Hypnosis and Chess
In a recent article in Spectator magazine it has been alleged that champion chess players are hypnotising their opponents to gain an unfair advantage over them and thus leading to undeserved victories.
For years, hypnosis has been utilised in performance enhancement for certain sports. The main beneficiaries have been football and boxing, but hypnosis is associated with performance enhancement in most if not all sports. This allegation of using hypnosis to “cheat” however, is a new wrinkle.
When I first got interested in hypnosis I was a boy of about five, watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon which showed Bugs and Elmer Fudd in a hypnosis battle with one another. I thought that was amazingly cool. Now, of course, having practised and studied hypnosis for almost thirty years, I know that this is just an amusing fantasy that one can use hypnosis in this way.
I mention this because the allegation that chess grand masters are using hypnosis to influence their opponents is just a ridiculous as the Bugs Bunny Elmer Fudd hypnotic battle Royale.
Hypnosis is a very powerful tool in personal and professional development, but it is not magical and it is certainly not some kind of Jedi Mind Trick.