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MR N 1 week ago

(Edit) What to do when my confidence is really low?


I have been having this problem for about a month. I am not able to concentrate properly and work on chess as I used to. I feel like I don't want to work on chess anymore. I have a fide rating of 2200+ and am pretty young [ <16]. I have the time to work on chess but simply cannot concentrate properly. I am really low on confidence and not sure how to overcome this problem. Any help would be really appreciated. 

P.S: I was a former- PRO Member and loved your work. Thank you for all the work that you have done!

Mik B

Mik B 1 week ago



Coach wrote a blog on bad results, I have applied the same approach when my confidence/ study dedication is low.


Hope this helps

Edo Tokyo

Edo Tokyo 1 week ago

I would just take a break. If as you said, you don't enjoy it anymore, just stop. When you don't enjoy it, there is no way that you will continue... Recharge your energy, find your Why and we will be here waiting for you... Try to stay at least 1 month away from chess, see what you feel... You are young and you can always come back.
David Flynn

David Flynn 1 week ago

Yes, sounds like burnout to me. Too much of something can do this, particularly if you were going really hard.

If under 16, spend time on school work, friends, getting exercise and having fun. Try to cultivate a second hobby for when you're fed up with chess. A musical instrument or a sport perhaps.

MR N 1 week ago

Thank you for your replies!

It's not really like, I don't like Chess. I love playing it online (given that I don't lose repeatedly!;) but just don't feel like analysing my games, working on my openings etc.  I have been taking sort-of a break for the past month and do not want to take a break again. Another major problem for me right now is that my confidence is too low. I think maybe I feel like chess is too tough for me???. I am going to play some online blitz tournaments soon and hope to regain my confidence. Now I think, maybe I should have phrased my question in a better way - What to do when you are really low on confidence? Another reason impacting me is maybe that I didn't do well in the last OTB tournaments that I played (Before Covid, of course!). 

David Flynn

David Flynn 1 week ago

Don't take it too seriously. If you want to get better you are going to have to lose a lot to players who themselves lose a lot to stronger players.  While you want to try to win, each loss should be a lesson that moves you forward.

V K 1 week ago

if this is because you don't feel like doing studies or playing when you all relax and you're not exhausted, it might be cause your brain's probably disturbed. Listen. If you're feeling kind of not playing at that moment. just take a break. i know it sounds kind of not that much.... but look there are basically some reasons why this is happening. -

1) you are exhausted.

if you're exhausted. just do so as I told you. take a break.

2) your concentration is diverted

sometimes it happens with me too. i am not able to focus on studies and my concentration is not built strong and I am diverted. look. first of all. your concentration is diverted cause probably there's a lot of things there to distract you. what I do is when I analyze chess. i clean up all the clutter at my table and keep my table all clean with nothing but the chess board and the stockfish engine which I practice with. just that. clutter is probably doing it, if your concentration is diverted. if not. try meditating. that will help a lot in increasing your concentration even your brain powers.

3) you're not feeling like playing anymore

is that cause you lost your interest in chess after being a 2200+ player? aRe yOu KiDdInG mE? still, even if you do and you wanna continue just watch chess matches of gm's and bro if you lost your interest. i can do nothing in that. :) can I?


V K 1 week ago

yeah and try to study on a separate table if you've got one with all the clutter gone.

MR N 1 week ago

Thank you for your reply. 

I don't seem to have the problems that you mentioned. As I replied a minute ago (!), probably I should have phrased my question in a better way - What to do when you are low on confidence?.
Kevin D

Kevin D 1 week ago

@MR N 

A lot will depend on what triggered your loss in confidence before anyone can help you restore it. Ultimately it will be up to you though.

Some reasons for loss in confidence include:

1. Losing often to peers or players you used to beat

2. Losing to lower rated players

3. Making inexplicable blunders

4. Distractions and/ or a general lack of focus

5. A debilitating fear of losing

6. Poor Opening Prep

7. Fill in the blank

Waiting for you to fill in the blank. 

Nils Philipp

Nils Philipp 1 week ago

Well, even your are quite young (compared to me borne in 1971) - stop doing what you were doing so fare and do something (chessrelated) new. E.g. try the deadly sins by Rowson (or even Goedel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter, a book read when I was about 13 and read again and again - and that seems to have quite an influence on the deadly sins). Having finished one or both books reward yourself and get back to your regular training.