SLOW Down to Make the BEST Moves

My youngest son ran track a couple of seasons during high school. He often ran longer distances, like the mile and half mile. I remember one early mile race when for some reason he decided to sprint to the front of the pack near the beginning of the race. It seemed to spook the pack a little, but most just allowed him to expend his energy without changing their pace. He led for about two laps. Then he was passed continuously during the final two laps by every runner but one. He finished next to last. The final lap he had almost nothing left and could not kick it in to finish strong.

Chess tournaments can be a bit like running in that way. In my first OTB chess tournament, when I finished my first game I still had 22 minutes and my opponent had 5 minutes remaining. He beat me. I rushed too much. I had been so nervous during the game that I had to wipe my palms regularly on my pants. I called my wife and told her that while I had lost, I felt good about my game. But I had realized I rushed. I determined to slow down.

I won the next game. I won the third game. And I had a draw against a very good opponent in my final game. As a result, I placed second in my age group for beginners. In every tournament since then, I have remembered the lesson learned from my first game. I take it slow. After the opening moves, I take time to study my opponent's moves and guess his/her plans. I work not to make good moves but the BEST moves. I cannot tell you how many times my first instinct to move was wrong, but by slowing down I have chosen winning moves. Learn my lesson before you enter your first OTB tournament.


  • 5 years ago


    Hey Wilson, Good advice I believe. I to often tend to play faster, giving too little time to think of my opponents plans. Most of the times my moves are predetermined. The last game I played against you this morning(IST) is another example. A good lesson to learn from..

    I think it's time to change my gameplan (Play slow, make the best move)..



  • 8 years ago


    Absolutely right! I have made a few blunders by not slowing down, and to be fair, quite a few of my opponents have given away good positions by just one move!!  Good advice - simple but effective.

  • 9 years ago


    As a real beginner I find that to often I rush my moves and do not think it through. I must slow down and be more patient.


    Thanks for the advice, I will keep it burned into my mind. 

  • 9 years ago


    'I work not to make good moves but the BEST moves. I cannot tell you how many times my first instinct to move was wrong, but by slowing down I have chosen winning moves'.

    Great advice, Darryl, thanks. I lose so many games simply because I do not stop, look at the board, and study the consquences's of the move I am about to make. I do try so hard to slow down, but I often forget. I am getting better, but no way am I doing it as I should. I've printed out your advice, and can see it every time I look at the screen to remind me, SLOW DOWN. Hopefully your advice will work for me. 

  • 9 years ago


    Sound advice!  Strangely, I was considering posting a blog entry on just this subject, but you beat me to it! Smile


    If members want to play quick games then they now have the option of LIVE chess - still in beta, but working better all the time (another upgrade/bugfix coming soon, I think).


    "Turn-based" games at have time limits measured in days, and you should aim to take your time and consider your moves carefully.


  • 9 years ago


    I'm a speed-player.  I make moves by instinct in 95% of my games and I finish games having used less than 2 minutes of my own time, regardless of my opponent's.  I've always challenged myself to think faster, and think more.  I've frequently used the time my opponent spent thinking to further my thoughts and plans.


    It is only against players who I feel are stronger than me that I would slow my pace down for.  You know you have my great admiration if ever I slowed down for you.  That is not to say that I do not hold respect for players who I do not slow down for.  I daresay I treat all opponents with courtesy, and I do not obsessively brag about winning against certain persons (if ever I brag at all).  In fact, it is sometimes hard to tell how skilled the person is from the first couple of moves, since knowing openings and reacting to them is expected for most players.  The way to win against me is to take advantage of the first game we play, since I have not yet had time to assess whether or not I should slow down my pace.  That being the case, we should play sometime.  And do not pay heed to my rating...  I've only been playing friends after all.

  • 9 years ago


    thanks for the advice ... i really need it. i move to fast usually without thinking.. lost a lot of game that way....

  • 9 years ago


    Take your comma-splices and shove 'em, Beneditcs! Tongue out
  • 9 years ago


    Fair point. But, your ability to write is very bad, maybe you should slow down and think about every sentence, perhaps you should try and construct the best sentence.
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