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Ausknight
24-08-2007, 12:11 PM
This might come as an interesting and even bemusing topic to some, but I'm sure it's a situation that we've all come across and since it's something I'm experiencing a lot of lately, I thought I'd see what the longer term players can advise. It's a fairly embarrassing topic to openly discuss, but I think it might help other people like me, so please bear with me!

I'm green to the game. Been playing about a month now and I play weekly at my club. Great atmosphere, great bunch of gents who are very supportive.

The problem is of course, I'm not competitive at the table. To put more fine a point on it, I play very poorly indeed. As such, I'm in my 2nd club competition and after 15 competition games I'm 1-14! :eek: :wall:

For sure I'll improve that average over time as I improve my game, but I would like to know how people out there learn to deal with the tough beats and the bad losing streaks, especially when you're new to the game.

I think psychology plays a very big part in Chess and I am starting to become concerned because I feel I have an almost defeatest approach to my game at the moment. My club has a number of over 2000 rated players and as such, the general strength of the competition is REALLY strong from a new player's standpoint.

I regularly occupy the bottom table and still lose convincingly every game (almost) which can really eat into your enthusiasm.

That said, all my opponents at the club are polite and never drive home their superior playing ability. They're not condescending in any way and always thank me for the game. This code of conduct is something I definitely appreciate and admire.

But when you're on the bottom rung and your game is always over before anyone else, it can be quite demoralising.

I'd be very interested in learning not only how to play the game better, but also how to assess my mindset and get into the right frame of mind when I approach the table, regardless of what my opponent's strength might be.

Any tips?

Anyone want to share their experience perhaps?

I am sticking with my club gaming of course, I'm tenacious to the point of ignorance and I see this as a terrific challenge. But I do wonder how many hopeful beginners have given up the ghost by being thrown in the deep end so quickly and drowning before finding their feet and getting a little confidence to keep them improving.

There's no way I'd like anyone to throw a game just to keep a new player encouraged (I don't believe you're really doing them any favours by doing that), but I would like to know how to deal with such a situation a little better.

Perhaps there's a good book someone could recommend, or an article online that might be good?

Cheers gents.

Rincewind
24-08-2007, 01:26 PM
There is a few different issues there.

Firstly people who are new to the game generally don't expect to all that competitive at first but hope to improve reasonably rapidly. However, if they play in a group which is way above them, it might be some time before they even start becoming competitive and so they may become discouraged and turn off. To overcome this I would recommend you seek challenging games but not ones where you are totally out-gunned every time. As you improve so too can your opponents to keep the challenge there. I admit this is not always easy to arrange but if have say two chess clubs to choose from, play at the weaker one more often until you have improved and become competitive (say regularly finishing middle of the field) and then step up to the stronger class of opposition and the tougher club.

Regarding losing streaks and remaining motivated, etc. I think it can play on your mind but the extend to which it does would vary a lot depending on the individual player's temperament. For some players long winning streaks can also present a psychological problem adding extra pressure and stress on important matches. The best advise I think to remain philosophical about the wins and loses. Sometimes there come in runs but provided you are playing chess because you enjoy the game, the challenge, the contest, etc, the end result becomes less significant. That's the way I TRY to look at it anyway.

Phil Bourke
24-08-2007, 02:11 PM
I think you have it handled pretty well, just remain reasonable in your expectations, ambitious in your aims. Each time you sit down to play one of these better players, it is a 'tonight is the night that I give you a fright' thing. So long as you can see your play improving, you will be able to keep going. Plus the desire to beat these good players will only get stronger each time you lose to one of them :)

Basil
24-08-2007, 03:32 PM
What Rincewind said about attempting to play in an environment that is approaching your own strength is the definitely the soundest advice IMO. As for 2000+ players. It's (at this stage) pointless even contemplating your results against them. We talking 4th division v premier league.

IMO, the main thing is to enjoy the game, first.
Understand where to improve, second (albeit slowly slowly catchy monkey). Set about converting that understanding, third.

I'm certain people have disappeared from chess and other exploits early for the reason(s) you have cited.

WhiteElephant
24-08-2007, 03:42 PM
A good place to practice is the internet...join a dedicated chess server like ICC (Internet Chess Club) or Playchess and play as much as possible! It is an opportunity for you to practice your openings and gain more confidence against players of similar strength.

