The main reasons why adults lose their chess skills

Chess is a game that can excite anyone. But if you’re an adult, you might be wondering what the best chess openings for adult chess improvers are, because you might have lost your touch or are tired of playing the same chess openings over and over again.
Here are some tips on how to make chess one of your favourite games again.

1. A lack of motivation

Surprisingly, the most fundamental stumbling barrier in both chess and life is a lack of ambition. Many older chess players are just unmotivated to improve their game. They want to improve their game, but not to the point of sacrificing anything important in the process.

How many adults would give up watching TV, reading the newspaper, socializing, or playing chess in order to play chess? They’ve spent years getting into the habit of watching that show every day at 7 p.m. Many people, believe it or not, find it difficult or impossible to break that behavior.

The only way to break an old habit is to replace it with a new one, such as studying chess for an hour every night at 7 p.m. for three weeks in a row (or any other time). Success necessitates the ability to commit.

2. Memory Problems

Although memory isn’t as critical in amateur chess as it is in professional chess, it can be an issue if you want to progress. Many people suffer from memory issues, making it difficult to recall essential chess information.

Opening preparation, typical endgame positions, and even pattern identification all require good memorizing abilities.

Many people have trouble remembering important phone numbers or their own vehicle’s license plate. How are they supposed to remember the 2007 game between Anand and Kramnik or how to draw a certain rook and pawn endgame? You don’t need a photographic memory like Carlsen’s to earn the master’s title, but it never hurts to build on it.

3. Lack of ability to calculate variances

This is another important challenge that many adult chess players are facing. They don’t seem to be able to visualize the situation well enough to predict what will happen three moves in advance.

What is the greatest technique to increase your chess variant calculation skills? Solving chess tactics without moving pieces on the board, practicing discovering candidate moves, calculating a line as far as possible, and evaluating the end position are some of the most common strategies in calculation training.

Another option you could try is to play blindfold chess against a really weak opponent. The goal of this activity is to teach visualization and position remembering rather than looking for methods.

4. The absence of a study plan

The bulk of adult chess players have a plethora of training tools at their disposal. These resources are frequently not what people need to study in order to improve their chess skills. These training materials resemble puzzle pieces. To advance in chess, you must put these parts together to form a whole image, or a comprehensive training plan. It can be difficult to make a decision when you have too many possibilities.

Allow me to give you an example. Consider this scenario: You’ve recently purchased a gym membership but aren’t sure what to do with it. You don’t know which exercises target which muscle groups, how to utilize gym equipment, how often to exercise, what to eat, or how much sleep you should get. You can certainly go to the gym every now and again to lift some weights and get some exercise.

The concern is whether such activity will result in well-developed muscles and a healthy physique in general. Clearly not. It will take a few years and a few injuries to learn these things on your own if you know what to read and who to ask.

Would you rather try to figure things out on your own or follow a day-by-day training program that tells you exactly which muscle groups to target, how to target them, what weights to use, what to eat, and how much sleep to get?

I’m confident you’ll agree that the conclusion in this case will be completely different.

Chess works in a similar way. You can do some work on your own by reading stuff, studying some games, figuring out some openings, and strategizing. However, it is a long journey to take, and most adult players are simply not up to the task.

5. Mental instabilities

Many adult gamers struggle with mental health issues, which can affect their chances of winning. After looking at the pairings table, how many times have you heard a player say something like, “I’m playing against someone 400 points higher; there’s no way I’m going to win this round.”

You’re not going to win, of course. You have already conditioned yourself to believe that your opponent is superior and that you will lose owing to the rating discrepancy even before the game begins.

I always tell guys like him not to be overly concerned with the ratings. It won’t be easy at first, but you must have the courage to play against anyone without fear of losing.

6. Inadequate chess stamina

Many adult chess players struggle with chess stamina. That is, for the first couple of hours, they can pay total attention to what is going on in the game, but as the game goes, their attention becomes skewed and they lose focus. This is a very dangerous situation for a chess player. Imagine giving it your all for two or three hours before making a mistake and losing the game.

Even in the case of Vishy Anand, 44, who attempted to recapture the World Championship title from Magnus Carlsen, the majority of his game-ending blunders occurred late in the game.

What can you do to improve your chess stamina? A great level of physical fitness is required to play at a high level. In addition to chess tuition, you may keep your mind and body in top shape by being fit and doing sports on a regular basis.

7. “Fear of Ghosts.”

“Ghost fear” is a syndrome that affects some chess players, especially adults. These players are so afraid of making a mistake that they are more concerned with avoiding one than with concentrating fully on the game. This conduct puts them under a great deal of stress, increases their stress level, and reduces their stamina.

To overcome this problem, you must increase your self-assurance. Only by improving your chess abilities and winning more games will you be able to attain this.

8. Lack of ability to compete

Surprisingly, one of the reasons why older chess players struggle to enhance their skills is a lack of competitiveness. Unlike younger players, they consider that chess is “only a game” and that “winning isn’t so important.”

When you have this mentality, it’s difficult to perform at your best and have the passion and drive to work hard and win games.

9. An inability to handle stress

Surprisingly, many adult chess players, like their younger counterparts, suffer under pressure. When they are attacked, they lose their focus and dissolve quickly. In order to succeed, adult chess players must pay extra attention to this topic.

Playing high-pressure scenarios in practice games, such as when you’re down a piece or under attack, can help you overcome this problem. If you can survive in practice games, you’ll be able to survive in real life.

10. Time Management Alternatives

Many senior chess players, in fact, can improve at a similar rate as younger players. To do so, an adult player must dedicate themselves to chess by working consistently, competing in tournaments, and playing practice games, among other things.

In order to make considerable progress, like as becoming an international master, an adult player must commit 4-5 hours each day to chess, which is exceedingly challenging for many people who have a day job, family, friends, and other obligations. You should only do so if you wish to be a professional chess player.

If you’re merely striving for a class A (candidate-master) or master’s level, there’s no need to give up a lot of things you enjoy in life. Most adult players may attain 1200 elo in 2-3 to maximum 4 years of consistent chess practice, solid advice, and tournament chess participation.