Why am I losing all the sudden?


Looking for an explanation. I opened a account in 2008. I didn't know a single opening or that they even had names or there were books to read, etc, I just knew which pieces moved where. The only name I'd ever heard was Bobby Fischer and that was because of the movie. Within a few months of here and there casual play I got up to 1300+ on pure instinct (check my profile and you'll see). Then I stopped for a long time.
Well Covid and the Queen's Gambit renewed my appreciation and gave me time to start fiddling around again. Within a week I had lost so much I was down to 800. Then I started watching a bunch of videos and tutorials and doing puzzles, but the next week I dropped to 600...and am now struggling to break above 500. Granted I'm playing too much and playing tired and distracted sometimes, but I just got beat by a <400 player!

I'll admit, I'm perplexed. I see some really weird moves played at this level. Did I lose all my marbles, has the influx of popularity just surpassed me?

Well the most obvious reason I would say is you’re just rusty. But, a more complicated answer I would say the chess community has exploded and just like any sport/competition that explodes, skills and talent explode too. I reckon players are a lot better on average than they were in 2008, so being 1300 in 2008 may not be the same as today... as it could be perhaps that 700-800 players are playing at the level 1300’s in 2008 were. Although, I just started playing chess myself so I don’t know how chess was back then. But, it would be logical to assume that since chess has gotten way more popular thanks to covid and the queens gambit, people are studying way more, watching more videos (something that wasn’t as easily accessible in 2008) and therefore players as a whole are just better

That was my first thought, but then I also thought that chess was seen as more elitist back then and only die hards really studied and signed up for places like I know it's one of those.




I think it is a combination of rustiness and tilt. You're tilting because you haven't practiced, so your instinct has sort of worn away, for now. That means that because you only achieved your rating by instinct, now that the instinct it gone, it's no wonder that your chess is spiraling

What should you do? Restart from 500. Work your way up. Play lots of games


I am looking at your last game. 

You are dancing with your queen all around without following basic opening principles, and blundering left and right (you opponent does this as well). In the end you are much worse and you even won on time on top of it all.

That kind of play is normal for sub 1000 player and shows that you should master the fundamentals first.

So, what you should ask yourself is this. What is your goal exactly? Is it a slow and gradual chess improvement? If that is the case, 10 minute per side games are too fast. You need time to think and you need to keep blunders in check. If you lose pieces left and right it will be hard to improve. You need to develop your pieces, protect your king and forget about going gung-ho with your queen early in the game. 

In case you wish to improve, but are unsure where to start with studying chess, I can give you these tips:


I've been watching a couple of your games. I think you miss elementary tactics, and violate some basic principles. What can you do to improve?

1- Try to play solid chess. Develop your pieces coordinating them. Don't try to win before you have castled, and have developed your minor pieces and rooks. I've seen that you start attacking from the second move. The strongest players don't do that.

2- Play slow tempos, like 15-10 or classic. Give you a chance to think. 

3- Work your tactics, solving puzzles.

4- At your level, in ALL your games your opponents will give you chances of winning with little combinations. So play solid and wait for opportunities.

4- Follow the advice of some masters like GothamChess on youtube. 

5- Analyze all your games with , you'll learn a lot from this practice.



Thank you for the advice and I agree. I've watched GothamChess almost daily for the last month. 

Here's the difference, I notice when the great players put a minor piece out to develop and the opponent places one near...they keep developing instead of taking right away. The players I'm dealing with now are constantly trying the 4 move checkmate and making moves you don't see in upper level games. They take anything they can anytime they can...I have to figure out how to fight that because I'm losing all my pieces before I can develop. 

My last game was not my proudest moment. Since I've been losing so bad I've been trying to think untraditional like a beginner to understand what they are doing.  Here's one of my better games. 

I think I'll start with longer games, more time to think, so I can develop a game plan better instead of just reacting...which is what I feel like I'm constantly doing. 


I just started puzzles and am just under 800 at the moment.


See, queen spamming is common at your level and actually mine too GothamChess made a great video covering it


Ahhh, thank you. I saw that video come up and it's in my queue. I'll jump to it. 

Is there a way to like comments or just the gift memberships. I want to show appreciation but I can't afford to gift everyone here.


Just watched the chess spam video...and that is exactly what I'm seeing a ton of. Thank you.




U didn't play for over a decade and u still think u will perform as well when u suddenly come back after such a long layoff?


Of course not. just like with tennis players, or any other sport, u lose skill, consistency and understanding of the activity if ur not doing it for a long time. 




yoo whats up! ur just rusty dont worry, I havnt played for 10 years and decided to start chess a month ago, i have impoved a lot (when i opened my account i dropped all the way to 200) but after that i had to learn a lot of theory, you just gotta play longer games and you will lern! just dont leave your peices hanging!


Hey zzhypee, you played a good game and I had a mouse slip when I laid my queen right adjacent to your King. I meant to put it one square to the right. Not sure it would have changed the game, but those things happen, no excuses. Besides my lack of skill, I've lost quite a few games out of the bad habit of circling a piece around a square contemplating...then slipping. Or I've had to concede games because I had to take an unexpected phone call. More reason to play longer games. Thanks for the game and all future ones.


Nevermind, that was a different just outplayed me. Well done.



My name is Lauren Goodkind and I'm a chess teacher based in California.  I would suggest to continue to practice with a slow time control, thinking BEFORE each move.  If you do tactic puzzles, then your rating should go up again.  

 I hope that this helps!


your rusty!

If you want to be perplexed by my amazing-ness let me know.


Thanks, I had to look up what tilt meant...and there's definitely a lot of that. I lose, and have to immediately play again but find myself still thinking about that last game. 

Sorry Batman2508, I'm rated so much lower it won't even let me challenge you haha.