You play a beautiful opening; you now have the initiative, control space, maybe even up a piece, and then it happens. Your opponent shakes the board, makes a strange noise, or even says something negative about your last move that just makes you mad. You get completely annoyed at the whole thing, lose focus, and within 3-4 moves you make a blunder, and continue to lose the game.

The rules of chess say: “A player may not distract or annoy another player by any means.” but in many cases you just don’t know if it’s ok to complain, or choose not to; even if this was not intentional, you still lose focus. The damage has been done.

For children starting up in chess, annoyances are quite common, and not easy to handle.

So how do you deal with this? There are tactical tricks like: always imagine you’re playing against a computer, and just look at the board – not at your opponent.  But it’s easier to say than follow.

At the end of the day, the best plan is just – “make a great move!”; seeing your opponent in trouble will bring back your focus in an instant. Trust me – it works!

The same plan is quite useful in our daily lives. Someone annoys you at work or at school; don’t be frustrated, instead just do something great. Right then and there. I promise – it will make you happy, bring back focus, and you won’t even know why you got so annoyed.

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