Playing against yourself?


Recently, I've been playing chess with myself. Every day when I am in my room, I will make a move with white, flip the board around, and make a move with black. I'm not really sure why I'm doing this, I just thought it would be kind of interesting and a little different from going over openings, etc. Do you think you can actually improve your game by playing against yourself?


Read Chess Story (it's not all that good IMO but it's short and interesting enough) by Stefan Zweig... the Hero has become a world class GM after keeping his brain semi-intact by playing chess against himself every waking moment of the day while in Gestapo isolation-torture custody. Yes, it's all a bit strained...


yea thats a good point.. I wonder if it's that helpful?


I am interested in this post.

I always thought that it was bad because our moves are never surprising for us.


But wouldn't you know what your going to do? You could counter everything. Crap. Now I have to see. I can see me now, playing with myself while I'm in between postings & moves. I mean playing against myself!


I don't think there is anything wrong with playing against your self, and you can practice different openings, but there are other better ways to get better.


I imagine playing against yourself would help with calculations. It would also be a good approximation to playing against a much better opponent who knows exactly what you will do next. :)


Bobby fischer played against himself when he was younger.


Yeah it's nice and good. And may result in ( schizophrenia)!!!


Actualy it's boring in opennings, and interesting in midgames and endgames.

sometimes I really surprise myself. when I flip the board I see different things and sometimes play something I didn't expect it when I was the other person. And that's why midgames are interesting playing with yourself. You can find your (you openent's) mistakes and exploit them.

Good luck :) ;)


It's probably okay.  Probably won't hurt but I don't think it's going to suddenly make you great either.


I used to play against myself.  It is beneficial, but I seemed to always favor one side - I was only 7 you know!


I have been reading David Shenk's book The Immortal Game, and it has something to say on the topic.  Chess is a game where two minds are playing against each other.  In the case of playing against oneself, you are in fact attempting to seperate your mind into two different entities; however, both know and yet are attempting to not know (and know) what the other one is doing.  If it sounds backwards, it is.  The thought is that it may not be a problem with lower level players, but at higher levels of play you risk pushing your brain too far, possibly leading to psychological disorders.

Hate to bring the convo down with this one.


thats interesting i sometimes do that weather its a move I might make or looking at all the differant moves someone else might make and so forth so is the book good and all that.


I think we all do it, in bits and pieces. Every move even when we try to calculate a number of moves ahead ... it is just one move, but I would say it is like playing chess against your self. Besides, it sounds so much better than playing with yourself! Yell


If you follow this link, you will see a list of books that are like "Chess Solitaire" - kind of neat to check them out.


Well, I have mixed feelings about it. I certainly do it from time to time, especially to test out different openings and moves, etc. However, I think it will only improve your game so much before you plateau. As was mentioned before, you know what your next moves are going to be (or what you think the next move should be). And, if you are rated, say 1400, when you play yourself the best that you can hope for is a theoretial match against another 1400 ranked player. The best way to truly improve is to play people who are better than you are and analyze the game and try to figure out why they did what they did. Maybe even ask them to explain it if they have the time and patience to do so.


Pschological disorders. Ha. If we listened to everything the psychologists told us would lead to a disorder, we would never be able to do anything.

Bobby Fischer did this. It's a good way to practice, but there are better ways to get better.


Ironic last post.


I heard it can make you go blind.


unfortunatly, i always favour one side :(

others wise it always ends up in a draw