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premium_steve 65 ( +1 | -1 )
Slumps i seem to be playing... umm... not so well lately. i don't know why, but i'm making a lot more mistakes than usual - both big and small. my positions are worse in a lot of my games, but i don't seem to playing differently than normal.

do you guys try new things if you fall into slumps? maybe you are tempted to play a more aggressive or more positional game than usual?
also, do you find slumps discouraging? maybe you stop playing for a while or something like that...
this is a new thing for me, since i'm usually a top-notch chess genius! just kidding of course ;)... i stink worse than a pooped-on, dead skunk in an abandoned cheese factory.
darth 64 ( +1 | -1 )
I slump I know what you mean, from 16 June to the 23rd of June I lost 12 out of 14 games!!!!
Some I became so disalusioned by I resigned.
It really broke my stride, even now I am all over the place with my games. I can't seem to get back to a pattern of play.
I've tried new things but I end up being destroyed or just moving the pieces about without any sort of reason, just looking for a chance.
I do find slumps discouraging, I was 1342 now I've fighting to stay in the 1280's but more than once I have slipped back to 1270's.

Can't say as I know what it is, mood, tired, lost interest, I have now idea. I just hope it passes.
furryfunbundle 69 ( +1 | -1 )
slumps are good ... they wake you up and things can only get better.

My advice, play over the games you have lost and look at the key moves that you think "turned" the game.

Were you tired?

Did you move more quickly than normal?

Are you playing a sharp line and have lost touch with latest theory.

Whatever, look at the games objectively and see what you can learn. Look at "other" candidate moves you night have played in hindsight to hld/impove the position and then look at why you didn't consider them previously.

After that (I find) a bottle of paracetemol swilled down with a bottle of whisky and a couple of curry's works a treat :-)
darth 30 ( +1 | -1 )
furryfunbundle I think you are right, when I have checked back most, if not all, of these factors did play some part in losses.

I often look at past games and think " if only I had done that " .

I am with you, except for the paracetemol, but only one curry, I don't want to live in the toilet for a few days :)
myway316 41 ( +1 | -1 )
I know what you are going thru, Steve. I just went thru a phase where I was losing games to almost everybody,in every way imaginable. I think there are 2 ways to deal with a slump:either take a break for a spell(how long is up to you),or try to play your way out of the bad patch,as I just did. But I'm planning to take a lengthy break for most of the remainder of the year,as I'm thinking about re-entering the OTB tournament snake-pit next year.
drgandalf 83 ( +1 | -1 )
My remedy is to Play fewer games; analyse past games; use a chessboard, set up the ieces from a GK game, and really calculate well, perhaps over a few days. These will help you enjoy chess more, and that enjoyment will probably spill over to better chess.

You should be studying one appropriate chess book bimonthly. That will help you focus on better play.

Many times a player will shoot up in rating points, too far to be sustainable. A natural pull back to half the gain is normal and healthy long term.

Most importantly, view chess as mistress. You must charm her and seduce her. Stay persistent in your wooing. She will respond favorably, if you play with her. No mistress replies to someone who gets discouraged. Best.

Dr. Gandalf
buddy2 56 ( +1 | -1 )
Forcing the issue Sometimes on GK the games go so slow compared to OTB that I try to force the issue, break open the position too soon, when patience is required. Other times I'm simply outplayed like my last one with Psychoknight. That game I played over closely with Fritz to find out exactly where I went wrong, just as Furryfunbundle advised. Unlike Drgandalf, I think chess is a w**** (pardon my language) not a mistress. Many people think they own her only to find her plying her trade with a guy with a higher rating!
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sumsar 149 ( +1 | -1 )
Loosing... I am not a good player or know many psycological ways to overcome a loosing period, but this is how I overcome mine. It might help you.

First I thought long and hard about what might have caused the losses. I found that I had become to casual with my play. I did not concentrate as much as I ought to and moved too fast. At the same time I was in a period were I experimented with new openings.

The solution I found to the problem was the same as many have written here:

Slow down your play (force yourself to move teen times as slow as you normally do and cut down the number of moves you make each day),

set the pieces up on a real board and move them round to test the ideas you have before playing them,

return to the things you know and reread the theory on that (use YOUR favorit oppenings),

take on stronger opponents if that makes you work harder (this is my experience - I can beat a +200 player and loose to a -200 player as I do not concentrate the same!)

and finally remember this is corespondance chess and if you have a week (or more) of bad chess (meaning you makes too many mistakes) it might take a month before you finish the last of the bad games. At the same time it might take weeks before you see the results of your improved work.

I hope you and others can use my experiences,

Sumsar

PS: As allways it is easier to move down than up - due to gravity!
clemens 50 ( +1 | -1 )
I too am currently in such a phase, and I must say it discourages me to no end. I mean, look at my games, I am losing several to players two hundred points below me.

I guess I shouldn't be so stressed out by it, but what can I do? When I put so much time into something as I do whith chess, I find it all the more frustrating to find that I seem to become worse all the time instead of better.

I'm really thinking of stopping, at least for a while, but it's so difficult to do in correspondence chess -- after all, what will happen to my other games?
buddy2 14 ( +1 | -1 )
stopping chess Re: Clemens. I stopped playing chess fifteen years ago. When I returned I found I was two hundred points better (OTB). It must be a Zen thing.
bluebabygirl 58 ( +1 | -1 )
MY THOUGHTS Slumps are a natural part of chess, just as ageing is a natural part of life. they can signal many things such as brain strain due to too much play etc. ,, lack of concentration,, lack of discipline ,,etc.. best to not get upset by them , just slow,, down concentrate finish those bad games . take a break or look on the bright side of it all . you could be drawing too many games and to me thats worst than losing too many. unless of course i force a draw in a lost position then thats better than a win!! yours bluebabygirl
tulkos 24 ( +1 | -1 )
I would say a slump makes you fall back, but if you stick to it you'll regain that lost ground and more--- if your in a slump, slow down, (people seem to be saying that a lot) and try playing a computer for a while. take a break from chess for a while first though.