The secret to lasting love for chess

Thank you for this great article! To be "emotionally bancrupt" is a very good picture - not only for good or even professional players, but als for me as a casual player.

Because I was experiencing the same effect. In the beginning I was just playing for fun (and still at a quite low rating...), but soon got angry when blundering or loosing in winning positions. Then I played on for hours to regain rating points until I was mentally and even physically totally exhausted.

Then I did one thing: I set the settings to "do not show my rating".

Now I do not care if I loose too many games. I do not care if my rating is going down. I can enjoy nearly every game I win, and I often stop playing further games enjoying this good emotion - just as you tell in your article. :)

So relatable in any competitive enviroment... I had a similiar story of a massive burn out in my musical career. 100% succes had always been the "normal", the "expected" outcome, until I just couldn't do anymore what I love the most. I had zero mental health awareness, it took me years to understand what I had been doing wrong all my life.

There is one thing in the article however, that I don't entirely agree with. Namely, I don't think you should base positive feedback solely on the sporting results, because you have only partial influence over the tournament standings, but also on the genuine, measurable effort you put in. For example, little things like "today I've learned a new opening variation" could be something to give yourself some credit for on a daily basis.

My answer to losing is different. By definition, I will lose 50% of games at my level. If I always want to win I should only play below my level. Moreover, the world champion in chess is not the world champion in tennis, etc.

I'm not really happy with this ...

1. for anyone not doing something professionally interests may change. I don't have to work on my love for a hobby or pastime. As long as it is fun (and chess is definitely fun for me right now) I will do it, when it stops being fun then I will do something else.

2. for a professional these moments come and not only once in a career. Either we continue because it pays the bills or because of some sense of duty or perhaps we really search for some new happy thoughts that help but it is my profession and I do it as well as I can. Of course there is the alternative to change what I do for a living, nothing wrong with that.

But in all that I don't see something extraordinary in chess. It is great but so is carpentry for the right person. Nothing wrong with either.

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