Everyone has had bad runs where you get to the point where even if you are winning a game, in your head you are expecting to lose. The answer is to play through it - play as much as possible, against chess computers, on the net, against friends, etc, and once you notch up a few wins, you'll see your confidence going up. The main thing is not to get discouraged, everyone has been through it!

Ian Rout
24-08-2007, 03:59 PM
The short answer is that there is no way to handle defeat, it always feels bad. In a way that's a good thing as defeat is nature's way of pointing out that you've done something wrong.

However you can redefine defeat to find the positives. If you score 2/7 against seven good players who are all supposed to beat you it isn't really a defeat.

Also if you held your own in stages of the game, or outplayed the opponent for parts of it, that's a victory. Not in the game as a whole, but by increasing and expanding those small victories they eventually grow big enough to win games.

I don't do any of that, I just go home and kick the cat. Well I would if I had one. But I think it's a good approach in principle.

Aaron Guthrie
25-08-2007, 06:44 AM
For sure I'll improve that average over time as I improve my game, but I would like to know how people out there learn to deal with the tough beats and the bad losing streaks, especially when you're new to the game.My method? I sulk (but I get over it before the next game). The first tournament I played (which was state junior) I got 0/7. I think my reaction was surprise (you know, I expected even after losing the first 6 that I would smack my opponent in game 7). In short I don't have any useful suggestions aside from don't bring the pain of loss of the last game to the next game you play.

MichaelBaron
25-08-2007, 02:11 PM
A good place to practice is the internet...join a dedicated chess server like ICC (Internet Chess Club) or Playchess and play as much as possible! It is an opportunity for you to practice your openings and gain more confidence against players of similar strength.


I agree that chess servers are great for working on one's chess. However, i believe that it is more benefitial to play stronger players rather than players of your own standard. If your rating is 1200 the goal should be to get some games against 1400+ players. Win or Lose, you will be improving slowly but surely.

DanielBell
25-08-2007, 04:19 PM
So far i've been beaten by a 7 year old, a kid who was about 11 or 12, and a few old blokes.

It really doesn't bother me to lose, it can be a bit disappointing when you have a good position then make a slight error that your opponent capitalizes on, but hey it's part of the game.

Maybe when we play in 2 weeks that will be a bit closer matched since we're both fairly new. Will you be playing a club game that day? I havn't played any tournament games yet, when they start playing with tighter time controls I will, I've actually missed the last couple of meets because of work, will miss the next one too unless I can get out of starting early!

Basil
25-08-2007, 04:35 PM
So far i've been beaten by a 7 year old, a kid who was about 11 or 12...
That's going to happen for many years yet! Enjoy!

Sunshine
26-08-2007, 10:45 PM
I'd be very interested in learning not only how to play the game better, but also how to assess my mindset and get into the right frame of mind when I approach the table, regardless of what my opponent's strength might be.

Any tips?


I think the answer is in knowing what you want to achieve from playing chess.

If it is to improve then having proper games against players stronger than you will be one of the best ways to achieve that.

In chess (and everything else) there is a level to accomodate players of any standard and you will find it quite easy to find games against players the same strength or weaker - and they will always relish a game against you.

The opportunity to play a stronger player is a priviledge for someone wanting to improve their game.

My tip is to enjoy this challenge and play as many games against stronger players as you can - they will want to stop playing you long before you should want to stop playing them.

Trent Parker
27-08-2007, 12:19 AM
It took me about five rated tournaments before i even got a win up!

My first rating (about 5-6 years ago) was 627.

Do not get discouraged my friend Dmarinas! There will be light at the end of the tunnel! :D

Study a bit, try to learn a couple of new openings. Yeah Try the internet...... Try FICS as it is free. Then you might try Playchess or ICC.

Ausknight
27-08-2007, 07:47 AM
Cheers for the feedback gents. The post was partially for myself, but also as a matter of discussion for anyone as well. I am sure I am not the only new player to live on the bottom table for a period of time and it's definitely interesting to look at something that affects all players at one point or another that's not specifically related to tactics on the table itself.

Chess has many different facets to it and I think psychology doesn't get enough 'air time' so to speak.

