Originally posted by RBHILL
How much of Chess is all psychological do you think? Like when I play in a Simul against the GM I feel intimidated and get my butt kicked.
We all get our butts kicked against GMs. I doubt playing 'psychological' will increase your chances against a GM in a simul.
As someone else at this forum once said, there are two kinds of players: those who play the board and seek the objectively best move(s). And those who try to set their opponents problems to solve. There will be endless debate as to the merits of both....
I would cite as examples of 1) (play-the-board): Capa; of 2) (make your opponent uncomfortable): Lasker. Now, some might say, Capa slaughtered Lasker in their match, so isn't 1) better? Well no, it's never quite that simple. Lasker was not in good form in their 1921 match; he was in good form in the 1924 NY tourney where he placed ahead of Capa, and again in Moscow 1925. Moreover, Lasker showed himself capable of holding his own against the next generation of champions, drawing both Alekhine and Botvinnik on several occasions.
Reti once claimed that Lasker made intentionally bad moves. That was hyperbole. Lasker's moves were not bad; you don't stay champion for 27 years by making bad moves. What he did was set his opponents problems he had reason to believe, for psychological reasons, they would fail to solve.
Realistically, for us mere mortals... against a player of similar strength to your own, against whom you have played often, psychology may sometimes be a useful supplementary consideration in your strategic thinking. Emphasis on "supplementary"--not a substitute for correct judgment of a position's merits.
If, for example, you happen to know, from experience of player's style, that he often goes astray in N vs. P endings, then you could steer a middle game towards that kind of ending by trading off his Bs early. Or if you happen to know that he plays poorly in cramped (close) positions, then this could influence your choice of opening.