Friday, May 15, 2009

Still In A Slump

My OTB games have been torrid the last couple of weeks.

Losing to a 1300 then an unrated and then a 1400. The demise continues.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what's going on.

My play is lethargic and my concentration is just not there. When I am seated on the board, I just lose focus and my competitive spirit is just not there.

Maybe what I desperately need is a swift kick up my rear and I can't administer it myself unfortunately. :)


  1. tanc, dont feel bad it hapens. when this happend to me i took a week off. it worked.

  2. Indeed it happens. Dont fret yourself over it. Just get some free time from chess.

  3. Hmmm...I could give a swift kick, but being that I'm half a world away, I think you should take some time off.

    And I mean some time off, no puzzles, no chess tactics server, no books nothing, nada, zilch. Try that for two weeks and see what happens. You are probably just a bit burned out.

  4. Hello everyone,

    Thanks very much for your feedback.

    chess? and chesstiger: i guess the main thing is to get over the hurdle. Funny how the most I lose the more I try to rectify things and play harder.

    wang: Thanks! I knew I could count on you for giving me a kick. ;)

    I'll definitely try to take it easy but I don't have much time. The New South Wales Grade Matches are coming up (starting next week) and I may be roped in to play the North Sydney U1600 team and the Ryde Eastwood U1800 team.


  5. I once endured a slump that lasted nearly a year. My rating went down 150 points. The nadir was losing the last 4 rounds of an 8 rounder, after starting out reasonably well at 2-2. In the final round I lost to someone rated in the 900s. That was the lowest rated player I ever lost to, by a long shot. (I think his real playing strength was in the 1300s.)

    I was so disgusted that I didn't even look at a chess set for a month. But I did register to play in another event, and played a couple of skittles games the day before.

    As luck would have it, I got paired against the highest rated player in the first round. With a 700 point difference in ratings, he must have thought he could sleep walk his way through to a routine 1st round point. To this day, I still don't really understand how I won that game, even though I've played over it several times. I must have played a few hundred points above my usual level, while he simultaneously played down to my level.

    So, there it is. The lowest rated player I ever lost to, and the highest rated player I ever beat were consecutive games, albeit with a month interval.

    I know someone who last year lost rating points in 10 out of the 12 events, dropping 170 points total. But he finally turned the corner and has since gained rating points in 10 consecutive tournaments. His rating is now 50 points higher than when his slump began.

    Slumps are painful, discouraging, and disconcerting. But if you keep plugging away, they do end eventually.