Dealing with Burnout

Sep 2, 2009, 5:19 PM |

It has been a while since I have blogged.  This is because I have found nothing particular interesting to blog about.  But, I would like to talk about a subject that I have been struggling with recently.  Burnout.  Virtually every chess player goes through these phases from time to time.  So I would like to help other chess players cope with burnout and rejuvenate their passion for chess.

Chess players play chess for a reason.  To elaborate, every player gets some form of personal enjoyment out of playing chess.  Some players enjoy winning the game, aesthetically pleasing combinations, the social aspect of the game, self improvement, and many other things I failed to mention.  Burnout occurs when a player no longer enjoys playing chess anymore.  Instead, it just becomes tedious and frustrating.

There are many ways to try to eliminate burnout.  The way I am recommending  is to reflect on the reasons you play chess.  Then, find a course of action that can get your enthusiasm for the game back.  For example, if you get satisfaction from winning and you are burnt out, it is likely because you are on a losing streak.  Play some lower rated players that you can beat to get your confidence back.  I know from experience that confidence helps you play much better.  This should easily help you bounce back and be able to play better the next time.

Other people, like me, play chess for the aesthetically pleasing combinations.  When I evaluated my chess, I found that I was slowly being ground down by emphasis on positional play rather than tactics.  I started playing crazy and tactical openings and won with them, which made chess fun again.  This eliminated my burnout quickly.

Many people experience burnout because they are playing too much chess.  A simple solution is to just take a break.  You will come back with a different perspective on chess and enjoy it much more because you took a break.

Although I have failed to mention all of the reasons people get burnt out from chess, my ideas remain the same.  First, identify why you are not getting enjoyment from chess.  Then, find and implement a solution based on your problem.  Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful.