About a week ago, I decided to never resign unless I am in a completely losing endgame and to always play to checkmate unless it would be a complete waste of time(say in a queen vs lone king endgame). After doing that, my rating, accuracy, and win/loss ratio went up very quickly, and I made more progress in a few days than I did in 2 months beforehand. Why did this happen?

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    Your rating is relevant, as the most simple answer would not be flattering for you (and your opponents): If you are, say, a 1000 among other 1000, half of the lost games are handed back by the opponents playing bad too. (Doesn't account for accuracy, though.) Also the n of your personal statistic is relevant: On how many games do you base your assertion? Sep 4 at 22:39
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    To those VTC: sure the question could be improved but there is a valid question here. It could possibly be rephrased in more objective terms.
    – firtydank
    Sep 9 at 8:02

You didn't get better. You just stopped losing as much - by definition, instead of losing 100% of those games you started losing less than that - and your rating went up.

Ratings measure performance, not ability.


There can't be a definite answer to your question without sharing some examples of your games, but it seems obvious that your rating and winrate will be lower if you resign positions where there's still hope.

  • How does this improve accuracy?
    – Kevin
    Sep 6 at 7:50
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    @Kevin I don't know. As I said, "there can't be a definite answer without sharing some examples". Anyway accuracy is as irrelevant of a metric as it gets.
    – David
    Sep 6 at 10:04
  • Accuracy can potentially improve because in a lost position it's often easier to find the best move, since you are simply responding to your opponents pressure.
    – firtydank
    Sep 9 at 7:54

As others have said, more info on your situation would help but here is my stab:

  • Rating & win/loss ratio: especially on lower levels, many players struggle to convert winning positions, so if you play on instead of resigning, your win/loss ratio and rating would naturally increase.
  • Accuracy: Accuracy usually measures how often you find the best computer move. It is often easier to find the best move in a losing position because your opponents threats would typically reduce the number of candidate moves to a handful miserable defences. I've had totally losing games on chess.com with an accuracy of 98% because after the blunder, all my subsequent moves were easy (and losing).

My guess is that you are not necessarily playing better but just "gaming" the stats better.

Of course, it is entirely possible that simply adapting your playing style has motivated you to take the games more seriously, reducing mistakes and genuinely improving your play. Congrats in that case.

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