I certainly haven't lost heart and I will continue learning and growing into the game as I go, but I thought this was a great topic idea for other new players who might stumble across the forums and perhaps realise they're not alone when they're the small fish in the big pond. It can be quite daunting when you sit down at the table as a new player and know that everyone in the room can squash you like a bug (figuratively speaking of course!) at Chess.

I am currently the 'king' of the bottom table in my club and I hold the position as a badge of honour (tongue in cheek). But eventually as new players cycle through and as my game improves I should get off the bottom table and start making a decent go of it for myself.

The one advantage I've got naturally is that when I play at these competitions - I'm not expected to win. There's really no pressure on me at all in that respect.

;)

DanielBell
27-08-2007, 12:17 PM
Cheers for the feedback gents. The post was partially for myself, but also as a matter of discussion for anyone as well. I am sure I am not the only new player to live on the bottom table for a period of time and it's definitely interesting to look at something that affects all players at one point or another that's not specifically related to tactics on the table itself.

Chess has many different facets to it and I think psychology doesn't get enough 'air time' so to speak.

I certainly haven't lost heart and I will continue learning and growing into the game as I go, but I thought this was a great topic idea for other new players who might stumble across the forums and perhaps realise they're not alone when they're the small fish in the big pond. It can be quite daunting when you sit down at the table as a new player and know that everyone in the room can squash you like a bug (figuratively speaking of course!) at Chess.

I am currently the 'king' of the bottom table in my club and I hold the position as a badge of honour (tongue in cheek). But eventually as new players cycle through and as my game improves I should get off the bottom table and start making a decent go of it for myself.

The one advantage I've got naturally is that when I play at these competitions - I'm not expected to win. There's really no pressure on me at all in that respect.

;)

I think that's the key at our level, don't so much try to win, just make it as hard as you possibly can for your opponent to win :).

I got out of working early tonight so I'll be down at Rooty Hill, might talk to Peter about playing some rated games.

Aaron Guthrie
27-08-2007, 01:53 PM
I think that's the key at our level, don't so much try to win, just make it as hard as you possibly can for your opponent to win :).That is a pretty good principle at any level.

Basil
27-08-2007, 04:02 PM
Will there be a parallel topic on dealing with da hands?

Aaron Guthrie
27-08-2007, 04:15 PM
Will there be a parallel topic on dealing with da hands?Perhaps this is a chance for you to achieve the fabled non-replied to thread.

Ausknight
30-08-2007, 10:17 AM
That is a pretty good principle at any level.

I agree! That's what I'm doing anyway. I just have a tendancy to open okay, but make a blunder and after that it goes to pieces. I need to slow down, take the time and focus on my game and I'll eventually get better.

I don't know how many chess games are lost from not necessarily poor tactics, but a simple oversight but in my case, it feels like this is what happens a majority of the time.

2nd half of our current tournament is on tonight, maybe I can get a win in there somewhere ;)

DanielBell
30-08-2007, 04:11 PM
I agree! That's what I'm doing anyway. I just have a tendancy to open okay, but make a blunder and after that it goes to pieces. I need to slow down, take the time and focus on my game and I'll eventually get better.

I don't know how many chess games are lost from not necessarily poor tactics, but a simple oversight but in my case, it feels like this is what happens a majority of the time.

2nd half of our current tournament is on tonight, maybe I can get a win in there somewhere ;)

Good luck mate. Remember i'm coming out your way next week!! :)

I just received an email from Peter at Rooty Hill saying I can participate in the last 4 rounds of the Rooty Hill Open which will be good practice for the club championship :)

Spiny Norman
31-08-2007, 01:24 AM
We also have a player in our club who is struggling to get his first win. A couple of weeks ago he was playing another chap (rated 800-odd) and got into a position where he was able to forcibly checkmate ... but then got confused, made a mistake, dropped his queen and eventually the game. He must've felt gutted!

I had to play him this week. I sacced a piece for an overwhelming attack, won his queen for a rook (so I had QvR+N) but then found myself getting confused. A couple of times I very nearly gave him the queen back. Don't know what's wrong with me, must be this flu that I can't quite shake!

Anyway, I spent about 45 minutes after the game analysing it with him. The good thing is that he was starting to notice his checkmate/trapping opportunities, whereas about 4 months ago all he was really doing was pushing pieces around the board. He told me he's been playing lots against his computer. I suspect he may get a win in this tournament ... 2 rounds to play.

