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On more than one occasion, I have allowed my compulsive personality to get the better of me. I accept challenges haphazardly, sign up for bunches of tournaments, and just go hog wild. This is something I call the "too many games syndrome". I have noticed a clear pattern of what happens when we get too many games going:

  1. Lots of wins at the start from opponents timing out and from pummeling weaker players. Rating skyrockets, and dang, that looks and feels great!
  2. Lots of losses follow. You get pummeled by stronger players, or you time out yourself. Rating plummets.
  3. What's left are challenging games, and lots of them. Chess ceases to be a pastime and diversion, and becomes a job, trying to keep up on your games without timing out. This happens some anyway, and for those that don't, you are often making your moves during the last possible hours.
  4. Your opponents and fellow tournament contestants get frusrated and impatient, and start letting you know! You have little time for other things on or the people you used to play against and have fun with here; in short, isn't fun anymore!
  5. As the games subside, things balance out, but typically, you end with a rating lower than that which you started with; and, after those multitude of games, you have learned little and you have not improved.

Find you limit of games and stick with it! That is what the strongest of players will all tell you! Those like myself are silly to ignore their advice!