I reached my pic playing rapid, now I play only when my friend surpass me
I have to profess, that I am guilty of this symptom. I am not sure it is so much of an ego thing, however. I think it is more pride in reaching a milestone and you want to savour it for the time and effort you have put in to reach it. It isn't for other people's perception of your rating, but rather it is a numerical manifestation of your own improvement, thus seeing the rating fall back down afterwards is somewhat demotivating as you can feel as though you were wrong in the assumption of getting to that level in the first place.
I'd say it is an ego thing. Maybe reevaluate why the game is played.
Isn't it all relative, this rating thing? Someone can reach 1500 after long hours of study and practice. Feel good about themselves....Great! But conversely, others are not satisfied with 1800, 2000, 2200. Where does it end? What rating will satisfy an ego? Comparisons of ratings , the perception of, is human nature, but what is controlling the motivation?
What is forgotten, is why log in and play in the 1st place? Is it for enjoyment or to increase a rating? To say afterwards ... ah ha ... I am better, smarter, more handsome or prettier?
Of course, these statements are directed towards 99% of us recreational players. For those 1% that have the talent to possibly make a career, in one form or another, as a chess professional, the story is different. But let's not kid our self. Chess is a hobby. Ratings are taken far too seriously. They are meant to help find players of equal ability. To find a suitable match.
Of course enjoyment of the game is paramount. I don't think the value of ratings as a marker for improvement should be neglected, however. An aimless endeavour is ultimately a fruitless one. Not everybody who plays the game does so for the purpose of improvement, but rather enjoyment, that is fine. But many people take up the game or play with the intention of simply improving as much as they possibly can, there is nothing wwrong with that either. Either perspective has a particular aim in mind.
I do agree that there can be far too much emphasis placed solely on the rating of players, rather than appreciating aspects of players styles, thought process, etc. But I, for one use it as an approximation of my playing strength in that given category, which helps to motivate me to try to improve further.
OK. But where does it end? Reach a preconceived goal of a certain rating and then quit playing? Everybody max's out, some a lot sooner than others. Say someone is 20 years old. They study, improve and reach 2000+ after 10 years , realize unless they spend a massive amount of time on more study, their rating will never reach the next level. Or they are an average player 1400-1600 OTB, never to be satisfied.
So they simply stop playing. Guess they can "feel good" about their high rating, but as the OP said, it's rather "sad" these players played 10 years just to give up the game.
It happens for the majority of players. They never enjoyed the journey.
To the OP's question: I'd say that most players in fact quit playing not long after reaching their highest rating. (After a few failed attempts to reach the next level.)
I think you are assuming these players don't enjoy this journey to reaching their targeted milestone. It might be that it is this journey which is the only satisfaction they get from playing Chess. I think it is their right to approach it that way.
When a hobbyist knitter crafts a cardigan and the cardigan eventually frays and falls apart you don't mourn the hours you have put into creating it, you either knit a new one or learn to sew and fix it that way. (Not sure about knitting and sewing tbh Are they interchangeable? lol)
I definitely agree that it is probably quite possible that many players quit having achieved a milestone that is FAR below their legitimate level of ability.
No, I dont care. Maybe I would if I hit 2500 or something; but probably not. I'll swing all over the place. I know what level I am. A good solid 800 like a boss.
I can't even play more than two games in a row due to concentration issues, so I usually take a short break after every game anyways. But I consider rating points as worthless (not meaningless, though), so I'm never afraid of losing them.