I was very happy with how I played but I couldn't quite finish it. And Xylin, he's just strong. You know he's that's the kind of player he is, but this was a very, very instructive game. There's a lot of themes that we're going to look at that are very practical for the club players. See what I like to do with these game analysis episodes. I mean, this is true for most episodes, but especially these episodes where I look at a game, I like to go over themes and discuss things that are likely to appear in your own game. So I would want you to hear this and then go to the club that night or the next day and at least one piece of this you can sort of apply or relate to in your own game. So let's talk about the game, and what I did was I put the PDF in the show notes so you can copy and paste the game into an engine. I'm very humbled by the fact that people are doing that. I kind of put the PGN just sort of as an afterthought. I'm like I don't know if anyone's going to look at it. But then people are sending me messages that for the game analysis episodes, they like to play along with it on a board or they'll put it in an engine, and I'm really humbled by that. Now, what I do with these episodes if this is your first time, this isn't like blindfold chess. I don't go through every single move. What I do is I kind of discuss it thematically and I discuss ideas and certain positions. So if you have the game in front of you on a board, fine, but you don't need to. If you're in the car, if you're jogging, if you're doing laundry, whatever you do, while you're listening to a podcast, maybe you're at work, working, whatever it is, you don't need a board or anything like that. You can still listen to it, because it's really more about the ideas and then, if you want to on your own, you can look at the game, all right. So as I discuss this, I'm going to have this opened up in chesscom using their engine. I really like their library feature and the fact that you can store and analyze your games. I spoke in a previous episode about the chess base suite where they have Fritz online. I've now been using chesscom more. I've kind of grown away from that and don't get me wrong, chess base is still fantastic, it's a great tool. But I'm really liking the chesscom library feature. It uses stockfish, I believe, and it analyzes your game. Let's look at the game from the beginning. Let's talk about these very practical and very typical ideas. So I was white and Xylin was black, of course, and as you know, I opened with d4, surprise, surprise. And he played d6, all right, which is kind of a typical idea. It's a simple Queen's pawn opening. And with d6, he's probably going to follow it up with e5 at some point because he wants to hit in the center. He might have prepared this against me because everyone knows I played the London. Of course white tries to prevent e5 ideas from black and black wants to get in e5. And if he does get it in as white, you kind of want to have him get that in on your own terms or prevent. So anyway, it was d4, e6. Then I played bishop f4. And then he played g6. So he's looking to fiend Keddo's bishop on g7, kind of a King's Indian, hyper modern idea hitting at the center. Right, he's hitting the e5 square. Okay, that's his goal right now. He wants to get an e5. So his d6 move is hitting e5 and then he's going to follow up with bishop g7. So his plan is clear. Now here I did something interesting. I went into my London almost reflexively. I played e3. But because his first two moves were d6 and g6, I could have gotten an e4 right away. I could have gotten the classic pawn center. And looking back on it, I'm not sure why I did that. Usually I would jump on it. It was probably a bit of nerves against a high rated opponent and I wanted to keep things solid. I'll talk more about that, about the psychology of playing high rated opponents, but that was probably my thinking. E3 is perfectly playable, it's not a mistake. Now the chesscom computer is calling it dubious. And a few comments about the engine. You can't be too, unless it's like a blunder or like a double question mark move something like that, unless it's like an extreme thing. You can't take some of these annotations and some of this analysis by the computer too literally. So a move that it marks as, quote unquote, dubious between two humans is probably fine or equal. So yeah, I could have grabbed the center with e4, but I played e3. All right, just to get my typical London idea. So he did play bishop g7. I played knight f3. This is all normal. He did knight to d7. Again, he's looking to get an e5. And then I did c3. So that typical London triangle, pretty normal, pretty even game, nothing too crazy. And then he did get an e5. Which is fine as white. This is where a lot of people run into trouble. It's tempting to now take right. So he played e5. And you could play it. If you go d takes e5, nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with that. It's perfectly playable. But the thing is if you go d takes e5 and then he goes d takes e5, you're basically trading your strong d4 pawn for his somewhat weak d6 pawn. Usually white doesn't want to take there, you want? I mean, obviously I need