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thalagor 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Playing bad chess Lo all!
I've been playing really bad chess these last weeks, and I was wondering if any of you're having any tips on how to get back on track again! I'm off to a local tourney today, which lasts over the weekend, so please help me! :p
Drew a clearly winning position, lost an easily drawn position (in which I was the one playing for the win, ie easily drawn by me, my opponent would have had to fight had I not blundered gravely), and so on... Playing good chess (ie at my strenght, about 1900 ELO), and then everything falls apart, can't find the killing move, everything just blacks out and I'm off blundering.
Note: This was not the case before, else I'd ask on how to improve my chess :p

Quick 'cures' / suggestions / tips welcome!
nobodyknowmypain 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmmmm 34 wins, a single loss, and an 1802 rating, if this is what you call "bad chess", I hate to see ya when you play "good chess". Anyways, I'm playing "bad chess" lately, considering when I first came to this site I didn't have a loss like my first 15 games, and now I'm playing about 500. the minute I lost my provisional rating. A lot of the games, I blundered, then came back and won the peice I blundered, all but to blunder again, sheesh that's frustrating, lol!
thalagor 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Hehe...
In CC chess I can often go out for a walk or so before coming back to the game ready to rumble. I'm talking of OTB chess, the CC chess is going as usual :p
Off to the tourney now, brainstorm please! :)
premium_steve 43 ( +1 | -1 )
good luck, thalagor.
let us know how you do...
i'd suggest taking a close look at those poor past games and see what might have been causing you trouble.
maybe you were tired or distracted?
maybe you were playing positions you don't like.
did you get hit in the head by a rock recently? ;)

i'd say for a player of your level that the slump results from a string of bad luck, and you'll probably turn it around soon....
i_play_slowly 173 ( +1 | -1 )
Tips from 3 Masters Bruce Pandolfini: "It's easy to surrender to your frustrations when progress seems to be at a standstill. But if you want to break out of your apparent slump, you must somehow stay with the program, whether by hard work, dedication, or doggedness. And when you finally break out, it may seem as if it happens 'just like that'. But it won't be 'just like that' at all, regardless how suddenly and surprisingly the gain in strength manifests itself. It's likely that you've been getting stronger all along, even if plainly by accruing experience, but the improvement might not show itself until all the parts are in place."
*
Kelly Atkins: "When I hit a slump, I go looking for Bobby" (on playing over Fischer's games to break out of a slump).
*
IM Lawrence Day: ". . . . nowadays FIDE chess is much more a 'sport' and a sound mind without a sound body will not triumph. My body was messed up since I was born; learned chess in a hospital even. Zukertort died young; war wounds and opium. A healthy Tal circa 1961 would easily have retained his title. Schlechter, Charousek, Pillsbury et al.. health is trumps! Knowing the benefits of broccoli or the dangers of aspartame is just as important as knowing the latest theoretical wrinkle in the Petroff's. Here's a 'secret': ginseng! It is prescribed for mental alertness by the Chinese alt.med fellows. . . . re: smoking, drinking and drugs-- of course no aspiring modern master will rely on them. Ray's [i.e., Ray Keene] aikido or my oriental meditation are much simpler, organic methods of pressing the mental reset button, going clear, relaxing after a tough game. I would think that being able to relax between rounds was an especially important function in modern chess."
astinkyfart 7 ( +1 | -1 )
hate to be negative but.. this thread is ridiculous. record of 34-1 your not in a slump. sorry.
deadofknight 38 ( +1 | -1 )
His complaint... isn't with CC. Its his OTB play he is interested in improving. Please read the entire thread before
you make comments that make the rest of us question your sobriety.

Personally, I believe I have the PERFECT CURE. I would take a two week break and then quite
altogether. 8)

Of course, thats just a pot shot at you stinky...dont kick me off your team!
astinkyfart 21 ( +1 | -1 )
hey your right. im sorry. i missed his other post. i cant give advice except cc chess makes my otb chess worse anyway. i can no longer think quickly. or as my post shows sometimes i cant think at all.
misato 106 ( +1 | -1 )
bad series In OTB I made the experience that it even depends of the tournament I am playing. On Fridays blunders in the club are punished immediately, in Sunday team matches the play is much better (I even get out of critical situations or come back in the game after a blunder). After the summer break it may be vice versa.
A competition with a good start gives me a feeling that I can play chess, and this feeling apparently is not transferable to competitions starting with losses. Strange!

