Are you an angry person? Is anger ruining your Chess games? Do you hate losing at Chess and get so mad it affects your ability to play? This page is for you. In this article, we talk about how to how to stop getting angry at chess. Anger will do one of two things. It will either help clear your head and help you focus like Beth Harmon says.
Disclaimer: ChessJournal.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
What Causes Chess Rage
Here’s why you get so mad and angry when you lose a game of Chess. Chess is war. Chess is as close to fighting with fists than any other non-physical activity you can do. And if you’ve ever been in a physical fight in martial arts class and lost, you know how this feels. Losing feels demoralizing and for good reason. It’s a signal to your brain telling you that your life was in danger and there was nothing you could have done about it because you lacked the proper skills to defend yourself.
What makes Chess so stressful is because this same feeling is applied when losing a game of Chess. You feel intellectually inferior to your opponent because although Chess does not require a high IQ to excel, Chess does requires extreme focus and cognition. So losing sends a signal to your brain telling you that you need to practice and become better at the game so you don’t lose again.
Which brings us to what this article is about. Here’s some tips on overcoming Chess rage so that it can stop interfering with your ability to play.
7 Ways To Stop Getting So Angry When Losing at Chess
- Play on Desktop Rather Than Phone
- Play Over The Board
- Practice on Puzzles
- Take a Break From Playing Against People
- Play in Public
- Get a Grip
- Get Better
1. Play on Desktop Rather Than Phone
I am much more prone to punching the wall out of pure rage when I’m playing on my phone as opposed to playing on my desktop. If you usually play on your phone, try switching it up to playing on a desktop. You’re phones screen will thank you afterward.
2. Play Over The Board
I am much more prone to getting angry when I blunder or lose a game is when I’m playing online instead of in person over the board. Playing over the board, I don’t get angry at all. People tend to act better in general when in the presence of other people.
3. Practice on Puzzles
Take a break from playing games and practice solving puzzles instead. You may do this already, but try playing just puzzles for a day or two. Then go back to playing against other people. For more information, see the step-by-step guide on how to solve Chess puzzles.
4. Take a Break From Playing Against People
Instead of playing vs other players, try playing against computers instead for a while. I do this frequently. If I get on a losing streak of more than 5 games, I’m furious. This only leads to losing more games going in a downward spiral leading to breaking objects that I would regret later on a count of not being able to use it later on, like my door handle for example.
If you play on Chess.com, there are plenty of computers you can play against. No matter what rating you are, you’ll be able to play against a bot that is around your rating. You can put the settings on “Friendly” which give you the ability to get “Hints” which tell you the best move to play. This is a great way to learn and take a break from playing against other players. You can play a few dozen games without losing one game which will help you calm down and feel better in general with a few wins even though you may have taken hints throughout the game. Even if you opt out for the hints, losing to an AI doesn’t feel as bad as losing to another person.
5. Play in Public
Do you usually play by yourself? When you’re alone, you feel more free. Free to flip your desk over, rant, and rave about never playing Chess again. Try playing in a coffee shop. You’re not going to rage against the machine when there 7 people surrounding you. You’ll be as cool as a cucumber while you play pawn to e4. Imagine James Bond playing Chess.
6. Get a Grip
Instead of punching an innocent object and potentially damaging your knuckles, get a gripper. These have made a huge difference for me. Every time I lose my cool, my grippers are right next to me. I grab one and squeeze while imagining the gripper is the neck of my opponent. Too much information? My apologies. But this has helped a lot and has also made my grip stronger than most other people on the planet.
7. Get Better
The player that trolls you with “Get Better bro” as you’re getting crushed in a game is actually fantastic advice. Why do we get angry playing Chess? When we blunder and when we lose. Make these events occur less frequently, getting angry will also occur less frequently. For more information, see the guide on how to stop blundering in Chess.
I hope these tips on how to stop getting so mad when losing a game of Chess. They always work for me. If you liked this post, you may also want to read the list of tips on on how to get better at Chess.