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Should I give up chess if I lose 926 games?

I joined chess.com in 2022 and I have won 789 games and lost 926 games and I am at 392 elo.

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    Just looking at the number of lost games is literally meaningless. Even you have a win-rate of 50% and play 2000 games, you will have lost 1000games. So what. Right now your win-rate is 46%, so not too bad. Playing at your optimal elo, should be expected to have a win-rate of 50%. Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 12:39
  • This is answered here: Is there a reason to lose 1,000 chess games where OP included a game for review. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 0:24

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The underlying question, which only you can answer, is do you enjoy playing chess? If you don't actually enjoy playing the game but only get pleasure if your rating goes up then you are wasting your time and should certainly give up.

If you enjoy the game, win, lose or draw, then continue playing. I would add that playing online is sterile and impersonal. You are much more likely to enjoy your chess if you join a chess club and play in person, over-the-board chess against real people. Chess can be an enjoyable social experience as well as an intellectual challenge.

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    I personally 100% agree with your assessment of online chess, but that is a personal assessment and thankfully we are all different. I know a number of people who play exclusively, or nearly exclusively, online and they are happy with that. The prime thing is to enjoy your chess however you chose to play it.
    – Ian Bush
    Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 22:16
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    "If you don't actually enjoy playing the game but only get pleasure if your rating goes up then you are wasting your time and should certainly give up." Is this implying that the OP has hit their skill ceiling and cannot improve their rating further? If so, is that really a fair assumption? We don't know what OP has or hasn't done to try to improve their skills, or even how old they are. (Though I must admit, I don't know actually much about chess myself...)
    – MJ713
    Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 8:27
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    @MJ713 I think the point is, why do something that doesn't give you pleasure only to get pleasure from a secondary effect (increase in elo). Just play a different game with a rating system, that you actually enjoy playing, and you will get 1st and 2nd degree pleasure. Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 12:41
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Everyone started like you. No one is born a master. I have lost many thousand games, not just 926. But I have kept playing and improving.

I totally agree with @Brian Towers that the enjoyment of the game is a very important factor to figure out whether chess is for you.

However: The better you become and the more you understand chess, the more beautiful and exciting it will become! (Until maybe you reach the master level when it becomes very hard work to make progress).

It is like learning to play an instrument. In the beginning, it may look like this (and note: this already needs practice); but after years of practice and mastery, it will look like this! In the beginning, you will not be able to play like Hillary Hahn and all the pieces that you'd like to play. But with steady practice, you will get there!

And the practice (or chess training for that matter) may not always be the most interesting (think of learning opening and endgame theory).

I would contextualize in that way @Brian Towers question ("Do you enjoy chess?") and add before that:

Do you want to improve? Are you willing to put in a little effort to that end?

That means: Do you really WANT to play chess?

That is the first question I would ask myself, even before I'd ask whether I enjoy chess. Surely, just pushing wood aimlessly without understanding anything cannot be fun in the long run. No wonder you have such thoughts!

See it like this: at a rating of 400, you have a huge potential to improve - if you want. In the beginning, you will see that your training efforts will bear quick fruit, and this will bring fun and motivation!

In the beginning, it will suffice to watch and ingest a video like this. It does not suffice to just keep playing and doing what you always did, miraculously hoping for different results. You may also start with tactics training.

In the beginning, just by following basic chess principles (i.e. opening principles) and stop giving away pieces in one move, you'll be at least 800, if not 1000!

The first actionable tip is: Ask yourself, what your opponent could do after your intended move. Always think ahead. If it's only one move, it's only one move. But do it. This should prevent you from blundering pieces in one move. Make it a habit to calculate in this way. Check candidate moves: Checks captures, attacks.

Try this, and come back to this post when you're 800 ;)

EDIT: I recommend to play longer time controls. You can only learn from a game, if you had the time to think about moves and did not need to guess/play intuitively out of time scarcity. You should also analyse your games after playing them, at least the losing mistake. The intuition and pattern recognition for Blitz will come with playing strength.

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  • Is it because of my mild intellectual disability that I lost thousand games? Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 18:46
  • @Tetrahedronx800 GM Ben Finegold says to improve at chess you should expect to lose a lot of games. You're already on your way! Time to start blunder-checking moves before you play them. When you stop giving away pieces for free, you'll gain some rating. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 0:25

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