Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chess hangover

Have you ever been an idiot? I have. Last night after my first loss (posted below), I got all raged up and played again. And again. And then I started playing blitz to work on my openings. At 5:45 this morning my wife comes downstairs to go running, and I'm lying there like a heroin addict still playing. She asks matter of factly, "Hi hon, playing a game?" I was like, "Uhhh what the hell am I doing? I'm such an idiot!" She was like "Oh, don't say that" and went of running while I crawled into bed like a little slug.

The aftermath? My rating went from 1470's to less than 1420 in slow games. Zero slow wins out of four. It was one of those nights when I was just tired, not playing well, but stubbornly wouldn't stop playing. Plus, the last two losses were against lower rated players I played to "boost my confidence." Yeah, that was a good idea.

Ugh...remind me not to do that again.


Blogger wang said...

Yeah, I've done that many, many, many times. You get so pissed and you think it was just one stupid mistake and you will "show" you in the next game. When you blow that one you think to yourself that you just need one more game to redeem yourself.

Andy Reid the coach of the Eagles has a good saying. "When you win you're not as good as the papers say you are, when you lose you're not as bad as the papers say you are." Same with chess, don't get so down after a loss, and don't get too high after a win.

11/15/2007 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As wang said, you're not alone. I do this very often, too, and also especially when I suffer a string of losses.

Just last night I did it. Played against a couple of players who were around my rating (~1450 blitz), and I couldn't win. So I deliberately "answered the call" of a 1200, to stoke my ego. I lost.

11/15/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I've been an Idiot more than once, but not because of blitz games throughout the night. If it helps: Awareness (doesn't equal excitement/agitatedness) is necessary for (good) chess, when playing all night long there's probably not much awareness left. That could be a point to realize and stop it. But that's easily said- I know that phenomenon even though in different contexts. So, I know such thoughts don't help. Still, here's another one: A string of losses doesn't mean that much, one doesn't lose knowledge of chess in one evening. So no need "to get anything back" by playing yet another game. Same goes for a string of wins. Of course confidence is another story and not entirely logical in its ups and downs.

kind regards,

11/15/2007 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza said...

"Ugh...remind me not to do that again."

Don't do that again.

Been there and done that. Recognizing the problem is half the battle.

Svensp is right about awareness. If you find yourself just pushing pieces, for god's sake turn the computer off and go to bed, OR switch to something different, like studying the Smith-Morra ;)

11/15/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 5:45?

11/15/2007 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate when that happens! Fortunately it's often quite easy to regain what's been lost.

11/16/2007 03:46:00 AM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

No, never had that:)

11/16/2007 04:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah but think of the pleasure you gave to your lower-rated opponents by the gift.

11/16/2007 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

LOL. Yes I'm sure I made some people very happy.

11/16/2007 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger rockyrook said...

I've done that before too. Sometimes I still do it ... just for the hell of it.

I've learned to know when to stop. I've also painfully learned that when I've not had enough sleep and excercise, I suffer dearly.

But on those days when I've had enough sleep and exercise and still my game still sucks, that's when I get really upset!

11/16/2007 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger BlunderProne said...

At least your wife isn't samcking you up side the head and saying "Ha! take out the trash."

or this one " why can't you just surf porn? You'd be done by now."

11/16/2007 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...


11/16/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but it results in a nice post and you'll see that you are not alone.

In general to "boost your confidence" it is better to play against higher rated players and win ;)
There is so much more to win against higher rated players and if it results in a loss it doesn't matter because it seems the most logical result.

11/16/2007 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sonofpearl's blog has a very appropos post relative to your post.

11/16/2007 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

This is the main benefit of playing slow chess 20+6. It takes longer to fall into the hopper on a binge than playing blitz 8)

11/16/2007 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

This is the main benefit of playing slow chess 20+6. It takes longer to fall into the hopper on a binge than playing blitz 8)

11/16/2007 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Polly said...

