which isn't that odd, all even slightly serious chess players get frustrated over chess almost regularly, I'm sure... But this is my case:
After a week of playing quality games on ChessCube and winning against stronger-rated opposition like never before, while both under a common cold AND attending all my academy lessons (!!), I suddenly reverted to an all-too-familiar state of bad focus and bad board sight, even though I was physically healthy and energetic again. Perhaps the fatigue caught up with me at the end of a truly exhausting week, but how's it even possible that I entered such a "super mode" while being sick??? You can't separate body from mind, yet I seem to have played much better under a strain of worry and physical weakness...
One thing that had certainly helped me beforehand was watching the entire "Path to Tactical Strength" Chessbase DVD by Rustam Kasimdzhanov, which is excellent for anyone intentionally reading this, really! I had also played through a collection of Nezhmetdinov's best games at the end of the previous week, but I don't know how much that actually helped my abilities. It was probably more just inspiring than instructive, but who am I to tell?
Now I'm a student, and it's just getting more and more difficult. I'll hardly have as nearly as much time to play and study chess as I did (and it wasn't much anyway; I feel I've made more progress during one superb week of playing than during the rest of the entire 2011. playing and contemplating all sorts of chess books and videos), and I'm thinking of the poor choice I'm left with here: I can either continue my usual low-progress sucking at chess, or stop playing altogether until the end of this semestre; and I know I'll be having intrusive thoughts about chess, because now it's just got me, and I don't believe I would resist not constantly playing for too long. Any advice you'd like to share? Any of your experiences? Just some kind words? Fire away.
P.S. And I just spent two and a half hours formulating the text for this topic. It's not my first time to write you about such issues (http://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/my-mental-energy-is-gone), so any benevolent feedback would be greatly appreciated. I can also post my best games of the last week if you ask me so. Thanks in advance.
I have noticed that I will sometimes improve at things when not feeling well. Perhaps it's just a changed state of mind that makes you see things differently.
Only had time to look at one of your live chess games you won! I think you are being too hard on your self. Lighten up You have the makings of a great player but, make time to enjoy the other great things in life!
SteveM - Perhaps it is. That's just along the line of my train of thought.
GhostNight - hah, that's good! Perhaps I shoudn't have written 'Live Chess' if I in fact meant 'an online live chess server' like ChessCube. (Now it's corrected in the main post.) Also, if you had checked the date of that game I won (and please do tell me what it is, because I'm a Basic Member xD), you'd have seen it's relatively prehistoric. Haven't played a Live Chess game on chess.com in quite a while now. But then I've surely played over two hundred games on ChessCube ever since, and I've gotten even stronger than what you saw here. That's about 150 CC rating points higher, PLUS about additional 100 points in a single fantastic week! It just puzzles me... And if you're telling me I've got the makings of a great player and you mean it, well, what can I say - I'm genuinely flattered at my busy age of 18! Thanks! You can find my games on ChessCube (username: dimymandic), and I can post some of those that I think are the best from last week. You please do pick your own favourites as well!
If you think things are bad now, wait until you're 54 years old. Work on getting over your self absorbtion and really try to enjoy life. Just try to enjoy chess and everthing else in your life.
Chess results (especially on faster time controls) are prone to random fluctuations. If you loose several games in a row, stop playing, solve some puzzles instead and give it another try next day. If you keep losing too many games in a row it is almost impossible to recover in that moment. Furthermore, in a chess it is almost impossible to make progres in a "week". If your rating suddenly rises it is most of the times also only a random fluctuation, if it drops back it is not that you get bad, it is only a mean-reversion characteristic of a time-series:) Focus on your rating over a period of months, this is what is important and tells you somethnig about your actual strenght.
A few games are a bad measure. Maybe you tried harder when you were sick and it worked for a while, then you got tired. There is no reason why there would be a noticeable difference, because you're not feeling well. Have you never seen GM's play a tournament wearing sun glasses? They're only people after all.
If you want to play, focus on your tactics and your knowledge, and not on side issues. That's the only thing that makes it better, I mean your general health aside.
Just wait until you fall in "love", when you meet that someone special, a 1100 player will be able to beat you maybe just one time! lololo You sound like a very bright young man, hope your parents can send to higher learning schools!
