Im so bad at this game

VotusX

Hello everybody.

I'm writing this in a mix of anger and pure frustration. In the last weeks my rating dropped immensly and I don't know why this happens. I barely changed anything in terms of my preperation, except I'm doing a lot more puzzle rush. I once was in the 1650 range but now my rating dropped to nearly 1550. I know this may sound a little like I'm overreacting because of 100 points, and I know that it's normal that ones rating fluctuates at times, but I just want to know the cause of this and how to get back on track.

It always has been hard for me to control my anger at certain situations and it's no different with chess. Sometimes if I miss a basic tactic, a win, drop a piece, slip or lose I sometimes just  want to scream and quit this game forever. But at the other side I can't stop at this point because deep inside I still love this game. Some will tell me that I should stop worrying about my rating which is true, but this is truly easier said than done. I've read that about a million times and still quite haven't figured out, how to actually stop caring about it.

Do any of you have any advice on how to escape these rating-drop periods, change my behavoir oin preperation to good, if there is anything wrong with it (More puzzle rush etc.) and how to finally stop caring about the rating?

Help is greatly appreachiated! Thank you!

llama

I have two very different pieces of advice.

The first is about your rating. Your rating is always different from your skill. After you win a game are you a better player than you were 1 minute ago? After you lose a game are you worse? Of course not. Your rating always shadows your true skill, it's never an exact representation.

Additionally, if you worry about what you learn, then your rating will go up over time. If instead you worry about your rating then you can get stuck in this loop of not improving.

---

The 2nd piece of advice is to avoid a rating drop sometimes you shouldn't play. The basic categories of performance in sports apply to chess too... specifically they are:

Food
Emotion
Focus
Sleep

Did you eat well today?
Did you get enough sleep?
Are you playing at a time when you're able to focus (no people or animals near you to distract?)
Are you playing at a time when your will power is strong, so you are determined to focus?
Did you not have a fight with a loved one? Are you not worrying about money? Emotional stress harms performance in chess and in anything else.

If the answer to any of these is "no" then you should pre-emptively forgive yourself for losing. We can't always be at our best... and this includes professionals! Sometimes professional grandmasters want to play their best, and they don't preform at 100%, and they have their career and income depending on it! Some days are just not good days. So forgive yourself.

One way to test it is do some warmup puzzles and play some unrated games. If you calculate poorly or get confused easily during the warmup session then you're not going to play well that day. You can skip playing and instead do other studies or exercises.... or you can play, but as I said before pre-emptively forgive yourself for losing rating. Your rating going down on a bad day doesn't mean you're worse.

VotusX

Thanks alot @llama!

But one more question regarding your post: Do you have any experience with stopping to play, when you expect to have a bad playing period? I have thought about stopping for a specific amount of days or so and do tactics etc. instead, but I always worried that my play would worsen for real, if I did that. The reason for me thinking that is that tactics often don't represent positions that occur very often and also only ask for critical moves and now my thought is that I would start to lose my intuitional feeling for the moves the tactics are not asking for. Long story short: The practical aspect is missing. Did you experience any of that?

llama

Sure, the best way to improve is to play and study every single day for your whole life tongue.png

Did I ever experience a drop in performance because I took a break from playing? Of course the answer is yes. Everyone will answer this is true.

But thankfully, at least in my experience, a 1 week break can be overcome after a few hours. So don't worry so much about it. If you play when you are feeling bad then you are sometimes practicing mistakes, and this will hurt you even though you are playing...

... but also we are not professionals. We don't need chess to pay our bills! So first of all play for fun. It's ok if you lose 100 rating points in a day. Everyone does that sometimes... sometimes people lose 200 or 300 points in a day.

VotusX

Thanks alot! Really appreachiate it! happy.png

VotusX

Very funny -.-

LeeEuler

My suggestions: limit amount of games you play in a day so that you are using all your energy on those games. This also will prevent rapid rating drop from tilting. Good luck with your chess!

VotusX

Thanks for the advice and the nice words, @LeeEuler! happy.png

m_connors
llama wrote:

I have two very different pieces of advice.

The first is about your rating. Your rating is always different from your skill. After you win a game are you a better player than you were 1 minute ago? After you lose a game are you worse? Of course not. Your rating always shadows your true skill, it's never an exact representation.