Blitz is chess crack. It's so easy to say "just one more" when you're on a bad run. Be thankful it's only blitz chess, and not blackjack, poker, etc. I don't know about you, but I'm OC. It's a good thing taht gambling has no appeal to me.

Welcome to the world of chess frustration. The one good thing about playing at the club is I can't stay there until 4:30 am playing blitz. All I can do is go home, stew in my juices, let Fritz pick it apart, blog another "How I imploded" story, and go to bed.

11/16/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

It truly was chess crack. Ugh.

11/16/2007 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

But I slept 11 hours last night to make up for it. :)

11/16/2007 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Loomis said...

This blog was becoming derivative with all the "I won again with a tactical brilliancy" posts. It's nice to see we're back to chess confessions. :-)

11/16/2007 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger R. Tull said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/17/2007 02:23:00 AM  
Blogger R. Tull said...

Thank you for bringing this up. I actually get on a “losing streak” and become so angry with myself that I quit playing altogether for a year or more. I know I’m a bit neurotic but has anyone else had a similar experience? I am fascinated by chess but sometimes I feel that the exhilaration of winning doesn’t compensate for the humiliation of losing. I don’t seem to be able to enjoy the game as much as I should because of this emotional “roller coaster.”

11/17/2007 02:28:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Loomis: I think my post-circles honeymoon is over.

r tull: it is hard to keep a healthy outlook on the game is a mixture of dangerous ingredients: ego, often solitary training, hypercompetitiveness. This can lead to insanity!

11/17/2007 03:01:00 AM  
Blogger Grandpatzer said...

Been there, done that.

I've dropped 300 ratings points doing this sort of thing.

11/17/2007 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

300? Ouch, now that must have really hurt!

11/17/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Chessaholic said...


I know the feeling - I have done the same thing many times. It's so friggin hard to stop once you get going :)

I just started blogging about my own quest for chess improvement, hope to see all of you in my neck of the "blogoshpere" sometime!


11/17/2007 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Polly said...

Eventually you may get like me, and just say the hell with caring about rating points! Though I must care about something to go off on that rage last weekend. LOL

I guess we have to look at our games objectively, and ask ourselves are we getting better even if the rating doesn't say so?

11/17/2007 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly why I don't like playing lower rated players. They can't teach you as much about the game, if you win you "should" have won, and if you lose or draw it feels worse. It's a lose-lose-lose proposition.

@wang: Andy Reid is generally not considered to be the #1 source at the fount of wisdom at this time.

11/19/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger transformation said...

exactly. or as, ookwelbekendalsemc aptly if not perfectly said: 'only 5:45?'

ive gone to 7, 8, or 8:30 am many times, but do admit, usually getting more than half my points back, to some 'absract integer threshold'. i also start work at two pm, so cannot trump myself up too much here--its not like work at nine or eight am as many do...

i say to customers: 'I was up very late, but i was NOT drinking'. try explaining that one.

11/20/2007 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger drunknknite said...

Soooooo many nights like this...

Worse is when I get home drunk and don't feel like going to sleep yet...

takchess: I will say that I have gotten into my share of trouble in some G/30 online or G/25 late at night, I like standard best so I rarely pass up a seek that's in longer time controls if it's a strong player. I hate when I get an increment by accident. Like it's 3 AM and you click a 15 60 thinking it's a quicker game... and then of course there has to be a rematch, you lost to some cheap tactic after 2 hours, unless of course he leaves, but then you just want to beat someone, anyone... That's a long night...

That little green button with the 5 on it gets me every time. I have wasted hours playing pure 5-minute on ICC (for those who don't know, you click the button and it puts you in a pool of players that have clicked the button, you are in a game with a player of comparable strength usually within 5 seconds, sometimes instantly).

11/20/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I stay away from those green buttons.

Drunk chess is always dangerous, and fun.

11/22/2007 10:19:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home