And it goes better after a long break when I am looking forward to the first games since ages. This point should be more general than the individual ones I mentioned before.

And change your OTB-pen after each loss! I tried it, and it gives me a better feeling than playing with a "loser-pen". I even throw them away to avoid the danger of accidental re-use. For important games I have a little stock with "success-pens". It mostly works!
I'm not superstitious, but why should I take any unnecessary risk?
ccmcacollister 7 ( +1 | -1 )
When I was a professional corr. Chess player ... My proven method for dealing with a slump; was to RETIRE ... again
roland_l 5 ( +1 | -1 )
decongestant medicine .... i.e. ephedrine, with a 6 pack of cokes, and you should be all set.

nobodyknowmypain 94 ( +1 | -1 )
Are you in a slump because? A lot of people don't realize, that if you are in a slump, you could actually be improving, for example, you could be learning/using new skills, styles, and abilities in your game that take time to master, and in the long run, that will help you, because you can only go so far being a "one trick pony".

As for the, "you only play as good as your health" part, I surely understand that. I suffer from a mental illness, and I am completely unable to calculate, the memory aspect and the mathematical calculating side of my brain is completely fried, yet still I have a 1700 OTB rating, but I'll never become a master, despite all my hard work, unless I am able to calculate, which given my health, is impossible. Unfair card to be delt in chess and in the workforce, but there's nothing I can do about it. That's why I probably don't spend much time beteewn moves in CC, it's all instinct/positional, just like my OTB games, and so far, the ratings pretty much correspond.
thalagor 67 ( +1 | -1 )
Lots of good tips. I'm thinking that it depends on one bad move or really, accepting a draw offer instead of seeing (and I was looking) a forced win. A forced 4 move combo, nothing special, that would end the game in my favor. Haven't been able to let it go very quickly, and been playing some "boring" (positional) chess (not my style), and been losing more. A downward spiral.
But now I'm back in business, when I remembered I'm playing chess for the fun of it, not because I have to win (taking a bit pressure of me shoulders, letting me get back to my usual dangerous style :P). Lost sight of why I'm playing chess for a while there.
But hey, I might be improving, I sure hope so ;).
nobodyknowmypain 80 ( +1 | -1 )
Playing positional chess If you are a crazy attacker, playing some positional chess could help you with your endgames. Often times, checkmate in the middlegame is hard to acheive, usually good attacks merely force their opponent into losing some material to stop the mate. Often times, you have to learn how to won a won endgame, and beleive it or not, some attackers have trouble with that because they expect their opponent to resign if it reaches an endgame down a minor peice, an exchange, a couple of pawns, a pawn, etc, and sometimes I find they blow it and I get a draw. Doesn't happen often at my level, but it does happen occassionaly. This is perhabs a good reason not to resign and why people don't resign despite reaching "hopeless" endgames.
thalagor 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmm, I find winning won endgames quite easy (although some are quite difficult, for example mate with bishop and knight with less than 2 mins on the clock, and so on :p), nothing wrong there. I can play positionally. It's just that it feels so boring in OTB chess, I need ACTION! :)
Nah, but seriously, I find that my strenght (compared to my opponents) often lie in my tactical abilities, hence me seeking of crazy positions :p
thalagor 21 ( +1 | -1 )
"When I was a professional corr. Chess player ...
My proven method for dealing with a slump; was to RETIRE ... again"

Haha, might be I'd try that! ;)