to move the bishop because it's being attacked. But if he takes on d4, then I can take back, like with the e pawn or even the c pawn. And if he pushes to e4, that's a little risky for black, because then after my knight moves, e4 could be a little bit of a target and his center opens up. So I moved back bishop g3. Which is correct. And then he did something strange, which is knight to h6. Now it may seem odd. The knight's on the edge of the board right, a knight on the rim is dim, but it's actually a decent move. What he's looking to do is jump to the f5 square. He's probably looking to go knight f5, hitting my bishop, or in some cases he might follow with f5 and move the knight back, but most likely he's eyeing either the g4 or the f5 square, which is normal, and he's probably going to castle. So then I played bishop e2. He then castle this is all normal. Okay, it's still pretty much an even position, usual stuff. And then I played h3. Just a little defensive move to take away his knight, hopping to g4. And then he made a little bit of an inaccuracy here and a couple things about that. So he played e4. He pushed that e4 pawn and that might be asking too much of the position. So I went knight f2, d2. Only move that makes sense because it's being attacked. And now that attacks his e4 pawn. But by pushing e4 it also opens up the diagonal for my dark squared bishop. So a couple of things. He may say well, this guy's strong, he's 2100. Even players of that strength will make inaccurate moves. This is a big problem. When you play higher rated players, you assume every move they make is this major threat. Right, oh, he's 2100. Like every move, you think every move is the start of like a meet and for sequence, and it's not. They make inaccuracies too. That's why going over your games with an engine is the most important, the number one thing, the most important thing you can do as a club player is to review your games with an engine. Now, the people who say you know, don't use an engine and try to analyze on your own. I'm not a big fan of that. I mean, you can do that as long as you use an engine afterwards, but you have to look at it with an engine and what it does. It sort of ego checks the higher rated players because you're going to see that they make mistakes and inaccuracies all the time. If you play a much higher rated player and you assume that every move is amazing and every move is brilliant, you're going to get crushed. Okay, so remember my attitude against higher rated players much higher rated players is that, statistically, I expect that I'm probably going to lose, but I want to make the game as difficult for them as possible. I want them to say wow, I respect you as a player. You played really well. You didn't make it easy for me and when I adopted that attitude I spoke about this already that led actually to a lot of draws against higher rated players. But that was my thing here. I expected him to beat me, but I wanted to play a good game and give him a run for his money. I want to win a draw. That's gravy because if you say, well, my goal is to win the game, because you might be thinking why are you saying that? Why don't you just think, well, I want to win? The reason is that puts too much pressure on you and it might make you force things and it'll actually makes things worse. So don't think. Think about the process. Don't think I want to win. Think I want to play solidly and I want to make this guy think. I want to make him sweat it out. So that was my goal. And it's hard to do against silent because he's such a nice guy, but anyway, that's where we're at. So then he did push f5. Now you may say, well, doesn't that open up the light? Squared diagonal against this king. The a2, g8 diagonal, yeah, but there's no really. You know, there's no tactics or anything. You know, if I check which I do he just moves his king and there's no real follow up. This brings us to a major theme, which is the idea of pushing h4 against the castle king in the London system, especially when it's a g6 type setup. My king is in the center right now. I did not castle, because, remember, when the center is closed it's okay, and sometimes even preferable, to keep your king in the center right, so the center is completely blocked. So this is a typical London idea where you push h4 while your rook is still on h1. And it works especially well against the king's Indian type setups because when black has moved his g pawn to g6, it can be a little bit weak and you can easily nibble at it. Right, it's an easy position to attack the fiancato bishop on the king side, for black becomes a target of attack. So that h4 push by white is especially effective when he already has the pawn on g6, because you can treat it as a weakness. And I am trying to be a little bit more aggressive with my London the sort of h4 idea and then pushing to h5 while keeping the king in the middle. That's sort of new to me. I usually don't play that way. I'm much more slow and positional with the London, but in this case I saw that the opportunity was there and I did it. Now, of course, again the engine says it's dubious, right Question mark, exclamation point. But I don't see it that way. And against