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Complete brain blackout!

Has anyone else experienced this?

You sit thinking of responses on every move from your opponent while it's opponent turn and find good responses on every move.

When opponent make his/her move you have forgot what you thought about to play against it and play a very stupid move instead of the good one you found out.

It often happens to me. Is there a remedy for this Blackout?

It depends on the time controls. I'm assuming you are not talking about bullet, or blitz, but rather classical.

Bullet is more or less, just the first move you think of.

Blitz is similar to bullet, you have a little bit of clock to stop and think at critical points in the game, but many moves are played in bullet fashion.

Classical, and correspondence is where it's at. Now you have time to actually play chess instead of race the clock.

Do the following before each move, barring book lines you are familiar with, and obvious moves where you only have 1 move, or there is only 1 reasonable move (such as taking a piece where there is no in between move)

Evaluate the position. Count all of the material. Count up all the development if it's still in the opening. Center control, open files. Look at what squares are guarded, and important. Look at pawn structure. Look at king safety (or mobility if it's later in the game). Look at possible pawn breaks you have. Look at possible pawn breaks your opponent has.

Ideally what you are going to do is get a solid feeling of the position. Then play the most efficient plan possible. Try to create 2 different weaknesses in your opponents position.

-Do not give checks just to give checks. An attack without follow through is not an attack.

-Do not just go pawn grubbing if it makes your king unsafe, or gives up vital squares.

-Trade one advantage for another.

-Figure out what your opponent wants to do, and then stop it.

-Don't just trade to trade. Look at the quality of your piece vs their piece.

-Look at the piece you have that is doing the least work. Give it something to do.

-Limit your opponents options

-Make your opponent make tough decisions, and hope they choose wrong. (Retreat left, retreat right, or take, for instance)

-If all else fails kick your opponent under the table if it's over the board

I think you misunderstood. What I mean is when I wait for the opponent to move I prepare responses on moves that I can expect him to play.

When he plays his move I have forgotten what I prepared and play a stupid move instead, although I had prepared a better move whle he was thinking.

And yes, that happens to me in blitz mostly and not longer TCs.

What I'll often do is play a move that creates a strong threat, and then think about possible responses on my opponent's time, and how I'll react. But if my opponent simply ignores or misses the threat, I'll be so thrown off by the fact that I didn't consider that move - and forget that I can actually carry out the threat.

I don't know about a remedy but I do this all the time, lol. The worst is when my opponent makes a move with his/her/its queen that I don't calculate and I end up losing my queen to his queen... so frustrating. I know its blitz, I need to think fast, but I've had plenty of opponents that slide those moves in thinking they can pull a fast one on me, and it works a little too often. :P

#4 Sigrud, what you talk about seems very similar to what I meant. You have a winning attack against a certain move but when opponent plays it you have forgotten it.

That's about what I experience. I feel like somewhat of a brain blackout. Anyone that knows about a remedy?

@blackzombie #6

"...a remedy?" No i don't. But i know a nice motto:

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." (Dante Alighieri)

I think the solution here is discipline. Speaking for myself only, I notice that I sometimes get impatient, and move pieces FIRST, and then think SECOND. Which is just... well, really bizarre and quite frustrating. So lately my challenge has been to consume more time, and play well - even if I lose on time.

I have a favourite blackout which appears to be blocking defending pieces. So I move a piece, which is a great move, it develops a piece and protects/attacks another piece and all is awesome - except that it blocks a previous sole defender of some other minor piece, which drops. I even see it, I look at it and think, "OK, definitely remember not to block that piece." and then I immediately block it.

Most. Frustrating. Thing. Ever.

Anyway, I feel the only solution is being more disciplined, careful and board-aware. Occasionally there are pieces out of the immediate vicinity of action, which are vital that we often forget about. So essentially compiling a mental checklist:

1) What is my goal?
2) What are my options to achieve it?
3) What options are the most accurate/powerful?

There is a sort of sub-list for (3) where things that qualify as accurate/powerful are moves that develop, defend, attack, attack-with-tempo, pin, skewer, check, increase piece harmony.

I guess it is that last one, piece harmony. Blocking pieces is not harmonic. Its tragic, and sad, and makes my inner-child depressed. :<

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