I can't say I'm not self-absorbed, WestofHollywood, but I wasn't complaining about my life at all! Education may be an important thing, but that's just schedule-related in this context, and I don't see that it says anything much about me, except maybe what some of my tendencies are and what some of my talents might be. My life is great already, and I hope yours is too! Thanks for the advice!
duniel - I know what you mean, but this... was different. I do experience winning and losing streaks regularly, but last week I just felt I was on a higher level of chess awareness than before. No automatic moves (except the very first few that just define the opening), many more tactics right there in my sight than usual, much more accurate calculation of 2-3 moves ahead with no fears whatsoever, better positional evaluation, and quite a naturally open state of mind, somehow! Not to mention better concentration and the precious time it saves! Heck, I had more time than my opponent in some of those games! Once you lose that feeling of personal microcosmic enlightenment and things become muddy again, you just feel like a really annoying curtain has been drawn in front of your mind (read: stupid). I'd very much like to learn to return to that elevated state of mind when I need it, so that in the meantime I could use that energy for other creative efforts and efforts in general.
Dutchday - understood. Thanks!
GhostNight - I'll try to understand everything you said there, with the quotes, and the "one time", and the lololo... you know what I'm talking about! In the meantime, thank you for your compliments once again! I'd like to do a US tour in the future, why not?
And how did you manage to lose many games in a row? Oversights? Getting lost in unfamiliar opening? I know that feeling of not being able to caclutate clearly, of getting lost at the chessboard. My theory is that it comes if you devote too much time to chess. Subcousciously you become complacent. If you play for a few hours every day it is almost impossible to play at your best. Incentives disappear. If you win, it is just one more win, OK (you expected to win so why to rejoice?). If you loose, one more lost game, whathever. Incentives matters even on subcouscious level. Give it your break for a few days and your subcousciousness will become bloodthirsty again!
Da tacno je ne moze se igrati i uvek dobijati,i svakodnevno provoditi dosta sati,tada dolazi do premora,gubitka koncentracije,previda mnogo i mnogo losih poteza i jednostavno gubitak ideja.Uz sve to povredjen sam imam bolove i to je to.
Coulds you repeat that please! But slowly
Ah,Ah,Ah,zaista smesno,znaci vi ne umete tako brzo da citate koliko ja brzo pisem,a ja sam tako spretan na kompjuteru,da sporije i ne mogu pisati.Moguce da nisam vasu poruku dobro razumeo (izvinjavam se) i neznam sta se trazi,zelim vam zdravstveni oporavak i to je to,iz Nisa i ne razume mene ne moguca misija !
duniel - I mostly make oversights, and I often get lost in familiar openings, the ones I play regularly. I do not play extremely sharp openings, what more, I prefer very conceptual ones, with kingside fianchettoes, for either side. I've tried and played almost any sound opening, and I'm much more familiar with the KID/Dragon/Pirc/Modern/Hippo and Benoni/Benko (with Dutch and Clarendon Court) positions than with the Nimzo-Indian/Bogo-Indian/QID/QG/Slav/Caro-Kann/French ones. And I can't devote more time to chess than some 2 hours for about 5 15/0 games daily anyway. But I can feel what you're talking about, and I've felt it before. It's that feeling when you take a break from chess, and when you can't stand to pause any longer, you just start to smell the blood of those who'll happen to stand in the way of your immediately post-hibernation showoff routine. Isn't that right?
NKT73 - haha indeed. I think I improve too slowly. -.-
And the prestigious LOL Award for the best in-topic conversation goes to... borislav951 and GhostNight! Congrats!
when playing in full health your mental goal was to win, am i right?
and when playing in sickness, you had other goals in mind , ie getting better!
just something wierd....
No, actually, when I was playing chess while sick, my focus was much more impeccable! Maybe it's because I knew I had to concentrate harder to produce good play in that state.
Hm... how'd it be if I changed my opening repertoire? I think I'm temporarily fed up with all those kingside fianchetto positions I've been striving for so hard.
Changing your opening repertoire might be a good idea. You never know what suits you well until you try it. It certainly hleped me.
maybe you have bad karma. stop being such a paranoid android. don't get let down. there are no surprises in chess, but sometimes you get lucky. if you came to the u.s. i'm sure you would be quite the tourist. sometimes you just have to say "okay computer, i'm going to win this game." try to get better even when you are fitter and happier.