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I used to be able to win decently here and there, but it seems like I haven't been able to get a good win in on a rated game for the past month. I'm getting really discouraged and starting to feel like I'm dumb or something...
Should I just stop playing? =/
well if you make bad moves you most certainly lose.
so have a look at the games where you felt you didnt make wrong moves first and find out which moves actually made you lose.
try to figure out wrong moves in every game (also the ones you won) and figure out better moves you shouldve made.
this doesnt only help to improve your game but also finding your opponents mistake during a game which will therefore help you to win.
and ... dont stop playing. try to improve instead. fnding that you have improved makes a way better feeling than finding out you gave in.
But it makes me feel dumb that I'm not getting any better.
do you find youreself not knowing what to do during a game?
do you fall into traps?
do you find it difficult to focus on the game?
If you are in the process of learning new concepts, than its expected that your results will temporarly suffer. There are two reasons for this. First while your mind is coping with the new concepts it overlooks tactical shots. Second, it takes experience to know when the new concept works and often timing is crucial factor. Once the new concept becomes second nature your ability will take a sudden leap. Euwe actually warned about this in his book on the middlegame. I have found that improvement is not a gradual thing, but suddenly a light turns on and you leap to a new plateau.
Have you looked over the games you've lost recently? Can you identify any mistakes that you might learn from? You can't get better without figuring out why you're failing.
You could post a couple of games here, and we might be able to make some suggestions
If you like the game, don't stop. Just try and learn a bit so you get better. I looked at your last game - it was a slaughter :-( Some obvious advice on that game: at move 14, all your pieces were still on their home rank while most of your pawns were gone. You need to just move a couple of pawns in the opening and then start to bring out your knights and bishops. Don't worry about pushing your pawns forward until your king is safe (castled), and at least you'll have a fighting chance. There are lots of good articles here and lots of video on youtube you can learn from. Have fun, though!
CHESS.COM TACTIC TRAINER IS A GREAT TRAINING TOOL=====OVER TIME IT SHOULD IMPROVE YOUR ABILITY
It shouldn't make you feel "dumb." Chess is a skill...you have to acquire it.
One of your games on this post would help in diagnosing some of the problems with the way you are playing right now.
William Shakespeare wrote a sililoquy ("talking by oneself".) The text reads as follows: "...To be or not to be. That is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or take arms against a sea of troubles. And by opposing end them..."
What everyone else said, go over every game you play. Besides that, train tactics and tactics and then train some more tactics
I noticed that you do not play online chess. These games are more paced because moves are typically 2 to 3 days if you like. This allows more thoughtful moves and your chess should improve. But study is important as well. Just don't do too much. 15 minutes a day is enough.
I find that if you have the attitude that losing chess games allows you to analyze them and get better, I feel ok about losing. Just my thought...
Right well playing 5 minute games over and over and losing could really get discouraging...no time to think and all that. When you play 3 day online games sometimes you get 3 whole days to sit back and shake your head at the blunder you just made...hoping that the other player doesn't spot it. What I mean is...it's easier to review 3 day online games as you play them...and that can be helpful.
The only way you can get better is if you analyze your own games. Then you can find out what's wrong and you can work on it.
Your data gives your rating as being mainly from bullet chess. You can't really improve by playing bullet and blitz. Chess is a game of thoughtfulness and planning, deep tactics and subtle strategies.
Nakamura can play bullet chess that resembles decent chess, I doubt you can. I know I can't. If all you want to do is play speed chess and never put any thought or effort into the game, how do you expect to improve? It's like a boxer training for a match by drinking beer, eating sausages, and watching television all day.
Want to get better? Play slow chess, pay attention, go over your games, read articles, do puzzles, work at it a bit. If you don't want to do that, that's fine. But don't expect to have good results when you don't pursue them.
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