Why Am I So Bad At Chess? Here Are 4 Possible Reasons

Bad at chess

Chessforsharks Editorial Team

Is it taking you forever to really get a grip of chess? After several months or years of playing, you still SUCK. You’ve either improved by a tiny margin in years, have stayed stagnant, or have even gotten worse. Yet, you keep asking, “why am I so bad at chess?” and it’s time to answer your question. 

Possible Reasons Why You Are Bad At Chess

1. Lack of proper training 

So you successfully learned how to move the pieces, and you’ve been playing non-stop since then. You’re likely to be bad at chess if that’s the case. No one becomes a decent chess player without some proper training. 

Bad at chess
No one to train with

Like any skill, chess requires time and effort to master. It is important to set aside time regularly to train, whether it be against a computer, a friend, or by solving puzzles and studying tactics. Chess is learned faster when you train rather than when you play.

2. Bad conditions and Negative mindset

Chess is a game that requires maximum concentration. Several factors can cause distractions to a player tussling on the board. Pungent smells, a noisy environment, and an environment with unusual temperatures are factors that can affect one’s playing. 

Other overlooked conditions like an overburdened mind, a tired body, and a hungry stomach can contribute to the reasons why you could ask yourself, “why am I so bad at chess?”

Another factor that can impact your chess performance is your mindset. If you are feeling anxious or stressed while playing, it can be difficult to concentrate and make good decisions. It is important to try to relax and stay focused, and to remember that chess is just a game. It is also helpful to set realistic goals for yourself and to celebrate your victories, no matter how small.

3. Playing Opponents Who are Too Strong or Too Weak

You might also be struggling with chess because you are not playing opponents who are at your level. If you are consistently facing opponents who are much stronger than you, it can be difficult to make progress and feel confident in your skills. On the other hand, if you are always playing against opponents who are much weaker than you, you may not be challenged enough to truly improve. It is important to find a balance and try to play against opponents who are at or slightly above your current skill level.

4. Low IQ

IQ is a measure of one’s cognitive capabilities, which includes the ability to think and calculate. For example, chess, which relies largely on thinking, depends on IQ. 

Don’t worry; there’s little you can do to define your IQ, but there might be some ways to train your IQ, chess being one of them. However, having a low IQ could hinder one’s ability to calculate combinations, develop strategies, and implement tactics.

Possible Solutions To Help You Improve At Chess

1. Train effectively

A study has proved that people learn more when they study chess than when they play all the time. Suppose you’re a chess lover who is steadily fascinated by chess. In that case, you’d certainly prefer to win on most occasions, if not all.

You must improve to an extremely high percentile to be a serial winner. To improve greatly, you must train and study chess more than you play. 

The following resources can help train you in chess:

  1. Chess books
  2. Chess engines
  3. Chess apps and software
  4. Chess videos
  5. Chess puzzles and problems
  6. Analyzing your past games
  7. Chess tutors

a. Chess books

There are several chess books you can use to improve your playing ability. Some of the best are recommended below;

And several others. 

b. Chess engines

Chess engines show you the best moves you should make in certain positions. If you’re not at an extremely high level in chess, you might struggle to understand why the chess engine recommended such moves.

Stockfish logo

This is why chess engines are most effective with a chess app/software or a strong chess coach. Examples of some chess software include:

  • Stockfish (the strongest chess engine today)
  • Komodo
  • Fat Fritz 2

And several others.

c. Chess apps and software

As mentioned before, chess apps and software help one understand WHY chess engines suggest certain moves. Chess software and chess engines can be helpful tools for analyzing your games and finding ways to improve. Many programs offer features such as move analysis, training puzzles, and databases of grandmaster games. These tools can be especially useful for identifying weaknesses in your play and for finding ways to improve. Some of the best chess apps to consider are:

  • Chess.com
  • Aimchess.com
  • Chess24.com
  • Lichess.org

And several others.

d. Chess videos

This is one of the common ways to enjoy chess training. We have some cool chess content creators that have sparked an improvement in many chess players. Some are:

  • Agadmator
  • GothamChess
  • Eric Rosen

And several others.

There are also chess video courses on sites like iChess.net and chess24.com.

e. Chess puzzles and problems

When you solve chess puzzles, you could see similar concepts in your future games, and of course, that could almost certainly help you win the game. 

f. Analyzing your past games

When you lose a game, it is important to take the time to analyze what went wrong and what you could have done differently. This can help you identify weaknesses in your play and develop a plan for improvement.

g. Chess tutors 

You can get tutored in chess either virtually or physically. Sites like chess.com and lichess.org offer coaching services. If you prefer, you could physically seek a personal chess tutor or join a chess club. 

A good coach will make you stop asking yourself, “why am I so bad at chess?”.

2. Play in a favorable condition 

You can’t play chess in a noisy environment and expect your concentration to be unhinged. So make sure the playing arena is not noisy, too hot, or too cold. 

With maximum concentration and comfort, you’re bound to see the board better and make better moves. 

3. Train your IQ

Exercise your brain
Exercise your brain. Image: YouniversityTV

There isn’t much you can do to improve your IQ as its determinant is largely genetic, but study has shown that there are ways to boost your IQ. Chess itself is a way, but you resort to other means when chess isn’t doing the job. 

The following ways help to improve one’s IQ.

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Playing instruments
  • Reading
  • Eating rich food

4. Study Chess Openings, Endgames, and Tactics

In addition to playing games, it is also helpful to study chess openings, endgames, and tactics. This can help you to develop a deeper understanding of chess strategy and to improve your decision-making skills. There are many books, online resources, and videos available that can help you learn more about these topics.

5. Be Patient and Persevere

Improving at chess takes time and effort, and it is important to be patient and to focus on steady, incremental improvement. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results – it takes time to develop your skills and to become a better chess player.

Concluding thoughts

Chess is a challenging and rewarding game that takes time and effort to master. If you are struggling with chess and are looking to improve, there are several steps you can take to try and boost your skills. Practice regularly, analyze your games, seek out stronger opponents, develop a positive mindset, study chess openings, endgames, and tactics, and consider using chess software or a chess engine. With persistence, patience, and a willingness to learn and improve, you can become a better chess player and find enjoyment in the game.

If this article has helped answer your “why am I so bad at chess?” question, let us know in the comment section. 

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