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Horrible losing streak

  • #1

    I've lost like, 9 games in a row these last couple of weeks, which is weird because according to tactics trainer, I'm better than ever before (broke 1600 a couple of days ago). 

    So why isn't this apparent new chess knowledge that I've gained reflected in any of my recent games?  Is tactics trainer really that accurate in its rating assignment to most puzzles?  Have I truly improved or does my losing streak clearly dictate otherwise?

    We've had the TT discussion before, so what are your losing streaks?  I need to wallow with someone in this misery. Cry

  • #2

    I haven't used TT much lately, but I too have been losing as well.  Recently I have fallen from 1700 to 1654 with 3 straight losses.  Who can say - chess players certainly have slumps just like baseball players, Renata.

  • #3


    Just reviewing your games, I'm seeing a lot of different concepts you should work on. In one game you greedily took a pawn without considering the consequenses of being pinned in the process. In another game, you tried to save a pawn black gave you as a gambit, when instead you should have let black waste time recapturing it while you finished developement. In yet another game, you were easily winning, but pushed pawns in front of your king until black had you flushed out.

    So the problem isn't so much tactical as it is fundamental. You hear about these pearls of wisdom from stronger players that begin to factor in your analysis as you play:

    Pushing pawns in front of your king is very dangerous.

    A free pawn might be poisonous, think it over carefully.

    Try not to move a piece twice in the opening unless you KNOW it's worth it. The key to openings is speed and efficiency in developement. This means take your share of the center, develope your minor pieces, castle, connect your rooks, and then launch a plan of attack.

    Don't waste moves and ruin your structure on tying to hold a gambit pawn your opponent offers you. Most likely the pawn cannot be saved, and you only end up in a bad position trying to.

    Each of your games is a case-by-case scenario that requires instruction on little points like this.

  • #4

    Queen of Knights, I want to say that my sympathy goes out to you. I have been in this same situation where I feel my studying is going well, but then my games become disasters. Here is one view point that I have taken recently and it has worked well for me.

    Stop studying for a little while and just play games. The reason I say this is because, when I stopped studying, due to my mind feeling like mush and not able to compose a single unified strategy, it was because I've been pushing myself to hard and studying to many things.

    When I stopped this studying for a period and just let myself play games, I actually did better. I've been toying with a notion that one needs to studying for a while and then just play games for awhile to allow the information taken in to transpose to the board. (I hope this makes sense.)

    Essentially, I took in a lot of instruction but needed time to apply that knowledge before I could take on more information. Now please know that this is just something that has worked for me and I don't know that this is a universal theory or not, but I thought I would throw my hat in the ring to give you a hand.

    Hope it helps, and good luck to you!

  • #5

    Well, thank you kindly for that thorough reply, FirebrandX, and for doing some research into my games, AND for the obviously excellent advice. Laughing

    I'll definitely keep your words in mind for future games.

  • #6

    Knightwriter, Thanks, that also was good advice...I'll try it out.

  • #7

    Don't feel bad. I'm currently rocking 815, and probably haven't hit bottom yet. Love the game though I do, after decades it's proved nearly impossible to play at even the lowest baseline of semi-competence. I'm desperately hoping merely to win a game sometime this year; in light of that factoid, your own losing streak is likely to prove blessedly temporary. Remember ... It can always be worse! Best of luck.

  • #8

    It happens. One time, my rating dropped from 1399 to 1250. I just kept fighting, and it's now 1380. Hoping to break 1400 soon, but mostly, I suppose I'll say, "Enjoy the game! Just relax, focus, and the wins will come eventually! Best wishes!"

  • #9

    Sorry to hear about that losing streak. 

  • #10

    Oh sorry.

    I saw the title of this thread, thought the OP posting my biography or something.Tongue Out

  • #11
    Queen_of_night .... things are simple ...Nothing occurs in a straight line ....so also in chess ... a time when you're up, when down, then you really stabilize your level ...
  • #12

    Chess isn't 90% tactics like some people believe. You need the strategy and positional play for the tactics to come alive. 

    Your TT rating might be close to accurate, but if the rest of your chess skills are well below that, your actual rating will be lower.

  • #13

    Stop playing for a day, relax and remember to have fun. It always gets me out of any losing streak.

  • #14

    Sometimes you're just bored of it and start making lazy moves, done that a few times recently.

    And with tactics trainer I feel it rewards you too much for instinct and doesn't punish enough for wrong answers, whereas in a game a bad move is normally punished a lot more severely than taking a bit of extra time.

  • #15

    Losing streaks are normal, part of chess and no need to worry. My 11th video lesson covers this topic, they whys and how to get out of one. It's on my YouTube channel and somewhere in these forums, not yet added to the 10 on my website. See my profile for my site.

  • #16

    Scott, I agree it's laziness at times, or rather, trying new things, but if it aint broke...

    thanks again for the replies and reassurance.

  • #17

    Another thing you might try is going over your finished games yourself to find your mistakes (it's not hard - look at the move or two just before you dropped that piece or got mated to start).  Try to figure out why you missed it!  Did you move too fast?  Just jump on material without considering the consequences? Or couldn't find a plan so just pushed a pawn?

    The next part is trying to make sure you don't make those same errors in future games.  That's tougher, of course, but the rewards are great.  You'll be amazed at how fast your results improve if you can only eliminate some silly errors.


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