How does one drop more than 100 points in ten days?

So here is the thing: ten days ago my Lichess blitz rating was 1520 points. It was a steady growth, as I was getting more experienced, analyzed my games and looked deeper into some opening lines.

And then I all the sudden start playing like a complete patzer. A just start loosing and blundering, game after game after game. At one point my rating dropped to ~1380.

Same thing with tactics training (puzzles). I started a steady growth, reached 2150, and then dropped to 1800, and now can hardly go pass 1900 limit.

I guess it's possible that I started to play more like a routine, often tired in the night hours, on mobile while waiting in que, etc. But when I look my games 10 days ago it looks like a different person was playing. And I must say, I practice chess on a daily basis over the board, with books and everything.

Does that ever happen to you, and if so how do you explain it?

Also, if the rating can oscillate that much in several days, what does that mean when someone says "my current rating is so-and-so", since it can be hunderd points up or down in the next week.

welcome to the club. it has happened to me a score of times, for the reasons you describe

I can relate in terms of my puzzle practice sessions. Im a beginner player and so when I can I try to do puzzles and games (Mostly puzzles on days where I have school). I was improving well in the puzzles, recently I hit 1300 classical which I was happy with, (hope to raise that of course) but recently my puzzle rating has hit the fan. I peaked around 1460 this week and a half and I was ecstatic. But as most routines you do them instinctively, you do them when stressed, when tired. I am now at 1299 and just not sure what happened to me, I will most certainly raise it up but it really shows how what goes on in your life can effect your chess mental.

Rating drops of 200-300 or even more points are totally normal and are due to mental or physical fatigue which you may or may not notice. Happens on every level. Ginger GM goes up or down 200 points in a day or two... Eric Hansen (Chessbrah) hit 3000 bullet and blitz and went back to 2700 and even below soon after, then back up etc.

If one cares about not dropping like that, then one has to not play when losing, and wait until mind refreshes and recovers, just like muscles in the gym. At least that is Nakamura’s advise, to stop when your playing becomes suspicious and you’re missing tactics etc. He even recommends to stop playing when you’re still winning! Just that you are winning on the clocks and not position anymore. He sees that as a sign of fatigue, and stops before rating points are lost.

Happened to me last week. It is very strange. I was a bit sick, got a nasty cold so I guess that Im not in my best mental shape.

@RubySeaTurtle , I have the same issue with tactics, I recently hit 1600, but fluctuate horribly between 1400 and 1600. Best thing to do is force yourself to slow down and analyze the position fully. Ive noticed (and maybe wrong) that around 1450, you start getting piece trap puzzles, so look at where your opponent could move their pieces and look for doomed pieces as well.

Btw, your Classical rating is around mine, Id love to play a Correspondence with you sometime. My fiance recently gave birth so I dont have free time for Classical games unfortunately.

You should fight more for draws then you wouldnt lose 10 games but 5,6 instead