Monday, June 06, 2005


Hemorraging Rating Points

My last month of chess has been dismal. My last 16 games, I'm +5 -8 =3 against an average rating of 1711. My rating has slipped from 1904 to an expected 1817. So what is going on? I think it's important to analyse why I'm getting hammered.
  1. Too much chess? I've played on 7 different occasions in the last 6 weeks, totalling the 16 games. Before that, it was about every other week.
  2. Short time controls. Of those 16 games, 4 were G/30, which I was +1 -3 against a 1694 average rating.
  3. Opening Shortfalls. Of the 16 games, I was on the black side of a Caro-Kann 9 times, +2 -5 =2 against a 1738 average rating. Worse yet, playing the classical variation I'm =2 -4 against 1848 average rated opposition. I got the feeling that I don't know what I'm doing in the Caro-Kann! Time to study it I guess.

When I start to slump, I find the reasons can be attributed to some or all of:

1. Lazy thought process (majority of cases)
2. Fatigue
3. Lack of familiarity with opening ideas or opp has prepared for my opening better than I
4. Poor time management
5. Losing the edge off my tactical ability

You'll come back, Christopher. Now is the time for some introspection and retooling.
16 games in 6 weeks can hardly be called too much chess.
A time control of G30 can hardly be a problem if your rating is 1904 or 1817.
In my experience has the opening a lot to do with if things go easy or difficult. Seldom is it decisive for the outcome.

So intensive analysis of your games should give you a clue.
I had a slump last tourney, and analysis revealed a lot of things I was doing wrong during the games.
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