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Hi, maybe it's a personal issue but it's really been bothering me.
I'm a beginner so I play kind of bad. I've been reading about chess and doing tactics on chesstempo, then playing mostly against computer and decided playing more 30 min or more games here having read it's better to learn than bullet or blitz (which I played because a really helpful player here showed me my mistakes in blitz, so I thought it was a better idea but I don't have the time to think and later read it was better for beginner to do longer games anyway.)
However I find the club really stressing. I feel like an intruder. Sometimes I would like to talk about chess with my opponent so I could learn, ask questions, but it's just too stressing. I feel like it's bothering them that I want to play against them since I lose anyway.
I really enjoy playing against the computer and somehow replaying others' games and stopping to think about which moves would be better, then sometimes I end up finishing the game by myself... but even playing against persons online is stressing. I wonder what they'll think if I take too much time to think, if they'll be bothered. It's really stupid.
My first day at the club, people were really friendly, but it's not always the same people and I don't think they really want to play with me. They have courses for players from 13 to 18 in the year (not during the summer) but by november I'll be 18 and maybe I'll be too old and it'll be weird. Now you're probably mocking me... but it's really too stressing. Mostly I just can't really talk to people to ask what mistakes I'm doing, etc. which is why I wanted to join the club, as that player told me to do.
Then I've read on the forums some people regretted not playing as kids because they'd have been better, I do regret but not because I'd have been a better player. I regret first because I wanted, and second because I didn't have a lot of friends then (duh!) so maybe I could have bonded and now I'd know how to act. I'm shy usually, but it's the only time that I'm scared people may dislike me, because in other settings it's just easier? ie, I go to FOSS conferences and can talk to others easily, but they come talk to me first mostly or I do but it's not stressing at all in such a setting, mostly I'm just a little shy but nothing comparable to when I'm at the chess club.
I just need to know people won't dislike me if I'm a bad player or mock me or be aggressive... I just hate when people "notice" I'm here. I know I sound ridiculous, but I just feel like a fish out of water there.
hi, my first advice is, that you play turn-based-chess. this way you don't have to worry, what your partner thinks about thinking too long. you can think as long as you want (mostly up to 3 days).
I think if you play more, you get used to it, and with your rating and knowledge your confidence will problably get stronger.
I kinda know this feeling. It took me also some time till I found the heart to play my first chess game. I also thought everyone would think i'm a loser. but this feeling disappeared the more games I played. Now it's totally normal and I don't care what others might think. for the beginning try not to think about the person behind the monitor. Just play the game, maybe imagine that it's not different from a game of computer chess.
When your skills grow you will also get the confidence to play OTB.
And for getting better... you could play unrated games with people here who can teach you a bit. there are members who are doing this if you ask. I would also, but I feel I'm not good enough to try to teach anyone :)
well, enjoy the game
Don't worry about strength. An IM told me recently on forums to take up marbles and give up chess as it wasnt for me. Chess is for every level; as long as you enjoy it, you can be sure you will find people you can play with and chat with that do not make you feel small for being at a particular part of the learning curve. Some people will be nasty, though, this is the internet so you can expect it. Dont let anyone get to you, play the game if you enjoy it and progress will come, sometimes in huge bursts, sometimes in little steps.
I tried a few clubs before I settled on the one I (sometimes!) go to. Are there other clubs near you that you can visit?
When playing, do not worry about what your opponent thinks about you! They're probably not thinking about you - they'll be thinking about the game. Just play the best you can, and enjoy the experience. Doesn't matter whether it is online or OTB.
Enjoy playing, and don't worry about your rating. It's just a number that helps you find opponents at *roughly* a similar skill level to yourself.
Win some games, lose some game, but try to enjoy all of them
First of all, assuming you are a francophone your English is formidable!
It's been said many times, but the quickest road to improvement is working on tactics. You will quite soon start to spot good moves and also gain an insight into what your opponent might be planning to do, hence cutting down your serious errors.
I've never tried bullet or blitz ... they don't have any appeal for me.
Online is a useful game I think; gives you plenty of time to move.
Anyway, keep working on those tactics and you will before long be able to go back to your club and surprise them!
OK, so I haven't got very far yet
Clubs are strange places, being filled with chessplayers as they are. People go there to play, they find their games and get to them, there isn't a lot of socializing otherwise at most of them.
Find the club President or whoever leads the group lessons (even if they aren't ongoing right now). Talk to them - outside the door if you feel more comfortable with it. Explain like you did here. He can likely help find you a suitable opponent, and suggest a course of study perhaps.
People aren't being rude or trying to exclude anyone; they just get into their own games and don't pay attention to what else goes on. This has been a problem at clubs for many decades, it is nothing new, but visitors feel unwelcome because of it.
Don't let it get you down. Once you get used to the club and a few of the players, you will look forward to the meetings and feel like they go by too fast.
I really enjoy playing against the computer and somehow replaying others' games and stopping to think about which moves would be better, then sometimes I end up finishing the game by myself... but even playing against persons online is stressing. I wonder what they'll think if I take too much time to think, if they'll be bothered.
There is nothing wrong with taking your time to find the best move that you can. Anyway if you enjoy playing chess who cares what other people think?
Wow, thanks for all the comforting answers. blackrabbito, I learned english by listening to music and watching subtitled movies; also kudos on your progress! (si tu veux parler en français avec quelqu'un, tu peux toujours m'envoyer un message, quoique je vois que quelqu'un m'en a déjà envoyé un)
I'll follow everyone's advices, but sadly this club is the nearest to where I live even though there are others... I think I'll try visiting the other nearest, too. I also do enjoy turn-based chess, so I'll play more of it, once I had a really busy week and lost on time my opponent gently accepted a rematch and was really understanding (even though I'd have lost anyway, I feel like I always learn trying to analyze our games.)
You were all really helpful, thanks!
There's also a nice freeware chess program that adjusts to your playing strength and boasts some training features - a "coach", tactics problems etc.
I played it exclusively for about half a year before eventually joining here on chess.com.
I agree with the suggestions about online play, turn based games etc. but if I understand your original post... your key problem is being shy and your own self-consciousness in the real world of going to your local club.
My prime suggestion is that the next time you go to your local club; choose a friend. Surely from all these people that you play there must be one that is "friendly". Ask him (or her if you're lucky) if they would care to play you outside the club venue. If you build a friendship from that one person; then you're on you're way to building more friendships and thus working your way out of shyness.
Worrying about what other people think (about chess or anything) just keeps you from reaching your potential. If you love to play chess, then don't let fear stop you.
As a last resort, if the club members are still antagonistic, keep acting friendly then bump them off one by one till you are the strongest member there and consequently the club champion. That'll show them.
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