Fight, Flight, Freeze: Responding to a Stronger Opponent

enoughwiththeblues

Playing a stronger opponent triggers three distinct responses from me. I either fight (when I canevil.png), flight (goodbye chess.com, I am out of here and probably be in hiatus for several yearstongue.png) or freeze (waiting for the blow that ends my sufferingcry.png).

Here is an example of my flight response, a recent game I played somewhere. This, however, is riddled with blunders. I actually run out of squares in this one. Hatongue.png 

What's your most common response when faced with a formidable foe?

KiwiTai

I try not to worry too much about my opponents’ ratings – I just try to play the board and make what I think is the best move. I’ve joined a lot of open daily tournaments and team matches and it is very easy to get matched with a much stronger opponent, so after playing a lot of higher rated opponents I don’t worry about playing them so much anymore. I just try to do my best.

I have a daily rating of around 1180 and have been paired up with a 2200 rated GM. At first, I was a little nervous, but I’ve calmed down and am just trying to play the best chess I can even though I have a very small chance of winning. They are open games so I can’t say much about them, but I will be happy if I don’t make any major blunders. So far, I think I’m doing OK although higher rated players may disagree.

kaukasar
enoughwiththeblues wrote:

What's your most common response when faced with a formidable foe?

 

By playing the position and not the opponent, focus on playing my best chess, having fun doing it and let the outcome take care of itself.

enoughwiththeblues
KiwiTai wrote:

I try not to worry too much about my opponents’ ratings – I just try to play the board and make what I think is the best move. I’ve joined a lot of open daily tournaments and team matches and it is very easy to get matched with a much stronger opponent, so after playing a lot of higher rated opponents I don’t worry about playing them so much anymore. I just try to do my best.

 

Good point on the ratings. There used to be a focus mode here where you dont see the ratings of your opponent, i use this in the past so it dont bother me. Now, i cant seem to find this setting. 😊 playing stronger opponents and knowing their strenght does break or make my game depending on my mind set on a particular game. Btw, nice approach. Am sure youd go way stronger by doing that.

enoughwiththeblues

@SmokusKhan, wow thank you for an amazing analysis of my game. To be honest i need to study your comments if am to respond properly. Haha. I have launched an attack without thinking of safety and proper development and got punished for it. 😆😆 am actually working on this on my succeeding game, except i loss my tempo. So the balance between defending and attacking is something i really need to work. Thank you for taking time to analyse my game. Awesome.😊

enoughwiththeblues
kaukasar wrote:By playing the position and not the opponent, focus on playing my best chess, having fun doing it and let the outcome take care of itself.

 This is very much on point. I like that objectivity too. I should have that more often. 

IMBacon

Play the board, not the rating.

 

enoughwiththeblues

@IMBacon, good advice. Its a mindset am on the process of working on. Getting there😊

IMBacon
enoughwiththeblues wrote:

@IMBacon, good advice. Its a mindset am on the process of working on. Getting there😊

Its a hurdle im sure we all have endured through for many things in life. 

You can only control you.  Play the board.  Find the best moves you can.  Have fun.  The rest will take care of itself.

Nghtstalker
IMBacon wrote:

Play the board, not the rating.

 

That is the problem.... The board.....   : ))

IMBacon
Nghtstalker wrote:
IMBacon wrote:

Play the board, not the rating.

 

That is the problem.... The board.....   : ))

The board is an inanimate object.  What i love about chess is its all about you vs. them.  No excuses.  Someone will be better on that day.

Nghtstalker

I find my plans work much better when my opponent does not get to respond......

IMBacon
Nghtstalker wrote:

I find my plans work much better when my opponent does not get to respond......

Thats usually when i do my best work :-)

Shakin2007

checkmate

IMBacon
Shakin2007 wrote:

checkmate

Thats not mate.

enoughwiththeblues
IMBacon wrote:

Its a hurdle im sure we all have endured through for many things in life. 

You can only control you.  Play the board.  Find the best moves you can.  Have fun.  The rest will take care of itself.

 

I cant agree more with controlling myself and my responses. Am sort of an emotional player so, the control part is a constant battle. Haha. Calmness is definitely the way forward, it has always been my Achilles heel. 😆😆 Thank you for your suggestion. These are well taken.

enoughwiththeblues
Nghtstalker wrote:

I find my plans work much better when my opponent does not get to respond......

😆😆 sometimes i get lost in my own attack i forgot my opponent has a counter attack that  might just be more effecient than mine😊 and before i realize what happening, its too late to save the game. Haha. But its always interesting, chess that is. Win or lose. But i hope win every now and then

Nghtstalker

One thing to remember you are playing an opponent.  But ultimately you are playing a position.  And your own limitations.  So in a sense our real opponent is ourselves.  And u live with yourself so deep breath learn and enjoy!

 

bong711

Don't play passively or resign prematurely. The higher rated opponent is human and can be defeated in his bad day. Spar with 3000+ engines to get confidence. If you play up to 30 moves with the engines, you can play more than 40 moves with 2000+ humans. Who wins, is not clear.

enoughwiththeblues
Nghtstalker wrote:

One thing to remember you are playing an opponent.  But ultimately you are playing a position.  And your own limitations.  So in a sense our real opponent is ourselves.  And u live with yourself so deep breath learn and enjoy!

 

Thats deep and poetic😊. I like it. 😄