Taking a break might be good for me... But nah, chess is life! :p
superblunder 97 ( +1 | -1 )
Agree with thalagor. I tend to go through slumps when I get too serious and focus too much on winning and not enough on having fun. Here is an example, I am a terrible blitz player and I was trying so hard in blitz for awhile, taking it so seriously and my rating plummeted to about 1400 on ICC! My standard rating on ICC is usually over 1800, similar to here on gamknot. SO finally I just strated playing for fun, really aggressive moves and fast, risky stuff..the FUN of chess! The result..my blitz rating is up to the upper 1600s and I have won the last 20 blitz games straight on ICC! Not as good as my standard rating yet, but close. The same often happens to me in OTB tournaments...the more seriously I take the game, the more pressure I put on my self to win, the more nervous I get and then the bad moves, blunders and errors in judgement start...I know exaclty what you mean thalagor I think you are on the right track, if you are focusing on why you play chess in the first place...FUN!
deadofknight 17 ( +1 | -1 )
what helps me... is when I grab a book with puzzles in it that require me to assess situations quickly. Not studying
specific parts of the game but, the actual realities of the situation.
indiana-jay 72 ( +1 | -1 )
thalagor, look, your average rating is (as of now) 1625 and your average opponent's rating is 1474. And you seem like to play dangerous attacks (seeking dangerous position???). IMO, you cannot play strong players the way you play much weaker players.

I'm agree that we have to enjoy the game to play well. With weaker players you can enjoy the game by creating dangerous positions, often in the expense of positional blunders that strong players should be able to benefit from. But with strong players, IMO you should be able to enjoy winning tempo, or any slight advancements you can make.

Patience, the ability to have patience, is I believe one of the important chess strategies.
thalagor 121 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry about not replying sooner, much to do.
Indiana-jay;
1, I'm talking about OTB play, not CC.
2, What has my average rating and my opponents average rating to do with anything (as I'm pretty new to this site it hasn't stabilized yet)?
3, My style of play has naught to do with playing bad chess. Ok, it might be the cause for me not reaching IM status ;), but it's my style. That's not the problem, since by 'playing bad chess' I mean making illogical moves that for example (obviously) drop pieces, or such.
Btw, speaking of me style of play, I had a won position against an IM (Rated 2495, the only time I've met a titled player since I started playing chess again) after 25 moves. Only due to my being able to handle the complex situations better than he did. Ok, blundered away my win in time pressure, but hey, I had a won position against an IM *proud* ;)

I believe that to thrive in a position is the most important chess strategy, that's the way to play good chess. Doesn't matter if you thrive in complex or subtle positions, if you get a position you like you will do much better than if you were to try to play the objectively best move.

Sorry if this post is a bit confused, been playing a chess tourney all day, me brain's shut down. :P
thalagor 59 ( +1 | -1 )
Btw, thanks for all the posts everyone!
My slump is almost (ALMOST) over :P.
I found that when in a slump I shouldn't use my usual tactic (only go to the board when it's my turn, and then move in 2 mins as I've thought of the game while mingling with other players in the café or something. When I sit by the board the whole game I don't make many illogical moves, I don't know why it helps me (it usually doesn't, I can think of the game as good without a board as when I'm looking at the board), but it does.
So, a tip to all you slumpers ;), out there, sit by the board throughout the game, it will help. If you're like me that is. :P
indiana-jay 52 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, may be I have to agree with you thalagor, LOL. But may be there's a good thing with leaving the board while waiting the opponent making his move (when I was a kid, the best player in my town always did that). That is to have fresh air, not to be drunk in a cafe. BTW, what tournament is it to allow players to go to a cafe or something. I knew some players went to toilet to consult opening books.

Anyway, I hope I can challenge you someday thalagor. And I think it will be interesting. I promise I won't make it easy for you ;)
thalagor 58 ( +1 | -1 )
Not the café, wrong word, but I don't know how to translate it otherwise... Silly me... :P
Leaving the board to talk with other persons (but not suggest moves or anything like that!!!) and get some fresh air, that's what I meant. Fresh air, I agree, but don't leave the board more than once every 30 mins or so. Otherwise, if you're used to sit by the board throughout the game, you might have trouble with getting back into the game if you leave more often.

Sure, feel free to challenge me, but please let it be unrated. And I take you on your word, don't make it easy for me! ;)
indiana-jay 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank's thalagor for offering me a chance to challenge you. But I prefer to increase my rating first, so we can play a rated game. If I couldn't increase my rating to your minimum standard, it would be just useless to try to win against you, right? ;) It is just that I'm afraid you will increase the standard pretty soon LOL.