So frustrated


I spend a lot of my free time studying chess and playing against bots to get better. But as soon as I play against other people, I suck. Like, I REALLY suck. I understand that I'm not consistent, but I don't understand why I usually play at a 700-1200 range against bots, but can't beat 400 rated irl players. I don't want to give up on Chess, but this is really bothering me. I've studied openings, tactics, puzzles.... This isn't fun anymore. Maybe I'm just too competitive for this. I have a growth mindset, but I don't see the growth. I wish I could just turn off the ELO number, but at the same time I crave validation. It's just.... ugh.

The player pool is different than the bots, I wouldn’t be putting much stock into that difference. If you are wanting to improve then don’t focus as much on the rating, focus on what mistakes you are making and understanding why another move was better. I get it’s frustrating to put time into something and not see some results, but if you keep at it over time you will see the results. How are you studying/practicing now, specifically?

Bots here are very over rated. Their rating doesn't signify much in terms of playing humans.

Yes, if you don't have good natural aptitude for pattern recognition, memory, and visualisation then progress will be harder and slower for you. You will still improve, but it will take more effort and time than first expected. For mamy people chess improvement seems to take hours a day for months and years.

You probably already know the standard advice: play lots of slow games (20mins+), do lots of puzzles, review your games, blunder check before moving pieces (especially in the midgame when focus and concentration wane), and do lessons.

I have little natural aptitude and improvement for me is very very slow. But I set modest, realistic goals, do the work, and keep going. Eventually I will get to where I want to get to. But it's far harder, and going to take far longer, thanI first thought when I began

It may be because you mostly just lay blitz it’s harder for new players to learn anything from blitz, it’s too fast


"I spend a lot of my free time studying chess" ++ Good

"playing against bots" ++ Do not play weakened bots. They err, but in a non-human way.

"I've studied openings" ++ Useless

"tactics" ++ You cannot really study these, you have to find them in games.

"puzzles" ++ Puzzles are overrated. Four puzzles is a good warm-up, but that is about it. In a real game nobody tells you there is a tactic, or for which side.

"I have a growth mindset" ++ Analyse your lost games thoroughly.

"I wish I could just turn off the ELO number" ++ Rating measures your progress or lack of it.


The biggest reason people struggle in lower-level chess is because of blunders. They make them in almost every game.

A mistake can instantly put you in a bad position, no matter how well you played earlier: if you had great opening knowledge, great positional skills, great endgame skills, whatever; a single mistake can change everything (you lose a piece or get checkmated).

So, how do you avoid blunders? Follow this simple algorithm:

While avoiding blunders is crucial, I also share a few basic principles with my students. These principles help them figure out what to do in each part of the game - the opening, the middlegame, and the endgame. Understanding these simple principles is like having a map for your moves. I provide my students with more advanced algorithms that incorporate these fundamental principles. When you use this knowledge along with being careful about blunders, you're not just getting better at defending. You're also learning a well-rounded approach to chess. Keep in mind, chess is not just about not making mistakes; it's about making smart and planned moves to outsmart your opponent.


This tip has me, and my friends, and wayyyyyy more people. If you are having a slump, the best thing to do is put the PC away, or laptop, or phone, whatever. Take a small break, 1 or 2 days at most, then try again. And, if you are having a win streak I say stop after, say, 4 games, since I know I might lose and it will break my heart. Then 2-3 hours later, I come back to dominate.

A friend


Also, once you start a losing streak of at least 3 games, put the PC, phone, etc. down and take a break. please. it helps.

BishopGoNyoom wrote:

I spend a lot of my free time studying chess...

Let's start there.

How do you study? My own method of study... which, correct or not, has brought me up to 2350 Daily dating... consists of:

Play Rapid or Daily time-controls to get better, play Blitz or Bullet to have fun. Blitz and Bullet are for fun, not for chess improvement. You cannot improve if you don't take time to think.

Review every one of your lost games, and try to figure out WHY you lost it. DO NOT just ask the computer to look over the game. The computer already KNOWS how to play chess. We are trying to teach YOU, not the computer. Look over the game with your own eyes and mind. Try to find the major errors yourself.

People commonly misuse the Game Review or Analysis feature. Generally speaking, there is very little point in finding out what specific move you should have made in some specific position that will probably never occur again in your games. The important info that you should be learning from game reviews is how to look at a new position, what questions you should be asking yourself, what features of the position you should be paying attention to.

Don't bother studying opening variations. A large number of the lower-ranked players on this website have fallen into the Memorization trap... believing that they can improve their play by memorizing hundreds of move sequences. Naturally, this doesn't improve their PLAY at all. It might improve their rating a bit, but the only way to improve your PLAY is by increasing your understanding of the game. Memorization will not do that, and will leave you hanging as soon as the opponent goes out of your "book" lines.

The proper way to learn an opening is by studying complete Master games played in that particular opening. Choose a chess Master who often plays the opening that interests you (Botvinnik or Uhlmann for the French Defense, for example, or Fischer or MVL for the Najdorf), collect some of their games in that opening, and play through the games from move one right to the end. That way you learn not just a bare sequence of moves, but also the typical opening patterns, middle-game formations, plans, strategies, tactics and even endgames that are associated with the opening you've chosen to study.

blueemu ha scritto:

Generally speaking, there is very little point in finding out what specific move you should have made in some specific position that will probably never occur again in your games. The important info that you should be learning from game reviews is how to look at a new position, what questions you should be asking yourself, what features of the position you should be paying attention to.

This in particular seems like a very interesting observation. I will try to adopt this different type of approach. Thanks.


bots are programed. People are not.

most real chess growth happens when you think nothing is improving.

I’m feeling exactly like you tonight following a really bad week. So Instead of posting my own version of this thanks for the info as i too will dust myself down and take on some to the advice. I don’t think I have a natural flair for the game and so clearly I need to work harder at it, suspect it will take time.

I was reading plenty but felt I really needed game time. Playing puzzles a lot for a couple of months hasn’t really helped in game. I’ve found that after a couple of weeks of blunder management, I’ve nose-dived terribly this week. I have dropped from 30 minute games to 15 minutes to try get a couple in a night, maybe I’m not ready for that yet? Keep at it, it’ll happen.

I 100% understand where you're coming from. Chess is tough. However, you must not let your chess rating determine your self-worth. You must focus on the game itself rather than your rating. When you focus too much on your rating, the game of chess begins to seem like a chore, which it sounds like is becoming the way you see it. It is important, like most things in life, to have fun with it! happy.png

Also, I would recommend not playing bots anymore. Focus more on playing online and grow in experience playing against others.

Don't give up!

Hey pal, frustration is another name for this game, it happens to all at all levels.
I usually connect weekdays- after 7pm CST, contact me and I'll give a free class and some guidance.