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The number one reason players lose chess games is...

  • NM aww-rats
  • | Feb 3, 2014

The number one reason players lose chess games is...


They move too quickly. First off, how long should a standard time control chess game last? The answer is 3 to 5 hours. Every titled player earned that honor by playing mostly five hour games and longer. I have a seven part blog series on how the Internet has changed chess and suffice it to say the conclusion is the Internet has sped time controls up. I consider Internet chess target practice to prepare you for real tournaments but you need to get the proper return on investment of your time.


The only reason I achieved a master rating over 30 years ago was because I played good old-fashioned postal chess. This allowed me to learn openings as I played the games, and develop my analytical skills as the middle game commenced. Today the post office has been replaced by the Internet where move transmission is instant. Many people hold the incorrect assumption that online chess is a substitute for over the board chess. If their opponent happens to be online why not get 5 to 20 moves in right now? I found most players who play online chess quickly do not look up their openings and commit major mistakes simply because they're not analyzing the position. The proof is in the videos I have made. Simply put, if you limit your game load and spend a few hours on a move, your results and strength will rise.


My free video lessons lays out a simple plan for you to improve which maximizes your study time. My video lessons group is the six largest on chess.com and growing daily. We run lots of online team matches that are highly competitive and frequently I allow us to be outmatched simply to get most of my team a game against a better player; a key to improving your chess. We have plenty of support systems in place, including an analysis thread where you may submit your games and our members will help you.


You may join my video lessons group here and be part of the fun:


My YouTube playlists have a variety of topics which will help you learn to analyze and see how a chess master thinks. Many times I play games live in discuss my thought processes I select my moves. You will learn a lot from watching these videos.


My world standard time control group is growing quickly with over 2600 members. We specialize in a time control of 90 30 which allows you thinking time comparable to eventual find in real life. In short at least a four hour game if you will take your time. It's easy to get a game. Post a seek in Live Chess and advertize on our group wall. You may join this group here:



I have also partnered with Bulgarian grandmaster Petar Genov. He has a study group here:



Again the number one reason players lose games is they move too quickly. There are many other reasons people lose including not seeing what your opponent is up to, launching a faulty plan, not developing pieces, and self-weakening one's position. My game commentary videos give examples of all of these and you will maximize your study time by watching and observing my methods. My program is for real. I teach chess full-time as word has gotten out of how I can help. I'm not looking for new students and will have a hard time fitting more in, but my free video lessons program will start you on the correct path. Thanks for your time.


  • 19 months ago


    coulldn't agree more. .

  • 19 months ago


    Here's another sure way to lose a chess game:


  • 19 months ago


    The first part of my response was lost. Not sure why.

  • 19 months ago


    20 minutes on moves that are not forced. Longer than most OTB games but much shorter than if books and analysis boards were used.

    The goal is to improve OTB play but without the need to find a 5 or 6 hour block of time to play a long game.



  • 19 months ago


    Players lose games because of what the moves mean symbolically.  Each player moves pieces but for different reasons.  Fast chess is largely intuitive and positional based, there is not much time for calculation.  When time is available it is important to examine long and short term tactics, positions, and strategy.  And when doing so, attributions attached to such moves are stored in the unconscious, and this is why a person gets stronger.  As the strength is increased perceptual time may change and because a person attaches more meaning to each move speed of calculation is also increased.  It is not the ability to calculate that wins games, it is the ability to achieve correct moves through correct interpretation of what the chess moves mean and then correct decision making.  

  • 19 months ago


    Guilty as charged. Nuff said.

  • 19 months ago



  • 19 months ago


    @alain514: Cheaters can be reported to chess.com to have their accounts closed.

  • 19 months ago


    I love the article! Solid good information!

  • 19 months ago


    I am 73 years old and when I play Chess on Line I am able to play at an 1820+ level; which is near my tournament level for standard games during my peak. As the game gets faster, this rating drops significantly to around 1350 for 15 + additive, 1230 for 10 minutes and so on. I tend to forgot to hit the clock and where I live has slow Internet speed, which account for half my losses. Usually I have a winning game but run out of time. Conclusion: Playing speed chess with someone real time when you are older produces a significantly better rating. Unless you are on a glitch less high speed Internet connection your score will likely never be good if you're older. Also it seems to take the interaction of a real person to keep alert where milliseconds make a difference. Speed chess and online Chess Standard (with a day or so to make a move) is very compatible with the senior player. I have periods of success playing the faster games but I have to play when I have time and am fully into the game.

  • 19 months ago


    Bobby Fischer is the name of his youtube account

  • 19 months ago


    stanvaughan mentions: 'Recent research shows that playing blitz chess rewires the human brain ...'. Would you please give a lead to the source. I find that quite interesting.

  • 19 months ago


    Does anybody know the authors Youtube channel name?

  • 19 months ago


    Am longing for the ability to do more than play attack and defend.

    Don't have much time, but blitz games sw my rating fall below 500. And it's going lower and lower. 

    It would be interesting to study one's health, level of exhaustion and ability to concentrate etc. plus time of day. What's the temperature of the room you are playing in? Yesterday, mosquitos were attacking me non-stop. Trying to squat them while playing a 3 minutes Blitz game is not fun. Yell

  • 19 months ago


    This comment is @ stanvaughan -  you said,- "Recent research shows that playing blitz chess rewires the human brain not to remember lines but replaces the memory space with the ability to react fast but not necessarily correctly.?  I would be interested to know more about this research and I also wonder what this theory might have to say about using the timed rated version of tactics trainer.?!

  • 19 months ago


    He is absolutely right on here. The World Chess Federation, Inc competitor to FIDE does not allow games to be rated at faster than 20 moves per hours with absolutely no sudden death time controls allowed. For example one need only look at the recent blunder of Gelfand missing a simple checkmate ending against Nakamura in the Tata Steel event. Players who play sudden death do not focus on endgame study  and the result becomes more and more focus on openings and middlegames. But this is akin to going to driving range , hitting a bucket of balls and saying you have played a round of golf. Where then is the iron game or putting which is the most important phase as is the endgame. WCF's affiliate also has institued similar no sudden death allowed rules. Recent research shows that playing blitz chess rewires the human brain not to remember lines but replaces the memory space with ability to react fast but not necessarily correctly. Thus these researches show the memory loss is actually dumbing down players.

  • 19 months ago


    Postal chess is very beautiful and teaches patience, respect, and long attention. 

  • 19 months ago


    ! quit chess correspondance 6 months. Too much cheaters!

  • 19 months ago


    thanks aww-rats Smile

  • 19 months ago


    miawesome1 really, well i will play you, and watch who gets owned.

    EDIT i missread your comment, i thought you were bragging, nevermind.

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