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Panicky chess when pressure mounts.


IT WOULD be a fairly straightforward task, I feel, for a handwriting expert to provide analysis of my nature from a quick perusal of the score sheets of my chess matches.

I am assuming the science of graphology could be applied to the game's notation system even though it only contains the lower case letters a to h, plus x to denote captures, numbers one to eight, capital letters K, Q, R, N, B - oh, and if you are very lucky the # symbol for checkmate. Now I do not claim to have wonderful handwriting - that accolade goes to my mother, 87 just two days ago and still producing the most beautifully-crafted script you could wish to see in spite of arthritis and her hand having been broken more than once.

But my handwriting, at times, is quite neat and presentable. And there is a clue as to where I am going with this - at times.

The first few moves of my matches are always legible and, I would attest, among the neatest and most pleasing on the eye to be found anywhere the game is played.

However, once into the meat of the game - and with the clock ticking inexorably towards the first time control - it tends to waver towards what might be described in a school report as 'slightly scruffy, must do better.' Should my opponent surprise me with a move which threatens to inflict my position with a mortal wound, it becomes positively rushed to the point where I may even ascribe the notation to my column instead of his or hers.

So, no graphologist needed really - my score sheets display to anyone I am of a panicky disposition and prone to lose concentration under pressure. Guess that grandmaster title will never be mine.

Huddersfield Chess Club is always looking for new members to play league, club and social chess. Contact Nigel Hepworth on 01484 352989 or 07903 548675.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 2, 2009
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