Saturday, February 14, 2009

Consistency. I wish I knew the secret to it. Is it a good night's sleep? Is it diet? I am a vegetarian, and so my results should be consistently good. There hasn't been a dead animal in my body for a long time. Should I not play when I don't have the killer instinct? Is it a matter of concentration? Good Lord, there are just too many variables in the equation.

Take a look at my ratings chart on Chessbase's It shows my performance over roughly four hundred games. If this was a ride in a theme park, I'd be bragging about this roller coaster. The part not shown, games 1-290, is equally zigzaggy. It would, however, include a similar soaring climb to my best rating just like the one shown here. Pretty volatile, don't you think? I don't know if and when I will surpass my all-time high of 1670. Mind you, 1670 here is not 1670 USCF. It's a good rating at Playchess.

I think what I need to do is to take every game seriously. By that, I mean to invest in a few seconds of reflection before every game, for serious and casual games, a period of mind-clearing, to begin a state of good concentration. And when I suffer successive losses, I need to lay off chess for a few hours if not days. I need to recognize when I am in a funk. No, it is not going to get better in the next few games. It's only going to get worse. If I knew when to quit, I wouldn't have such dreadful dives as the chart clearly shows.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the rating formula at is a lot more volatile compared to that of the USCF, so what you are observing might just be statistical noise. A more important question: ratings aside, are you getting any better as a player?

3:55 PM  

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