two humans I think it's a good move because it forces black to think. And he did take a little bit of a think here, which is good. Now when you play a move against a high rated opponent and he or she takes a while to think, that's usually a good thing. That usually means it's a good move and they have to think. Or it could also mean that it's a tactical blunder and they're just kind of double checking that it works and you're going to lose material now. But in this case it's a sound move. So he had to think here for a little bit. So he didn't do anything and then he moved b6. He's going to fiend Keta with his other bishop. And then I did queen b3 check. He moves his king. A couple of things about checks. You don't want to check your opponent's king, just to check the king, unless your piece ends up on a good square after the check. So you don't want to check your opponent's king. He moves it and then your piece is in a bad position and you check them just because it felt good to check them. You don't want to do like those feel good checks. The reason I did it is because the b3 square is actually a good square for the queen, all right, and it develops the queen with a check and it's not like I have to move the queen now. It's a good square anyway, all right. And in some cases because now that he moved b6, there might be an idea with a 4, a 5. You know, these are just things you have to think about. His light square is over there now maybe a little bit weak and my light square bishop, can maybe go to b5, in some cases. You know, these are just ideas you have to think about. And then I played c4. We played some moves here. Then he did another inaccuracy. He played queen e8, all right, which the computer doesn't like. Probably doesn't matter Like the computer gave it a question mark but just looking at it it's not a blunder or anything. But again, it just goes to show you that even high rated players are not going to play like perfect moves all the time. You have to realize that. A lot of times what makes the difference between a higher rated and a lower rated is just the number of mistakes. They just don't blunder as much, they don't choke as much In time pressure. They play more accurately. It's not so much that they know more, they just make better moves and they blunder less. That's really what it is. You know, you could say the difference between a 1600 and a 1400,. The 1600 simply makes fewer mistakes than the 1400. And 1800 players simply makes fewer mistakes than a 1600, right, this is how that thinking works. As far as rating, it's not so much chess knowledge but just the accuracy or the lack of your mistakes. A lower rated player is just going to make more mistakes. All right, it's not necessarily that the higher rated player knows more theory, they just handle themselves and their composure and tournament conditions better. So then we get to a major theme of this week's episode, which is decision fatigue. Now, what is decision fatigue? I'm guessing many of you have heard it. It's also called option paralysis. Sometimes they call it choice overload. Basically, your decision making starts to deteriorate because you're making so many decisions and it drains you mentally. And a chess game is sort of the ideal situation for that to happen, because every single time you move it's all about making decisions and weighing options. But when you keep making decisions over and over, it's sort of like this lock on your brain. It drains you mentally and it's a big problem for club players. I'm sure GMs and stronger players deal with it as well, but I think it's especially a big problem for those of us at the amateur level, and that's what happened here. So we get to this position. We have 16 moves played so far, so I'm on move 17. It's White's 17th move and I'm looking at it. And I was agonizing between a couple of different moves. I was looking at Bishop takes G4, excuse me and I was looking at Knight D5. I said that in the opening to this episode. That was a little teaser and I'm agonizing over it. And the more I'm thinking about it, the more mental fatigue I'm experiencing. And the truth is it gets to a point where you just you need to make a decision because you're just wasting mental energy. Now it turns out I ended up playing Knight D5, which is an excellent move. Either one would have been good. The reason I was hesitant because I said, if I played Knight D5, it doubles my pawns. But I have an open C file. I thought that double pawn of D5 is going to be a weakness. Looking back on it now, I mean this is always the case, right? Looking at it now, knight D5 is pretty obvious. However, bishop takes G4 also would have been good. I was worried that it was going to open up the F file, but White is fine. After that and I thought about it and I ended up doing Knight D5, but it was after a long thing, because Knight D5 hits his rook and my thinking was, if he takes with the Bishop, he's giving up a potentially good Bishop. His light squares on that side are going to be weak and his C7 pawn is weak. I mean, like I said, I'm just looking at it now I should have played this almost instantly, but that's what happens during the game nerves or whatever decision