So lately, I’ve been having 5am to 8am as some of my ‘spare hours’. Perhaps yours are different but also during times when you really can’t be bothered to do anything else, maybe midnight to 3am? It’s too early (or late) to do any work. It’s too early to do any serious studying or writing. So I’ve been putting most of that time onto Blitz chess, it’s ‘easy’. However, my rating and confidence are suffering as a result. No surprise there, most of the time I end up in time trouble and wonder where my time has gone. I move at the speed of a Galapagos tortoise. Blitz chess should not be something you do when you are tired and can’t find anything else to do. Definitely, definitely not!
In fact, anything that can win/lose you rating, is probably better left for when you are fully alert and can concentrate, after all, losing rating can hit your confidence and motivation if you don’t recognise that you are not playing like yourself. So don’t, don’t do it. I myself, will stop, what can you do when you are so tired you say? Here are 3 things that you could do and I will focus on more myself:
- Tactics Trainer
Doing tactics when you are tired and not as sharp as you usually are can improve your “bad game”. The game you bring when you are tired or lost concentration. Therefore, this would be a productive use off these ungodly hours as in a normal tournament you may enter this state due to a bad loss or other reasons.
- Openings Training
Review your opening lines. I do this using Chess Openings Mastery - Chessable and I get the lines correct most of the time regardless of whether I’m tired or not. Very productive use of your time. I will probably increase my time on the site at these hours.
- Review light chess material
Reading, certain kinds of videos, famous games. Perhaps this is the least beneficial of the three as it will provide the least retention of knowledge or practical memory than the other two, but nonetheless, probably better than playing Blitz and killing your motivation and confidence.
Granted, I must admit any of these options are hard to muster motivation for when you are so tired and at weird off hours of the day, however, no one said the road to chess mastery was easy. What do you do when you are tired (sleep, right? haha!)? Do you play chess? Do you generally tend to do worse than during your best time of the day?
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