Anyone else FALLEN OFF A CLIFF in terms of chess performance?

ChrisZifo
I have gone from rating of 1700-1430 in the space of a week on the blitz chess. Been at around 1700 for three years. Every game I play this week I just lose. I guess I am just tired and can't concentrate. the lower players play crazy openings and I am falling for them too. Anyone else had this problem?
LouStule
Me. I’m not gonna let it get me down though. Just keep battling. You are NOT going to win every game.
JayeshSinhaChess

I have been through these weird swings a lot. One week I was touching 1550 crushing opponents that range, then 2 days later I was 1350 losing to 1200s.

 

Don't get it. I get back to 1500 two days later only to plummet to 1300s again in a few days. However I play a lot at work where I am distracted, and that would have something to do with it. However when I am in the downs, even when I am off work, I can't seem to win.

Axorcist

With me it seems to be a case of the law of communicating vessels. I'm getting much better in daily chess. I play games with 1 move every 3 days. But the better I get in dailey chess, the worse I become in speed chess 10 min games. I've dropped from 1803 to 1550 and now I'm back to 1650 again. 

ChrisZifo

Well I seem to have got my Mojo back. Back at 1530 and winning easily. Sure is more fun than losing.

I guess when I was really tired last week I was just trying to rely on gambits and checkmates and not concentrating on the basics of "getting one pawn ahead, holding on to it and then squeezing the life out of them"

JamesAgadir

I have had big swings in performance, it happens. I would recommend playing unrated to get over it but there is no miracle solution.

recoverypob
Yeah sign up on a free account and wait for it to pass. It happens.
recoverypob
In my experience tired chess is the worst, then distracted chess. Drunk chess is better than both but worse than acute chess. Are you tired or conflicted these days? Either way. Take a break and even consider reviewing a refresher course or learn a new opening repertoire to force yourself out of mechanical thinking in overly familiar terrain.
recoverypob
Good luck anyway mate, and don’t panic. you’ll get passed it.
JayeshSinhaChess

Funny thing with swings. On 5 June I was 1500. On 8th I was 1375. On 11th I was 1494, on 15th I was 1380s, and today I am 1500 again.

 

The swings hv been insane. I don't get it.

 

However I read a thread related to this once. It said this happens when you have improved beyond your current level. Your performance takes a hit.

 

Its because you still make the moves you make, but somehow you stop making sense of those moves, because there is a conflict. You make the move, thinking yeah this is what I always play in this position, but somewhere because you have improved your head can't make sense of that position anymore. Its like have you ever stared at a word, a simple word, and it starts to seem suddenly alien.

 

Once you start making moves in line with your improved ability your head will once again start making sense of it all and you will find your new level.

 

That is what the post said. I don't now how accurate it is.

ed1975

I certainly did in a tourney I played recently, where I was the second-highest ranked player but I played like a fool, blundered terribly and scored 2/5...

Debistro

Some players are simply your nemesis. They may play openings or have a repertoire that you don't know. Their style may not be easy to handle by you. So if you met many of such players or you kept playing with one again and again, your rating will drop a lot. A VERY common phenomenon in chess. I wonder why people always assume that ratings explain everything and a 1600 player (example) is the same as any other.....

DreChess66
I made a post about this a week ago. I went from 1537 to 1295 in a week. Back up to 1420s. The lower my rating went the more I played down to my competition. The few skills I had went out the window. I noticed it's a common problem for players. If you look at your opponents graph you'll notice the same in the performance over time.
DreChess66
Also try not to play angry. If I lose my queen in a game on a stupid blunder. Ill usually wait until I cool off.
ed1975

^ Sadly you can't do that in a chess.com live tourney. You're straight into the next game. They don't even give you a short break between rounds to empty your bladder! You therefore in this regard have to rely on finishing your games before your clock runs out happy.png

KeSetoKaiba

Yes - I have had these "cliffs" before too. I know that there are mental reasons, or luck reasons, or nature of the system reasons and so on, but I can't help but feel that this is not the case here (despite what people say). It could be a number of less mentioned reasons, some of which are (but not limited too): 

1) chess.com especially (or maybe glicko/elo ratings in general) tend to have streaks, or at the very least the computer does not always pair you with the best match-ups possible, which results in more "cliffs." Since I noticed this I have been a little more selective of opponents by clicking on their chess.com username before I move; this clicking brings up their daily, blitz, and bullet rating - if some category is abnormally deviant I may just let the game abort, rather than risk my rating. I realize that there are many reasons for rating to be a few hundred points different (not just cheating), but this minimizes my risk; I used to just play every opponent the computer assigned and I had more "cliffs."

2) You, knowingly or not, altered your natural play style from your strengths. I tend to perform better at endgames for my level, but several of my "cliff experiences" were contributed from losses of games where I would uncharacteristically sacrifice pieces like Tal or Alekhine - only to lose because I did not correctly calculate for one King escape square. This is just an example, but if you are exceptional in middlegame and tactics - then maybe you are reaching into too many endgames that you don't want etc.

3) I really hate this one, but sometimes a break of a few days helps get you back. 

4) Connected to the last tip (but I do not hate as much) is that the human brain is only really capable of mental activities (like chess) for only up to 20 minutes OPTIMALLY. Recent psychology studies have shown this time and time again over the last few years. Keep in mind that the key is "optimally"; your brain will not instantly shutdown because you played 21 minutes of chess. Surprisingly 20 minutes seems to be for everyone (GM or beginner alike). The difference with strong players is that they perform better than average after the 20 minutes because this "optimally" amount to "cliff" goes slower; putting this another way, yes practice/study/nutrition etc. can help you play better chess for longer, but 20 minutes or so of "optimal" brain activity is pretty much set. Different people can last longer more effectively, but not optimally. One key to avoiding "cliffs" is to take more short breaks to refresh mentally. I usually play no more than 3 hours straight (even if this means a short walk around the room, bathroom break, conversation with someone and so forth). Clearly taking breaks is easier in online games than OTB (especially in long tournaments), but this quick mental refreshing helps a lot. 

These are some of several reasons you may be experiencing rating cliffs. Another reason could be that you are about to skyrocket in rating soon (higher than it was before the drop), but I add this possibility last due to many reasons for this cause. Perhaps it is a delayed reaction from newer motifs you are incorporating into your chess, new openings you are learning, or maybe just the nature of the rating systems. 

Whatever the reason is, Good luck on improving your rating; I am cheering for you happy.png 

MitSud
I improved in ability from about 1400 to 1800+, then went back to playing blitz and after a few weeks playing too slowly around the 1500 level, my rating went up. During this period I was completely focused on chess and played without distractions. Eventually I made it to 1908 after beating an NM. Then I stopped concentrating so much and I play with distractions (also started playing bullet) and my rating has dropped to the 1700s, rating swings like this happen for a variety of factors.