fatigue. So if he takes with the Bishop, like I said, I have those advantages. If he doesn't, then I have an excellent Knight on D5. So I did play. After this decision fatigue, I did play Knight D5 and after a long think he did take it. So I now have an open C file against his backward pawn on C7. Okay, it's a weak pawn, and so it's a semi-open file. So the C file is now a line of attack and I guess the reason why I was so hesitant was, again, this decision fatigue, and we'll talk about why that happens and how to prevent it. I mean, basically it just comes from playing. You're making all these decisions against a strong player over and over and over again. It gets to a point where your brain is fried, and in a little bit I'll speak about some ways to fight it. But with decision fatigue and I'm sure you experience it it's something you need to be aware of, like a lot of players, I think. They just they kind of go through it. You need to know when you're experiencing that and you need to take steps to fight that, which I'll talk about at the end of the game. I just want to get to the moves. Now. We continue a few more moves and I end up pushing to h5. And I really liked this move. Now again we spoke about this earlier my king is uncastled. It's still in the middle because I have pawns on f2, e3 and d4. He has a pawn on e4 and f5. Now, right now I'm not too worried about an f4 push, so my king is fine in the middle because the center is completely locked up. There's no tactics. So I pushed h5, which I like, and again, this is a slightly more aggressive way for me to play, but I really like the position here. And then the engine says it's pretty much even, but I like the move a lot, so I'm chipping away at his castled king side. He then moved g5. So I go h5, attacking his g6 pawn. He pushed it, which is probably the best move. I pushed the pawn again, so my h pawn is now on h6. He goes bishop f8. And I want to talk about another major theme here which is huge, which is that at the time I thought and a friend from the club who saw the game thought after that I was much better, almost winning here, and at a glance it might seem that way, because my king is perfectly safe in the middle, my pieces are pretty well placed, he really has nothing going on. I mean he's attacking d5. I need to watch out for that. But because of my advanced h pawn and because I'm sort of opening up a little bit of an attack towards his king, it seems like white is much better. But this is a major theme, which is, you often think that one player is much better, but it turns out the game's completely even. Like this happens all the time. Right? Oh, I played this game. You know, I had the black pieces. I was so much better. You put it in the engine and it's like perfectly even. So just because it looks or appears that one side might be better, because it seems they have an advanced piece, doesn't mean they're winning. The position right now is perfectly even. But I thought during the game that I was much better and that that can get you into trouble. That false sense of security like oh, I'm definitely winning and you're not Black is totally fine here. But regardless of that, regardless of that it's even, I'm still very happy with how I'm playing. And then I Started to make a few inaccuracies here. We kind of went back and forth and then what happened is the brain fog kicked in, and brain fog, which I'm sure you experienced as well, is is sort of a branch of Decision fatigue. So I know, for me I get this brain fog Late in the game. Brain fog basically meaning a lack of focus, like a fuzzy thinking. You're confused. It's sort of like a daising, a spacing out. You know, I call it getting the fuzzies. You know I'm like, oh geez, I got the fuzzies there. We're like your brain, like you just can't think anymore. And Before people say this because it's gonna drive me crazy, they're gonna say oh, what's an age thing? You're getting older. It's not an age thing. It's a chest thing, because even when I was younger, even when I played, like in my early 30s or my late 20s, I would still get it. So for the people like, oh well, you know, you're getting the brain fog because you're 51. You're old, you know. That's why you're getting the brain fog. You've aged out of improvement? No, that's not it. It's a chest thing because, like I said, even like decades ago when I played, I would still get this. Okay, I've heard high school kids tell me that they experienced this. So again, it's a chest thing. It's not an age thing. I truly believe that. I mean, unless there's something actually, you know, a physiological Situation you're dealing with, or something like that. It's a chest thing. It just happens because you're constantly thinking and the mental energy required is Such that you're going to get this brain fog. Now, yes, some people get it less than others. Higher-rated people probably get it less than lower rated people. Lower rated people excuse me, but it's real. Okay, this brain fog is part of the game, it's something you have to deal with and as far as fighting decision fatigue and brain fog Once I wrap up the game, I want to speak to that a little bit because it is something very