How to beat stronger opponents
Two moves checkmate

How to beat stronger opponents

FM michechess89

Hello everyone. Personally, I enjoy a lot playing versus better rated players. It must be because it is a challenge, and I like challenges. It is also fundamental, because everybody has to face stronger opponents, no matter if you are a beginner rated 1000 or less, or a professional with 2300 or more, we all face stronger players in our chess player career. These are my tips:

Believe in yourself

If you do not trust in yourself, no one is going to. Believe in yourself, never think you can’t. Do not cut your own wings. Just say to yourself that Yes, you can… and repeat it until you believe it. Turn the obstacles into opportunities.

Do not overestimate your opponent

If he is better rated, it means that he is a good player compared to you. But he makes mistakes; otherwise he would be world champion. Even, world champions make mistakes. So, do not overestimate him, obviously he is a good one, but if you make some things well, you will have real possibilities to beat him.  


You will not beat a much better player if you are listening to music, or talking with friends. You need to develop your highest level. You have real possibilities to beat this strong opponent, but you need to give it all in the game.

Manage well your time

This is important for whoever is your opponent, no matter if he is stronger or weaker. But it takes more value if he is a big fish. So, even if it is blitz, rapid or long game, try to manage well your time. These are 3 tips that may help you:

  • Do not think too much in insignificant moves.
  • Do not waste time in forced moves.
  • Try to think in your opponent’s time.

Do not play for a draw

This is a very common mistake. Some people think that facing better players, a draw is a good result (in fact it is, but it also depends of the position), and they just accept draw offers or repeat 3 times or give a perpetual check in a position with clear advantage. This is wrong, if you have advantage and you know it, you should try to win, otherwise you will never beat better rated players. Even in the worst case if you lose, you will get a big experience and you will learn from your mistakes.


Summarizing, if you want to beat stronger players, you need to believe that you can beat him; do not overestimate him, he is just a good player driving 16 pieces, like you are; focus in your game; make a good time management and if you feel well and with advantage in some position, do not play for a draw, this is a good moment to begin writing your own history. 

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