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naamloos 80 ( +1 | -1 )
Dropbacks normal?
I started playing chess again two months ago. About one and a half month ago I felt that I was improving. I stopped dropping pieces, started seeing some deeper tactics and even began taking strategy into account. When I looked at the board the position looked clear, I could almost immediately see what needed to be calculated and see which were the more important features of the position.

But since a week I seem to be back to my former horrible status. I drop one piece after the other, every position looks vague and unclear. I now don't know what plan to follow or what to do at all if I look at the board. I lost 6 out of 7 games and many of those within 20 moves.

Are these kinds of dropbacks normal, because I am starting to get a little worreid.
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muppyman 80 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos Of course such dropbacks are normal, chess experience is not just in one direction. 4 of the six losses you had were to players rated higher than you are, and there will always be players who are more experienced than you are, so it's a good idea to learn that fact at an early stage. You say you have been playing for just two months? I have heard it said that chess can take five minute to learn how to play, but at least five years to learn how to play well, and play consistently. Don't start worrying about your results at this stage, just keep enjoying the most beautiful game that was ever invented and this time next year look back and see what a different rating you then have. Good fortune to you. :)
naamloos 101 ( +1 | -1 )
Muppyman Thank you very much for your kind reply, but I need to clarify the case maybe a bit more. I played chess one year ago and stopped, because I felt I was making no progress. So I was very happy when I noticed that I started to play better or at least started to see things more clearly. I know you can't expect to be continiously rising in your chess ability, but the blunders I am now suddenly (since about a weak) showing are horrific. Look for example at this game I played today:

board #3931470

I also started playing on FICS this weak and my games there are even worse. Today, I lost on FICS against a 1000 and a 800 rated player (standard play, not blitz).
I hope this is just temporarely, because I really like playing chess and have just joined a local club.

Thanks again for your post and good fortune to you too.
dysfl 55 ( +1 | -1 )
Do you check before <submit>? I’m around 1500 in GK, and most of my games are decided by blunder, either by me or the opponent. I think if I can only spend 20 more seconds every time before hit <submit> I would avoid most of the stupid blunders by myself.

I don’t know about your playing style, but if you’re spending too little time after making the move and hitting the submit, try to have 15-30 more seconds to review it before <submit>. Also, I found that playing league games helped me to find suitable opponents around my strength level.
honololou 57 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos… It sounds as if you are playing here at Gameknot in much the same way as if you were playing in
real time over the board. Perhaps even playing entire games in one sitting. Of course you are
free to do that, but this is a correspondence chess site. You should take advantage of the
opportunity you have to set up the pieces on a board (real or virtual) and study the position.
Move the pieces around. What you learn will help you in your over-the-board play as well.

The kind of blunder referred to in board #3931470 is really inexcusable in correspondence chess.
honololou 15 ( +1 | -1 )
by the way… Do not get discouraged. If you love the game and work at it. You are certain to improve. Perhaps
you will never be a Master, but you can enjoy the game nevertheless.

Good luck.
muppyman 31 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos the more I learn about chess, the more I realise how very little I do actually know. If the day should ever come when I know all there is to know about the royal game, then I will know that it is time for me to die because life for me will hold no further challenge. :)
daverundle 114 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos You have been given some very good advice from some very good players, like you i am new to the site & have just started playing again after a long break, i have been fortunate & have won my first 12 games, having said that i take a lot of time before i decide on a move once i have decided i go away & do something else come back to my games look again & if i still think the move is a good one i play it.

I also make use of the analyse the board facility on GK & the game data base + my own games. is also useful as they have an extensive collection of past games & an analyse the opening facility.

I think joining a club will probably help as well ( a luxury i do not have cos of my shift pattern), my advice would be hang in there follow the advice given by muppyman, honololulu etc. Just slow it down there is every chance you have at least 3 days to make your move so use them!! Unless of course your reply is forced or you can win a piece!! Good luck
gajolen 166 ( +1 | -1 )
Naamloos. You should do some tactics training.

Do puzlles, do tons of puzzles, do a lot of them, and when you have solved a lot of puzzles, solve some more, and after that do more puzzles :)

Ok i think my message has come across.

Seriusly if you do for example 15 minutes of puzzles every day, it wont be long until you stop hanging your pieces, and you will see simple 1-2 move tactics instantly.

For a start it is not the dificulty of the puzzle that matters just do 1 movers, and after a week or two you will notice , you will stop hanging your pieces. or only do it rarely, you will also see it imidiatly if your oponent has left something up, for your grab. Also after a while you will notice matting patterns much more easy, and you will see potential forks, skewers, pins, discovered attacks. This will help a lot, both when you play OTB, or fics, and also playing corespondence chess, by making you much more aware, of wich moves should be considered.

Go to this site, and spend at least 15 minutes here everyday.


If you dont want to register, you can just sign in as a guest.

Also if you can spare the money, try get a good puzzle book, with a litle more harder puzzles, not to hard, but something you can solve, if given enough time.

And finnally read what Daverundle sayd, i find his advise exelent. Remember there is a big diference between playing Corospondance, and OTB. Here you have all the time on the world to find a good move, so use it wicely.
daverundle 32 ( +1 | -1 )
ps It's called an opening explorer on (not opening analyser as i have said in my post) it provides all the various variations played for every opening / defence seen on a chess board, to get access to this facility there is however a nominal charge of around $22 per year but it is well worth it in my view.

naamloos 113 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you all for the reply's. My post maybe was a bit unnecesary and stupid. First off, I like to say that I had been doing chess puzzles (ct-art) to sharpen my tactics. Perhaps that was why I started to improve. So, if other beginners (or anybody else for that matters) would read this thread I can certainly advice them to do just that.

Daverundle, I do play on Gameknot like I play OTB. It even seems that I'm better OTB than here because I sometimes forget on Gameknot what reason or idea was behind my previous moves. One and a half week ago I started working on my opening and also stumbled upon the opening explorer on which indeed seems very usefull. Maybe my dropback was beacause I was spending too much time on my opening and I still have not gotten any further in making a repertoire so I probably stick to the Spanish then.

I think I will be doing ct-art on a daily basis again and continue playing through games from grandmasters ( I'm now reading and playing through 'My great predecessors, part l'). I think planning, postional play and opening repertoire can first wait.
daverundle 75 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos It is never stupid to ask others for ideas & the idea of these forums is so that you can ask for advice or help. I have already found it useful below is one of the first games i played on GK if you play through it you will find YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN DROPPING PIECES!!
1.c4 e5
2. Nc3 Bc5
3. Nf3 Qf6
4. Ne4 Qb6
5. Nxe5 Bxf2+
6. Nxf2 Qd4
7. Nf3 Qxc4
8. e4 d6
9. Bxc4 h6
10. Qb3 Nf6
11. e5 dxe5
12. Nxe5 Nc6
13. Bxf7+ Kd8
14. Ng6 Rf8
15. Nxf8 Nd4
16. Qc4 Nc6
17. Qc5 a5
18. Ne6+ Bxe6
19. Qf8+

We all make mistakes it is just that some are bigger than others! It is only a game & the sun will still rise somewhere tomorrow! Keep the faith and keep doing what you are doing analyse every game you play, analyse it again & then analyse it again with someone from the club! You will soon start to see an improvement!

Cheers Dave