I have read about chess tournaments since the days of Bobby Fisher, though I am a poor player myself. Reading about the lead-up to this year's World Championship, I was struck again by how frequently flat paranoia seems to enter the picture. Is it because many of the players come from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, from environments where paranoia might not be that unreasonable? (Note also there are many top Jewish players, and used to be more.)
Does paranoia confer some advantage, whether in the skill, the intensity, or the psychology?
Or perhaps most likely, is there a cast of mind which is extreme in over-interpreting simple things, which leads to both paranoia in everyday life and protective caution in chess?