I live in a small town. I only play a couple of tournaments a year and about two rapid games a week with my teamates. Therefore, playing online should be my primary source of practice, but I find it really hard to focus and calculate when playing online (rapid or even classical). As a result, I play way better on the board than online. Is there something I can do to play better online?

  • How do you perform when solving chess puzzles online? Is there any difference in your performance if you just try to solve exercises rather than actually playing a game?
    – Scounged
    May 6, 2019 at 19:27
  • 3
    This is interesting to me because I have the opposite problem.
    – Qudit
    May 6, 2019 at 20:06
  • I do pretty wll solving problems but I don't play as well as I should May 7, 2019 at 17:14
  • I play online but I find the flat pieces (like how chess positions are printed on books and newspapers) not so easy to read. Instead, I use 3D pieces (like the Staunton theme on Chess.com). This could be the reason for you too, since you're so used to playing with real chess pieces. Try using a 3D theme or piece set if it's available.
    – ADTC
    Nov 26, 2020 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


Have you tried setting up a chessboard by the computer and playing the online moves on the board before transmitting them? This may be more difficult with rapid than classical games, but if you find seeing the pieces in 3 dimensions more desirable, it seems like a practical altenative to looking at them in 2 dimensions on the computer screen. When I work on online problems, I set them up on a board before solving them for that reason.

  • 1
    This could work but I think that the reason is propably psychological (I dont have someone in front of me). I will try doing that nonetheless May 8, 2019 at 12:23
  • I'm not discounting that that could be an issue for you , but you shouldn't have trouble concentrating if you focus on the problem of how to proceed in the chess position on the screen. Other than the anonimity, there shouldn't be any real difference between playing against an opponent seated across from you at a table or opposed to you electronically.
    – CConero
    May 8, 2019 at 14:10

Have a board beside you when playing online. Make all the moves on the board and think/calculate by only looking at the board. If you're playing a standard time control this won't cost you much time on the clock.

If you're asking about blitz/bullet then I unfortunately have no solution for you, though most people tend to be better online in fast time controls.

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