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How to Increase Online ratings?

Updated: Aug 26

Almost every online chess player plays a random amount of games. Sometimes they stop playing after a few games, and sometimes they play several games non-stop.

Recommendation - Play 4 games of time control 15 +3

Let’s discuss why and what adjustments you can make in this method. When you already know how many games you are going to play beforehand, it helps you to concentrate and play with your full focus and strength. You know it’s going to be just 4 games of time control 15 mins + 3 sec increment. In lost positions, you don’t simply resign and click “New Game”. You fight till the end! If you lose the first two games in a real tournament, you don’t withdraw from it, do you? I hope you don’t. The same applies here too – when you lose the first two games of your session, you don’t stop playing. It’s a good training for you on how to pull yourself together after painful defeats and continue to move forward aspiring to achieve better results.

Why exactly 4 games?

Most of the swiss style rapid tournaments at club level consist of minimum 4 rounds, whether online or Over-The-Board tournaments that goes for a duration of couple of hours in a day. When you play 4 games during each session (pretend 1 session as a tournament), you train yourself to automatically get into the right mindset needed for such events. If you are aiming for bigger tournaments like states or nationals consisting of 6- 9 rounds, that’s fine. You can adjust your sessions to play 6- 9 games. What if instead of 15+3 games you want to play 25+0? No problem. Then just play 1 - 2 games, keeping the session duration for 1-2 hours. If you play 15+3 time control games, then play 4 games within same duration. The most important thing is to know how many games you are going to play before you start the session. Getting prepared for a specific amount of games, you code your mind to use your abilities in a more optimized and effective way.

You kind of talk to your self in the head : “We are going to play 'x' amount of games today" , so pull yourself together and play to the best of your abilities with laser focus and deliver good games, my friend.”

Yeah, your mind is your friend, talk to it and set the expectations for self, mental preparation.

This is called replicating principles of the placebo effect within yourself to produce significant changes in personal health solely through methodical focus and deliberate intention! A crucial component for understanding the placebo effect is recognizing that the conscious mind makes up only 5% of who we are. The remaining 95% is made up of our Subconscious Mind! It is very crucial to break free of the vicious cycle of:

The solution is adopting the "Placebo Mentality" which means becoming more mindful and in touch with your inner consciousness, changing your attitude, and genuinely believing that simply through 'thought' you can make a real difference! Convince your mind and body that the future you are picturing is already a reality!

Fake it... Until you Make it!

Daily meditation helps with setting up this frame of mind along with a clear vision and elevated emotion.

15 minutes breaks

If you have more time and want to play more, that’s fine. Just take a minimum 15 minutes break before you start a new session. Imagine in your mind that each session is a tournament and show full dedication. You need to help your mind understand that it’s important and ask it to fully concentrate.

The golden tip

This one is my favorite. If you know anything about neuroscience, you will easily understand why it works. Here is what you do. You reward yourself! Say you gain 3 points out of 4 rounds or 4.5 points out of 6 rounds, then you get to reward yourself. For example, you want to lose weight but at the same time, you love ice-cream. You can make a deal with yourself – “Whenever I get the desired score, I’ll get to eat my favorite brand and flavor of ice cream!” Whatever we do in our life, we do it either to get pleasure or to avoid pain. This is how our mind works, this is why we do things. And that’s why rewarding ourselves works so well. Try it. You’ll definitely see the difference.

The last tip

Before starting each session, close your eyes for 2 minutes and try to concentrate. Think about whatever motivates you and try your best to concentrate. Take a few deep breathes and exhale. Try this method of 4 games, with minimum 15 minutes breaks between each session (tournament), and without withdrawing from the session.

On that note, with a smile on your face, go and try the “4 games” approach.

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