So chin up mateys, keep working at it ... the wins will come along, the confidence will grow, skills developed, etc.

Ausknight
31-08-2007, 09:34 AM
We also have a player in our club who is struggling to get his first win. A couple of weeks ago he was playing another chap (rated 800-odd) and got into a position where he was able to forcibly checkmate ... but then got confused, made a mistake, dropped his queen and eventually the game. He must've felt gutted!

I do this regularly and I stress regularly.

Last night got to play 2 games (1 bye round) and lost both. The last game I actually got down to the end game portion Kings/pawns & 1 bishop apiece and actually had my opponent in a pretty tight spot, but had a brain snap and lost the position due to inexperience. I resigned a turn or two later once my opponent had his pawns on the march to queening. I think if I'd offered a draw 3 turns earlier my opponent would have accepted too. Darn.

I am finding it really frustrating at the moment to be honest. I keep trying, but haven't had a win at the club now in the last 3 meetings. In fact, I've only won one game since joining the club - period - and that win was something of a fluke ;)

I'm hanging in there because I know once I can hold my own, being thrown in with the sharks early on will strengthen my game far quicker. Wins will come in their own good time with experience and knowledge - I know this. It's just a little demoralising at the moment to lose pretty much every game you play is all and it's a rough ride if you don't have a tough skin.

I'm late to the game of chess at 33 and used to playing other tactical games before now where I've been a natural and very competitive for years. Being schooled like a rank ametuer is something I haven't experienced personally since I was a kid and it can rattle your senses quit a bit (and the ego takes a decent battering too)!

Our club tends to play mostly tournaments and there doesn't seem to be many juniors there which makes it harder to play someone closer to your own level. That's probably one of the reasons why it's hard at the moment. I'm going to delve into some more reading and as always, practise, practise, practise!!!

I need to read more end game theory too!

I love my chess. Really I do! I'm in love with the entire concept of the game, it's history and art form. It's a never ending source of facination for me to read about it, listen to theory and study it's history. To me it's definitely the king of all games. I'm just dealing with my own impatience at the moment to get good at it quickly and kinda bummed I didn't stick with it when I was a promising junior in my primary school chess club.

I feel such a bunny at the club right now, but I'm determined to see out this rough patch and stake my own little claim as a decent player in my own right!

DanielBell
02-09-2007, 02:17 PM
Hey Daniel when we play on Thursday would you mind me recording the games on a score sheet (even though theyre just social games) so I can put them up on here & through the computer for analysis afterwards.. It would be for both of our benifets! Are you playing any tournament games on Thursday?

Ausknight
02-09-2007, 09:20 PM
Actually mate we are. Last day of our current 25min tournament. However, I'm more than happy to play in between and definitely I'd like to record our game. I need practise with annotation as well so we can both record our game.

I'm going to be doing more reading and practise this week.

Only thing I would ask and this is what I ask of anyone, don't go soft or pull punches. Some of the guys at the club allow me to take back what's a stupid move during our games and I actually don't like it. I actually learn better from mistakes than successes and if a poor move compromises my game then I want to learn from that experience.

Cya this week.

DanielBell
02-09-2007, 09:30 PM
Actually mate we are. Last day of our current 25min tournament. However, I'm more than happy to play in between and definitely I'd like to record our game. I need practise with annotation as well so we can both record our game.

I'm going to be doing more reading and practise this week.

Only thing I would ask and this is what I ask of anyone, don't go soft or pull punches. Some of the guys at the club allow me to take back what's a stupid move during our games and I actually don't like it. I actually learn better from mistakes than successes and if a poor move compromises my game then I want to learn from that experience.

Cya this week.

Sounds good to me!

DanielBell
05-09-2007, 09:44 PM
Where abouts in the RSL is the club located?

bergil
06-09-2007, 05:26 PM
Where abouts in the RSL is the club located?
Lennox or Macqaurie room. Just ask at the front desk

machomortensen
15-11-2011, 08:26 PM
I hope that Ausknight and DanielBell are still playing chess and have fun with the game.

guybrush
16-11-2011, 02:30 AM
I like absurd and unnecessary sentiment.