May 19, 2023
We've all been there.
But this is your reminder to take a break and regulate your emotions - especially when you find yourself on a losing streak or when you're playing bad chess.
Change your focus from:
Do NOT make rating your focus - it means you're focusing on the WRONG thing.
(Easier said than done, but awareness is the first step. Try to catch yourself when you’re playing chess for the wrong reasons.)
Playing chess to win rating or to 1-up your opponent (especially when you're in a bad mood) is like road rage:
It’s unproductive and doesn’t help you one bit.
(I’ve been guilty of this for years—especially in my earlier years, but now I know better).
Chess is more than just an intellectual game. It’s more than battle of wits and who is more skilled!
It’s also a mental game.
It's a game of how effectively you can manage your mind.
(Pro Tip: Number 3 is the trickiest to manage - it’s far too easy to tire out and feel the need to keep on playing because…why not? You’re on a roll and you’re about to break records. But watch your mind! At some point, you’ll start to play dubious moves, and before you know it, you’ve found yourself on a losing streak, and each game you play, you dig yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, trying to recover lost rating. And before you know it, a great day just turned into a terrible day! Pity!)
These are the lessons I learned later in my chess journey that I wish someone would've taught me.
I hope you find this useful.