Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Learning from your losses?

In order to improve one should analyse one's losses deeply in order to identify what mistakes are being made.

The kind of losses that can help a lot are close games where one might not even know where one went wrong.

What is most frustrating to me is the way I lost/drew games. I am making basic errors against opponents 200 points below me. Although I try hard not to be overconfident against lower rated player's, I am having trouble not doing so. I don't make such errors against higher rated opponents as often. I have to learn to play chess and not pay attenting to my opponent. Like Fischer said "All that matters on the chessboard is good moves."

Round 1 - missed very basic moves at least twice. First giving up any advantage(27. Bg4?), then the game(46.Kb8???).

Round 4 - didn't look one move further in a forced sequence that threw a way my advantage.(19...Bxd3)

Round 5 - misplayed the opening, proceeded to weaken the q-side pawn structure, made no effort to activate my bad bishop. There were other psychological issues in this game as well. After losing the first round I was determined to win the next 4 games, but after drawing the 4th round you could say, "I had the wind blown from my sails". I probably should have not played the 5th round.


  1. If you pay for five rounds then you should play five rounds. You just have to shake off a loss and forget about it (easier said than done at times, but…), and then go into the next game with a fresh outlook. One just has to play the position on the board and forget about the last game. The time to agonize over a loss is when analyzing the game later, and finding all the moves that would have won (perhaps drawn) the game (as I often find many winnings and drawing lines in my play when I analyze my games after a tournament). Then I just think to myself, “This is such a simple move, so why didn’t I see it at the board!” But that’s chess!! You are a good player. I am sure you will achieve a 2000 rating in the near future.

  2. A couple of things I have noticed over they years (my own general observations) about higher-rated players versus lower-rated players. First off, higher-rated players sometimes play inferior variations, which they would normally not play against players who are rated the same or higher than their own ratings. Second, higher-rated players seem to play more aggressively than their lower-rated opponents. I assume this type of play is based on the assumption that perhaps that the lower-rated player will miss tactics and not find the correct moves. This type of play is probably not good for career enhancement (raising ones rating). However, I also have noticed this type of behavior more in the Class C through Class A players. When players typically reach the Expert or Master level, I have observed that these tendencies have fallen off quite a bit. Anyhow, those are my words of wisdom for the day.

  3. Wow! 46.Kb8??? in the first round is the worst move I have ever seen! I would give it at least 5 ?s :)

    IMO you definitely do not take your opponents' full possibilities into account before making a move.
    You could surely gain a lot of rating points if you did.(Ask yourself constantly: "What would I play...")

    I also wonder how you study books. I remember that you read some endgame books last year; looking at 46.Kb8????? it is pretty obvious that you didn't digest them.


  4. I understand the influence that an opponent's rating can have. For too long I have feared anyone rated above me, as if they are perfect and won't make mistakes. Since I have played no one named Anand or Kramnik, I have to assume that every opponent has not reached that level of mastery and does make mistakes. It really is about playing against the pieces on the board. :)

  5. Bruz,

    Is your rating even higer than Ivan's? In what way are you qualified to give him such advice or make such comments? Are you a chess coach? As a new reader of this blog I do not understand half of what you are trying to say and the other half seems to do more harm than good.

  6. Ouch!! That first round had to hurt! What was wrong with Kxa6?

    Having beat myself up over dumb ass moves I can relate to what you were feeling.

  7. Ivan, tonight I will be going over the game we played with IM Khmelnitsky. I read quickly through his comments on the game score I sent him and we both missed a tactical opportunity for Black in the middle game. I'll send you more later.

  8. Looks like you just had an off day. sometimes a mistake in the first game can affect the rest of your games. I usually lose my first game it seems.

    And Bruz is a jackass.