Dealing with Burnout

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.


  • 16 months ago


    I wish to have the chance to ask personally the top chess players in the world how they do it. So far, looks like, for example, Magnus Carlsen takes time off, too. So, pretty much is what you mentioned in your article. Thanks!

  • 7 years ago


    Good advice.  I burned out some time back from playing too much.  Now that I've started playing again, I've decided to limit myself to one game at a time, at least for a while.  Some days, I would like to play more, and other days I'm glad I only need to think of one move because of a hectic schedule or fatigue.  It makes the time I do spend on my game much more enjoyable.

  • 7 years ago


    My burnout is more related to the internet. From time to time I need to get away from the machine for awhile. But my enjoyment of studying chess has not diminished. In fact, I'd say the time I'm not playing is being put to reasonably good use reading about and studying chess. I know that not playing is a negative but from on occasion that's simply what's needed.

  • 7 years ago


    It's happening to me right now!

  • 7 years ago


    I can relate - thanks...

  • 7 years ago



  • 7 years ago


    wu tang killa beez for life

    good article thanks

  • 7 years ago


    Killabeez, I look forward to playing chess.  One thing I would mention in regards to burnout is when I went on a hot winning streak and went from my normal 1700 rating to 1900, I found myself avoiding games I would inevitably lose to see how high I could reach my peak.  By me avoiding losses, created burnout for me. 

    It was almost like a breath of fresh air to have my rating return to normal; thus my passion came back because I was having fun and not letting a number dictate my enjoyment

    Good blog, enjoyed it.


  • 7 years ago


    Sound advice - thanks

  • 7 years ago

    NM ih8sens

    Great blog ... I must admit I'm too determined to 'burn out' ... but I know the feeling... suddenly chess is no fun (I keep playin anyways :P) ... Excellent suggestions, all of them tried and tested :).

  • 7 years ago


    Burnout is very evident on I don't know how people deal with playing 30+ games at a time without getting burned out. I mean, at that rate anyone will get burned out if they don't dedicated their life to it! I think burnout is also the reason why there are so many new members on and not many old members. Personally, I deal with burnout by only playing 4 or 5 correspondence games at a time. I've found that this also raises my chances of winning simply because my opponents don't have the time to dedicated to our game because they're too busy juggling 30+ correspondence games.

  • 7 years ago


    What a positive take on something that does happen, thanks!... sometimes (i happen to be in one now) i just cant seem to do anything right... forked, pinned and beaten, i try to console myself by hoping to learn from my mistakes. Thanks for the post and the tips sure sound helpful!

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