important. So at this point, to sort of make a long story short, the brain fog kicked in fully and I ended up dropping two pawns. My 35th move, queen C6, was a double question mark blunder which led to a tactic. Now, it's funny, this is another thing. This is sort of part of brain fog and decision fatigue. I Saw this tactic early on. I defended against it, but then you're looking at other things, then you forget about it. So when I moved my Queen, I forgot he had this tactic. And then, once he played this once he played Bishop takes d4 and move 35 pretty much over and then he ended up winning two pawns. And then I sort of fell apart in Time pressure. Up until this point, despite the few missteps that I had, I was pretty happy with how I played, considering how strong a player Xylean is, and I definitely learned a lot from this game. So that's the game. Now let's take a minute to kind of recap, talk about a few things, and I want to address brain fog and decision fatigue specifically. So just some post game comments to Wrap this up in terms of how to handle decision fatigue and brain fog during a game. Chess is a prime arena for Decision fatigue and brain fog because it's an activity that involves constant decision making and Weighing options and that wears you down. Remember, decision fatigue comes from Constantly making decisions, one after the other just wears you down mentally. That fatigue leads to brain fog, especially in very, very tough games such as the one I had. Now one cure, and it's the only cure that I know of and it works you have to get up from the board and clear your head. That's what you need to do now. My problem to this day, even though I'm aware of it, I get stubborn and I don't do it. I just end up wanting to stay at the board, and you can't do that. If you're feeling indecisive, frustrated, confused, anything like that, overwhelmed, you need to get up, step away from the board, get a drink, eat something quickly, put some water on your face. You need to do that now. There's some advice out there that you should never get up from the board, and you know never get up from the board. You know always, but you know be that's moronic, at least at the amateur level. That makes no sense to me. If you're having trouble, if you can't find a move, if you can't find an idea, if you just sort of feel mentally shot, you can't understand what your opponent's plans are, why would you stay at the board, right? Why would you stay there if nothing's happening? If you're feeling any type of brain fog or decision fatigue, you need to do a reset and the only way to do that is to step away for a moment. Now, yes, I know the clock as it play and you don't want to get into time pressure, I get it. So, yes, you have to do this within reason. I'm not saying you need to get up for 20 minutes, but even if it's just for a minute or two, that will make a big difference. And when you step away, don't think about the position, just clear your head, you know, look out the window or whatever. You know, even if, well, I don't know if you should do this, but you know, even if you just check your phone just to distract you for a second, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, because that's how you do the reset. You need to step away from it and come back and you'll be amazed at how much that helps. And the thing is, you may need to do this Several times during the game. You can't just get up once. Okay, getting up just once from the game it's not gonna fight decision fatigue. This is a major problem. It's something that I think a lot of us don't handle effectively and this is something that you have to play through. I'm not sure that doing puzzles or Buying courses are going on Amazon and buying chessbooks you know, 10 at a clip is going to fix this. This comes from playing and from awareness and from Practicing how to fight decision fatigue and again, the best way to do it, the only way that I know of, is just to get up from the board for a moment and come back, and a lot of people don't do that. You need to do those quick resets During the game and I have to remind myself constantly of that. So as far as the chess portion of this episode, I'm gonna leave it there now. I do have some remarks Regarding the show itself, some programming notes If that does not interest you. If you just wanted to hear about the chess and you couldn't care less what I would I have to say about the show itself, you can safely log off and I'll see you next week. I hope you win your next game. For those of you who are interested in a few very brief comments, it's a quick thing. This isn't gonna be like a ten minute thing. Couple of minutes. If you're interested in those comments about the show, stick around. So a couple of things about the show. I guess if you're listening to this, you are a true fan of the chess angle and I really really appreciate it, really love everybody for listening and all the support. So Very quickly, as you know, there is a YouTube channel for the podcast. You can just look for the chess angle podcast on YouTube and it'll show up and, of course, there's always a link in the show notes. Now, at this time I will not be posting Video podcasts and we'll keep it as I have been as a still image with the audio. It's really a workflow thing Because the way I have it now, to make a long story short, when I upload the podcast to my RSS feed, it's basically with one button I can upload it or schedule it with one button. It actually posts to YouTube as well, which is extremely convenient. And If I would now do a video Instead, like the actual video of myself and my guest, or just myself, whatever it is, that's a whole nother workflow thing, it's additional editing, it's a whole thing. Whereas if I just keep it the way I have it, it automatically uploads to YouTube with the show notes and everything. That's awfully convenient for me and with my schedule. Now I'm going to keep that in place. Basically. For me to add the video component at this time is going to be too much and it really makes no sense when, again, it's automatically being uploaded to YouTube at the same time that it goes to Spotify and Apple Podcasts and all of those. So I'm going to keep it the way it was. I know a few episodes back I said I was experimenting with using video podcasts. Well, that's why I use the word experimenting. I tried it, but it just wasn't happening. And again, the YouTube channel for this podcast it's really a billboard for the main podcast. I mean, most people if they find it on YouTube, they're going to end up going on Spotify and listening to it there anyway. Most people just listen as well. But that's really what it is. It's a billboard to direct people to the main audio podcast, whatever it is in Spotify, apple Podcasts, whatever app people use, I mean, that being said, the next time you're on YouTube, if you would subscribe to the channel just for support, it would be greatly appreciated. So if you would consider doing that, that would be awesome. One other thing about YouTube I do plan at some point because I genuinely do enjoy this stuff. It's a labor of love for me. It's not like work. Okay, right now I'm in graduate school, which is a big time suck for me. I'm very proud of that, but it's a lot right now. So I only have so much bandwidth that I can devote to chess. But one thing I plan on doing this is maybe like another year from now, something like that I do want to resurrect the club channel that is, the Long Island Chess Club YouTube channel, which is a separate channel from the Chess Angle Podcast, now the Long Island Chess Club. I'll call it the LICC, the LICC channel. It's up and running, it's there. There's just nothing on it. It was one of those things I had created a while back and was going to put some things on there, but it never happened. Now here's my goal with that that channel, the LICC channel. That's going to be a legit YouTube channel. Like. That's a channel I genuinely want to build and get a good following and hopefully it'll be something that'll really help people. Now you may say why are you going to do that? Youtube is saturated. Why would you want to do that? I'm going to tell you why, because here's my plan I intend to have short instructional videos using games from the club. It's intended for people like you and me, people who work full time, who have a family, who have a life outside of chess, who can't sit there and watch YouTube videos for three hours a day. They're going to be short videos, probably 10 minutes or less, and it's going to be all practical ideas and positions you will actually face Like I want you to look at these videos and be like I'm going to use this tonight at the club, or you're going to look at the video and say, oh, you know what? I just saw this in the YouTube video. In other words, I want it to be very practical for the club player and these will be legitimate YouTube videos. It's not going to be like a still image. It's going to be your typical YouTube chess videos, like I'll be on camera, there'll be a board and you'll see the moves. It'll be purely instructional, completely different from the podcast channel. That's the plan anyway. All right, that's what I plan on doing. That's not a promise, but that's my goal and I will genuinely enjoy that, like you may say. Well, you know why create more work for yourself. I don't look at his work. I do enjoy it. It's also, selfishly, a form of study for myself. But again, this is something maybe a year from now, approximately give or take that I plan on starting. I think I'm really going to get a kick out of it, but we'll see. You know who knows, right, the vagaries of life, who knows what's going to happen? That's just the plan. Right, best laid plans, right, man plans, god laughs, right, all that stuff. I know who knows what's going to happen, but that's the plan anyway. So I just wanted to go over that stuff for YouTube as far as the podcast itself and the club in terms of what's happening. So I really appreciate you listening. If you stuck around for that last segment, that really means you're a true fan of the pod. I really, really appreciate it, and I know I said it already, but I'll say it again I hope you win your next game. Have a great day, everybody.

Mailbag - Starting a Chess Club
Game Analysis Begins
Mistake Frequency
Decision Fatigue and Brain Fog
Solutions for Decision Fatigue
Production Notes