Friday, April 11, 2008

And Yet Another Loss (Updated)

(UPDATE: Reading over the post below, a few hours later...what a whiner. Who wrote this anyway? Boo f-ing hoo, you lost another chess game and some of your precious rating points! Well you can mew about how tough it all is, you little baby, or you can get out there and compete. And after the game, win or lose, and if you lost, no matter how, don't act like it's a personal affront that the other player kicked your ass!

Apologies to Kevin Gafni and Robert Bennett for the way I slam-packed up my pieces and went home the last two weeks. The good players stick around, even after the most disappointing losses, and do a postmortem if the opponent is up for it. And now, on to my pathetic post which will be left up for all time to remind me not to act like my losing a freakin' game of chess is of World-Historical importance...)

I lost yet again last night in the Reno CC Ch. Swiss, to Robert Bennett, a guy who hangs around 1500 in the ratings but sure seems to be a pretty good tactician when I play him (see our previous encounter).

I outplayed him in the opening (or at least I thought so at the time) and won his queen pawn by move 10, but he tacked around with his queen to prevent me from castling so it was just a pure calculation game all the way through, and just before move 30 and the time control I blew it. And sheesh, the guy took like 38 minutes for the whole game to my 90!

So now I'm 0-2 in this event and have lost my last four tournament games. Eight months of painfully building up my rating from 1600 to 1667 is mostly up in smoke in a few weeks, which kind of pisses me off.

Yeah, there are lots of games left in the tournament, but hear me out.

It's funny, but last night I had an interesting game of chess, my opponent played better and deserved to win, but for the second week in a row I shook hands after the game, I was correct in my behavior I guess, but when my opponent and others tried to say something about the game I wasn't interested at all. I didn't give a damn to look at the game, find interesting variations or anything, I just slammed my pieces back in the bag while muttering about what an idiot I was, and went home.

At one time not so long ago it wasn't like this, not at all--I used to enjoy the playing and then looking over the game, win or lose.

It occurred to me as I was driving home--do I really like chess right now, or do I only like winning? Everybody loses in chess sometimes, so if I'm not enjoying the process, the game, and feel like every single solitary tournament loss is another wasted evening when I could have been doing something useful like making money, I'd better take a rest from it, I guess.

I think I'll do the smart thing, give it a couple of days and see if my attitude has undergone some positive adjustment by then.


Anonymous said...

Is there something outside of chess that could explain the change? Life circumstances can affect things quite a bit.

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert, just keep going...Not too long ago I had lost four games in a row and it seems everyone in the club is more consistent than I am these days. Sooner or later things will change and you will be the one who is consistent while others are having their problems.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Dude, that sucks. I know the feeling. Especially during the circles, when I'd hit a losing streak I'd be like, "Why the fuck am I spending 1-2 hours a day on these bloody circles? What's the use? Screw this." Especially when I would miss simple tactics I would beat myself up with why do I bother?

I know it is trite, but I learned a lot from those games. Someone once told me, if you kick a dog it either runs away whimpering or settles in for a fight. What type of dog do I want to be after I'm kicked in chess? It made me work like a madman on the weakness that made me make whatever mistake it was I made.

Of course, I was making simple tactical bunders while your mistakes are probably a lot more subtle. A nice aspect of being a beginner, it was totally obvious what I had to work on.

Stick with it, bro'. You kick ass at chess. Not only in the general population (hell, even I kick ass relative to that), but within USCF having a 1600+ rating is fucking impressive. I think you guys up there forget that, how much toil went into that.

Wahrheit said...

Thanks a lot to all of you, your comments and encouragement are appreciated.

I will be back next week with everything I've got.

ChargingKing said...

peto vestri own salus impigre

Polly said...

We all have those nights where we just don't want to talk about the game. Greta Barbo at the chess board. "I just vant to be left alone!"

My husband never knows quite to expect when I come home from the chess club earlier then normal. When I walk in the door from upstairs I'll hear "What did you lose that quickly?" (He must read my blog since he never asks "Did you win that quickly?") Once he knows it's safe he'll come downstairs.

Don't feel bad if there are nights you don't feel like doing the post mortem. Sometimes it's better to cool off and look at the game on our own when we can look at moves without saying "I am such a freaking moron. I suck at chess!"

tanc(happyhippo) said...

Wahrheit buddy,

Great to hear you've gotten over it. There are good days and there are bad days.

Take it in this light.

It's good that we get punished for our errors because it is these errors that highlights to us about a particular point about our chess skills that needs improvement.

I'd rather that we'd correct our mistakes earlier rather than finding it out about it later where our mistakes might lead to bad habits and which would then makes things harder to rectify.

if this means losing a couple of games, then it'll be worth it in the long run.

the idea is to think long term, not short term. the short term experience is no doubt painful but the long term goal will be worth it in the end.

i've always believe that in order to go forward, you need to go backwards first.


wang said...

Hey Robert don't worry about it too much. We all go through these losing streaks. If you don't want to do the post mortem, don't do it. Sometimes going over the game right away isn't best especially if you are still seeing red from the loss.

Consider taking a break as well, just step away for a few days and recharge your batteries. Watch some tv. The writers strike is over so there are some new episodes on. Read non chess books, yes they are still publishing these...

Step away for a little bit and see if that clears your head a bit.

ChargingKing said...

Robert it seems we have the same dilemma. We both forget our recent success as soon as loses start to happen. I can relate because my play has improved tremendously since I started playing but I still let loses effect me way to much.

For example I just won the Class C-Championship and crossed a new barrier (1600) but a few badly played games annoys me to no end.