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  3. Dealing With Adrenaline - Help needed relaxing during online play

tell yourself, nobody cares if i blunder every piece. i'm literally the worst chess player in the world, but it's such a great game. omg, i am sooo dumb. then laugh. realize you will never beat Stockfish 10 or whatever that great engine, focus on just learning one thing per game. win or lose. before each move, smile. deep breath. play casual games, definitely. 10 minutes. study one opening, get the first 5 moves down....confidence builds. when i started, 10 minutes was way too short because my mind was racing. now i could play 5 minutes. if you love the game, after a few years you will be giving advice to people like yourself. keep playing

Wow I totally understand, since I feel the same most of the times. And being confident in a position cause I studied or saw it makes no such difference to me. It's just a matter of how you really are. For example I've been aware of a nice mating sequence against the Fried Liver if white make a certain mistake. I've faced it a couple of times and even if it was totally known to me, I still had those feelings you describe. Same exact feelings.
So maybe finding techniques to relax (breathing and stuff) could be of some help, and surely play more games helps.

Best of luck! :)

Thanks all, very good advice. I have been doing the 15 min games, that has helped some. I just did a tournament and counter intuitively it helped because after the first 2 games I didn't really care any more. Will keep persisting and hopefully get over it. Tricky brains!

once you play someone 300+ rating points above you, shaking from similar rated opponents becomes less frequent.

my hands never shaked though my body was nervy and i felt cold during some games


At first I was like that, very anxious during the game. Now after three years I'm less worried about winning or losing, so am not so anxious during the game.

Unfortunately my rating has gone down appreciably. I think it's because I'm less worried about winning or losing!


I'm glad the OP brought this up because it's rarely discussed in chess.

I think the adrenaline is caused as the body goes into a 'fight or flight' mode when your brain feels in danger. Especially if playing higher rated opponents and the fear increases. It does get easier, but as someone who has played 100,000 games, it also doesn't disappear completely.

Remind yourself in your head during the game, it's just a game! Try to enjoy it and convert the nervous energy into excitement and deluded confidence. (Easier said than done though)!

Experiment with things that calm your nerves; going for a small run beforehand, yoga or whatever your thing is. If you're old enough, a bit of alcohol or beta blockers to calm the heart. But not too much lol - that won't help your chess. haha

Let us know after you've played lots of games, it will be interesting to hear what works for you...

stop worrying about losing, losing is part of the game, no one is asking you to be Magnus Carlsen, so you'll lose, a lot. Be comfortable with it really. Is part of life. Accept it. Instead study why you lose, and change it. It takes time, but it's worth it.

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