Chess Music: Part One

At a recent tournament I noticed a couple of people listening to music on their mobile devices. I think that’s an excellent idea to aid with relaxation, but you can’t just pick anything. You’ve got to choose a piece that’s soothing for you, or at least makes you think. If you go for speed metal you might get a much-needed adrenaline boost, but I can’t guaranty the chaos that ensues will benefit you!┬áHere are the first five songs that I’ll have playing when I visit the World Open this summer.

Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea: There’s something about the lead singer’s distressing warble that makes any situation better. However bad my position, it’s not so terrible that I want to wail. Also, Anne Frank definitely had it worse than you do defending the Closed Lopez.

Skillet – Never Surrender: It’s actually okay if you hang a piece too early but let’s not take these Christian gentleman too literally.

Drake – Headlines: His bio doesn’t quite compute with the underdog motif of the song, but it always helps to feel like someone’s hating on you. It’s hard to manufacture extra motivation when your game is so bad that no one’s watching your board.

Kenny G. – The Moment: The song is a masterpiece. It doesn’t have any lyrics so it’s helpful for situations involving deep calculation. Sometimes it helps to step outside of yourself. There is something about a soft saxophone that can make even a routine tactic seem epic.

The Handsome Family – The Bottomless Hole: This is not one of their best songs, but it is helpful to think about the relentless quest for more in your life. I might click over to it when I have to decide whether to swallow my pride, accepting the inevitability of a particular book draw.

So what’re your songs and how can they gave you that sudden shock to your system when you hit the wall?


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