5 Reasons Your ELO Isn’t Improving

Everyone wants to become a successful chess player, win tournaments, obtain FIDE titles, and get national recognition. Nevertheless, most chess players don’t believe in themselves enough to make that dream a reality. Before you can achieve your chess goals, you need to pick the right strategy and understand why you haven’t achieved them yet. Here are the most common 5 reasons why your elo isn’t improving (just yet).

1. You keep doing what you’ve been doing

There is nothing wrong with consistency and stubbornness. The problem comes when a player is not willing to get rid of his regular routine even after failing over and over again. If something doesn’t work, it is better to make changes instead of blindly repeating it again and again. If you lose a tournament after a tournament and your only preparation consists of playing blitz on the internet while staring at Magnus Carlsen’s picture on the wall… the chances are something isn’t working out for you. And that something is most likely your training routine.

Ditch your old habits and try something new. Perhaps, you could try playing longer time control games, with a mandatory post game analysis session. Try that out for couple of weeks and see if that made any difference in your performance. If not, you should make more changes, by adding a tactics solving session along with the endgame prep. Only by trying new things you will be able to achieve new heights in your chess. Always remember that, be open to changes and you will see improvement in no time!

2. You are afraid of failure

Many chess players fear failure. They afraid of losing so much that it clouds their mind. It also prevents them from making rational decisions over the board. The fear of losing makes them actually lose those games.

There is nothing wrong with losing. In fact, after each lost games we learn something new and become better chess players. The trick is to use those loses to learn valuable lessons and to motivate yourself for moving forward towards the success. Failure and success are interrelated. Without failure, there is no success.

3. You’re not willing to make sacrifices

If you are serious about being successful chess player you need to set priorities and make choices. You cannot have everything at once: hang out with friends, keep staying late at the parties and play master level chess at the same time.

Sometimes you need to give up some of those things in order to focus on what’s really important for you. If that something is chess – great! But first, you need to allocate your time accordingly in order to spend the most productive time of the day on training, while getting enough sleep to recover. Don’t forget to repeat process the next day. I’m not saying that you should become an anti-social freak and swap your life for chess. No. But you should spend enough time on it; if that’s something you want to excel at.

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4. You think other can improve at chess, but not you

In order to be successful at anything you need to believe and convince yourself that you can do it! If you doubt yourself all the time, it will be next to impossible to accomplish any goals. Visualize yourself a successful chess player winning a game after a game, and a tournament after a tournament. Many chess players think this or that worked for another player, but won’t work for me because they are younger, smarter, or higher rated. It’s not the case. If you apply yourself fully, work hard and believe in your success, the outcome won’t disappoint you!

5. You have a bag full of excuses

Many chess players have a defense mechanism which is called a “bag of excuses”. It is much needed for those who don’t want to take any actions, but still want to convince others that failure; or rather lack of trying is the way to go.

They claim that the reason they aren’t chess masters yet is the lack of good coaches, strong tournaments or available resources to study the game. They also claim that they can’t study chess because they have to work, take care of school assignments, make money etc. There are millions of excuses to avoid chess. But those who truly want to be successful will always find time, resources and motivation!

If you want to improve your chess level, you need to have a clear study plan. If you aim for a dramatic improvement at chess you need to work on all of the elements of the game in a systematic way:

  • tactics
  • positional play
  • attacking skills
  • endgame technique
  • classical games analysis
  • psychological preparation
  • and much more

That seems to be like a lot of things, and that is. But no worries, we have made it easy for you. Our comprehensive training course covers it all and much more. Sign up for 21 Day Training right now!

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Updated 08.11.2023