5 Reasons Losing a Chess Game is Good
No one sets out to lose a chess game.
Before the opening moves, chess players want to win, or at least save a draw if winning chances slip away.
But losing is part of the game. Even the best players in the world lose. Play enough games and losing is unavoidable.
Since losing games is inevitable, learning from losses is important. No matter how you lose a game, you can learn something from it — otherwise, you wouldn’t have lost.
If you can begin seeing lost games as opportunities instead of tragedies, you will be on the right path to losing fewer games in the future.
With this viewpoint, the benefits of losing a chess game are almost unlimited, but here are five important things to consider after a lost game.
Let us know how you learn from your losses in the comments or on Facebook.
1. It’s Easier to See Where You Went Wrong
Compared to seeing where you went right in a winning game, finding out why you lost is easy. Often you won’t even need to search for the reason, since it will be obvious.
The benefit of this is obvious, too. The only way you can correct a problem in your game is to identify it first.
Once you go over your lost game to see the problem, you can begin learning about it.
2. Your Tactics Blunders Are Easily Fixable
Gone are the days when you had to plead for your chess club’s best player to take a look at your game. In the computer era, the strongest chess tactician on the planet is available to you 24 hours a day.
Unless you’re on the super-GM level (and often, even then!), you probably lost your game via a tactical error.
These are the easiest errors for computer engines to find, and once you play through it on your computer, you can learn how to avoid it in the future.
As a bonus, you might use the same type of tactic on your next opponent to win.
3. Losing Motivates You to Improve
We’ve all been there, feeling smug and invincible after winning a chess game. For most people, that feeling does not provide a lot of motivation to study and improve.
Losing a game, however, is a catastrophe. If you’re a competitive person, you hate the feeling of losing and will work to avoid it as much as possible.
4. You’ve Likely Lost to a Better Player
From time to time, we all drop games to lower-rated players. It’s a statistical certainty if you play enough games.
But most of our losses will be to players who are just plain better than us. Losing games to these better players has a big upside: you can learn more from them than you can from playing weaker opposition.
If you want to improve as a chess player, you should seek out games against stronger competition. Yes, you will lose more games than you would have otherwise, but there is nothing like practical experience against better players to quickly improve your game.
Check your live chess settings to make sure your challenges are open players rated significantly higher than you. When paired with these players, make sure to pay attention to what they’re doing that you’re not.
5. Losing Expands Your Knowledge
Consider an extreme example of playing against a monkey, or a random move generator. You’re likely to win every game, but your knowledge of chess is going to be limited to what you alone brought to the board.
Against real players, you can learn things from games you won, but to really expand your chess knowledge, there’s nothing like losing a well played game.
The simple fact that someone bested you in a battle of the mind means that he or she brought something to that battle that was beyond your current knowledge and ability — whether it was a simple tactical trick or a deep positional idea.
What are some other benefits to losing a chess game? Let us know in the comments.
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- Read Pete's previous article: The 10 Weirdest Chess Sets
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