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  1. Joined
    08 Apr '12
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    68553
    13 Dec '18 04:41
    The second part of my weekend's action. Some thoughts on how opponent rating affects mindset.

    Blog Post 406
  2. Subscribermchill
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    13 Dec '18 12:40
    @hikarushindo said
    The second part of my weekend's action. Some thoughts on how opponent rating affects mindset.

    Blog Post 406
    An interesting quote you have here:

    Why is it so difficult for me, and for many of us, to play lower-rated opponents? I, at least, often feel that I play down to the level of my opponent despite my attempts to use my usual game, and I think it has to do with the idea that there’s somehow a safety net, if that makes sense. I think it’s the knowledge that even normally catastrophic, stupid mistakes have the possibility to be compensated for, and handed back in turn. I’m nervous, sure, but that’s because it’s a chess game; I don’t feel the same sense of danger. And that’s how, playing down, I win a blunder-ridden game, and, playing up, I lose a better position through a sophisticated trick. My theory, anyway.



    JMHO - I used to run into this myself in both OTB and CC Chess, and while this never completely goes away, here are 2 things that help. 1. Realize some of these lower rated players are simply stronger than their ratings would suggest, so despite rating, you're really not playing weaker players at all. 2. Think long term. If you set up and follow a well thought out program of study and tournament play, you WILL improve, and though you may suffer defeats against lower rated players from time to time, you will become a stronger player, and your rating and won-loss record will reflect this. Fortune favors the persistent!
  3. Joined
    08 Apr '12
    Moves
    68553
    13 Dec '18 16:38
    @mchill Yes that's definitely true. Not every time, for sure, but I thought it might be useful to examine why it might happen: to identify the problem, for which a solution can be found. I already do think of weaker players as being threatening, and I think to some degree it's subconscious (thus my overanalysis in the blog post, as to what the underlying causes might be.) The long-term thought is also good to keep in mind, though; it's easy to lose sight of the long-term, especially when our culture often prioritizes the short-term reward. But those aren't always the results that matter– in fact, most of the time, they aren't. It's a good thought, thanks for reminding me of it.