Additionally, if you worry about what you learn, then your rating will go up over time. If instead you worry about your rating then you can get stuck in this loop of not improving.

---

The 2nd piece of advice is to avoid a rating drop sometimes you shouldn't play. The basic categories of performance in sports apply to chess too... specifically they are:

Food
Emotion
Focus
Sleep

Did you eat well today?
Did you get enough sleep?
Are you playing at a time when you're able to focus (no people or animals near you to distract?)
Are you playing at a time when your will power is strong, so you are determined to focus?
Did you not have a fight with a loved one? Are you not worrying about money? Emotional stress harms performance in chess and in anything else.

If the answer to any of these is "no" then you should pre-emptively forgive yourself for losing. We can't always be at our best... and this includes professionals! Sometimes professional grandmasters want to play their best, and they don't preform at 100%, and they have their career and income depending on it! Some days are just not good days. So forgive yourself.

One way to test it is do some warmup puzzles and play some unrated games. If you calculate poorly or get confused easily during the warmup session then you're not going to play well that day. You can skip playing and instead do other studies or exercises.... or you can play, but as I said before pre-emptively forgive yourself for losing rating. Your rating going down on a bad day doesn't mean you're worse.

Wow! That has to be one of the best bits of advice I've seen in any forum. Well done. And I agree with the ratings comments; some players tend to focus way too much on ratings.

VotusX

Agreed!

hvenki
m_connors wrote:
llama wrote:

I have two very different pieces of advice.

The first is about your rating. Your rating is always different from your skill. After you win a game are you a better player than you were 1 minute ago? After you lose a game are you worse? Of course not. Your rating always shadows your true skill, it's never an exact representation.

Additionally, if you worry about what you learn, then your rating will go up over time. If instead you worry about your rating then you can get stuck in this loop of not improving.

---

The 2nd piece of advice is to avoid a rating drop sometimes you shouldn't play. The basic categories of performance in sports apply to chess too... specifically they are:

Food
Emotion
Focus
Sleep

Did you eat well today?
Did you get enough sleep?
Are you playing at a time when you're able to focus (no people or animals near you to distract?)
Are you playing at a time when your will power is strong, so you are determined to focus?
Did you not have a fight with a loved one? Are you not worrying about money? Emotional stress harms performance in chess and in anything else.

If the answer to any of these is "no" then you should pre-emptively forgive yourself for losing. We can't always be at our best... and this includes professionals! Sometimes professional grandmasters want to play their best, and they don't preform at 100%, and they have their career and income depending on it! Some days are just not good days. So forgive yourself.

One way to test it is do some warmup puzzles and play some unrated games. If you calculate poorly or get confused easily during the warmup session then you're not going to play well that day. You can skip playing and instead do other studies or exercises.... or you can play, but as I said before pre-emptively forgive yourself for losing rating. Your rating going down on a bad day doesn't mean you're worse.

Wow! That has to be one of the best bits of advice I've seen in any forum. Well done. And I agree with the ratings comments; some players tend to focus way too much on ratings.

+1

JayeshSinhaChess
VotusX wrote:

Hello everybody.

I'm writing this in a mix of anger and pure frustration. In the last weeks my rating dropped immensly and I don't know why this happens. I barely changed anything in terms of my preperation, except I'm doing a lot more puzzle rush. I once was in the 1650 range but now my rating dropped to nearly 1550. I know this may sound a little like I'm overreacting because of 100 points, and I know that it's normal that ones rating fluctuates at times, but I just want to know the cause of this and how to get back on track.

It always has been hard for me to control my anger at certain situations and it's no different with chess. Sometimes if I miss a basic tactic, a win, drop a piece, slip or lose I sometimes just  want to scream and quit this game forever. But at the other side I can't stop at this point because deep inside I still love this game. Some will tell me that I should stop worrying about my rating which is true, but this is truly easier said than done. I've read that about a million times and still quite haven't figured out, how to actually stop caring about it.

Do any of you have any advice on how to escape these rating-drop periods, change my behavoir oin preperation to good, if there is anything wrong with it (More puzzle rush etc.) and how to finally stop caring about the rating?

Help is greatly appreachiated! Thank you!

 

Elo drops are common, and have more to do with your mindset than anything. I recently hit 1704 or something and immediately dropped to 1300s!!

 

I was tense and had issues otherwise. Just clear your head and restart.