@SummerSparkle Thanks for your posting! (fresh 1800 myself and afraid to play any games now)
@ellum Yeah man. You have to conquer that fear completely. You didn't play "scaredy chess" to get where you are now, so playing some paranoid, shell-version, of what you used to do to get to 1800 will SURELY see you never improve.
For me, after I reached 2000, every time I argued that I was proud of my accomplishment, I argued that this was "dangerous-think" and I counter-argued that since it's not my best potential, I shouldn't celebrate it.
Then when I started playing and literally NOT CARING about my rating, I got lucky the next day and won a bunch. 2020. Then I had a bad day where I should have been 2050, because on THREE occasions, I noticed outright blunders 2 seconds after I moved.
REAL "smackmyhead" type stuff. I concluded that I couldn't play well and kept playing anyway. I lost a few more...AND I DON'T CARE.
Bad sleep, bad luck, bad days, AS USUAL, are there to hold me back.
One thing that is NOT holding me back? That sucky, sinking feeling that I've done something wrong to lose my 2000 ELO rating.
I haven't lost 2000...I'm on my way to 2100!
I'm 1950, and I couldn't care less. I'll be back at 2050 after a few good days...not sure when I'll have them...but I will have them...and I will continue to grow.
After my experiences? I say *DAMN* that 6-18 month period of ***"dammit I'm losing my high score!!!!"*** until you finally accept that you'll never get any better, cancel that care and concern (in order to cancel the fear), and then finally play on the normal and comfortable level that got you where you are.
FEAR IS THE ENEMY OF IMAGINATION, CALCULATION, INGENUITY, CRITICAL ANALYSES, CREATION, FOCUS, CONCENTRATION, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT GOES INTO A CHESS MOVE.
"Mr. T pity the fool that act z!tty in the midst of the calm and the witty." - anon.
"I don't play chess often, but when I do, I play calm and witty." - Dos Equis Guy
Achieving the 1900/2000 level is quite an accomplishment. It ranks in the top 10-15 %. A level head should be maintained if we're talking online blitz ratings however. Blitz, even classical is more about "time" than actual chess skills. Learning to think quickly, accurate mouse skills, not to blunder short on time will often prevail.
I'm like Grischuck vs Carlson. Get better positions but at too much cost. Low on time I'm an expert at losing easy positions.
An OTB master, someone who has maintained a 2200 for an extended period is in the top 1%. Some make it comparatively quickly, but for most it requires real work and dedication along with an appreciation of the game.
Been playing 6 years rickrenagade? Clawed your way up to 1900. Very few can say as such. But like some have said, in the end it's idle boasting, caring too much about the points. If 6 years from now and you're under 2000, will you still be playing?
I reached my peak rating 35+ years ago. Enjoy the game a heck of a lot more now. My game is much better now, but sadly to old to keep up with the youngsters in fast games. But what the hey, it passes the time :-).
@SummerSparkle some very wise words there about the psychology of not being afraid to play on. I am petrified to be honest. I know I'm over stretched and I can't handle dropping down again right now. It's such a negative way to view chess.
Congrats on the 2000+! Keep pressing on and good luck.
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