Last Friday I had won like 13 of my last 15 games… by online standard rating was taking a surge upwards… everything felt Great! Even my indexes were sky high….
It was Great! Last week…. Unfortunately; this weeks results have been disappointing. My rating is crashing; Chess feels harder, Tactics seem scarce, openings that were going good… seem to go towards awkward middlegames and losing endgames.
Never Underestimate the ability on one’s confidence to somehow sour every single aspect of your game!
As the pic says, though, I am reluctant to say too much… I am sure these psychological setbacks are important and necessary to becoming strong and resilient. I want to Describe a little about what went wrong… and find the way beyond them.
I think players of all strengths must find that any ambitious chess training program sometimes goes poorly. I think my difficulties are… normal limitations of a chess training program and I welcome any of my readers to comment on any thing they’ve done to adjust to the follow difficulties…
Energy/ Tiredness… I have a busy life and chess fits between kids and sleep. Sometimes it fills the whole time rather well; recently I find that I’ve just become tired. I’m not sure if I’m sick, getting allergies from the trees, or I’m just old- and struggling to do to much in my life. I can tell you that a 40 year old father with a growing yard and an upcoming garden has his reasons for feeling tired in mid may… I am sure that the major reason for cyclical behavior in my indexes relates to tiredness. I get tired and sleep deprived; falter – have a few bad days and then gather strength and resume a better program.
Inaccurate Thinking…. This is perhaps somewhat embarrassing. Sometimes, I feel sharp and gets lots of the 3-5 play calculations dead on! Other times, it becomes Really bad and I don’t even get the variations I calculate right! (not too mention, accounting for unexpected opponent responses etc). I usually mistrust myself enough to recalculate- but this is time consuming. And I imagine between the disease and the cure; all the inaccurate calculations are most of why I’m so weak at blitz!
Training Imbalance… try as I might it seems inevitable that when I get a major training idea in my head it starts swalloping all my time up; and either my playing time goes to nothing, or some important form of study (analysis, tactics)- goes as well. Relatedly, one of the major uses of my time; the correspondence chess Can’t be procrastinated (I’ll time out)- and this only makes it inevitable that something is going to take a hit.
I think part of this problem is simply that my time constraints are significant. There is not “many long” hours to do chess! 1 to 2 hours per day is a BIG commitment; but doesn’t go far with an ambitious program.
Chess Weariness… call it what you want. I simply can’t think and breathe chess non-stop. I can maintain an enormous curiousity in the game… but its in the struggle to understand and answer the position, that there are limits! Even within a game- I can grow listless, and not be thinking so intensely about all the facets of the game. This is where I start missing important features of the positions, fail to see a significant amount of my moves and Espacially fail to see all my opponents moves (after my chosen moves).. this last step is very important to blunderchecking! I think there’s an athletic component of a game (and a training program), in this regard. Hopefully my chess “muscles” are growing stronger! My indexes give my optimism in this regard. I’m doing more chess, more often than I use to.. Nonetheless, chess weariness follows other aspects of ones attitude- if one is unconfident, discouraged, and tired; your bound to bump into weariness in tackling chess’s tricky challenges…
There’s been a lot of talk in places where I read about chess coaching… and while I done a little bit; I’ve pretty much talked myself out of a more involved experience. I think a coach offers a lot of invaluable experience in keeping a strong training program- but I’m pretty sure coaching is not by itself a substitute for a training program….(When your learning to play the piano, you still do a lot of practice at home!).
I look forward to better weeks to follow…