And now, the Newb presents... Losing (pt4 - losing match games)

Mar 15, 2014, 10:26 AM |

Previous posts: (Apology) (Analysis Board) (Game Explorer) (Losing pt 1) (pt 2) (pt 3)

I'm very pre-occupied with losing. I have a gift. The great thing about chess and other individual competitions is that you have one winner and one loser. In most other arenas, losers vastly outnumber the winners. Winning is easy. It's easy to handle, that is. You're flood of dopamine will guide you.

This (losing is good for you) was in the New York Times last year.

Losing well is a real art. To be able to take it and learn from it and get back up and lose again takes commitment and maturity. I love watching people lose. I'll watch the fourth quarter of an out-of-reach football game just to see how the losing team handles the awful truth that they have to stay on the field and get hit but it's not going to change anything. Most of the time, you see frustration and penalties.

That's why I play chess! Every game has a winner!

Seriously, though. Today's digression on losing focuses is on losing match games. I'm an authority on losing match games. I have a winning record overall but I'm 23-43 on match games. I lost my first 14 or so. The team I play for really loves me for that.

But they're such good games to lose. When you see a new team match, wait a day or so until some people from both sides have joined. Then, take a look at the line-ups. The players will be matched based on their ratings. The highest rated players from each team will play each other, then the #2 players and so on. One team will usually be stronger, so they'll have the higher rated players in each pair. That's where you want to be. You can look at where you would rank in your own team's lineup and see about what rating you'd be playing against on the other team. You want to be playing higher rated players than yourself.


Trust me. Beating up <1000 rated players does not improve your chess. You'll learn more in 10 moves against a 1700 than you will from a hundred games against opponents who just make random moves. You'll be more focused against a 1700 because you know you can't afford to let your guard down.

Yeah, you'll lose more often, but the wins will be so much sweeter. You'll learn to savor your wins. You'll learn to lose well.

Now get out there, boys, and lose one for the Gipper!