The 8 Worst Excuses For Losing A Chess Game

If you're going to play chess, you have to accept that losing is part of the game.

While a chess game might be theoretically drawn with perfect play, even today's best players (humans and engines alike) lose games regularly.

The best way to handle a loss on the chessboard is to learn from it. If you've played the game on, try clicking the computer analysis button to find out where you went wrong. (on

Of course, if you want deny the reality of your losing chess, you can always make excuses for why you lost.

Below are the worst eight excuses for losing a game of chess:

8.  "I usually play better."
You can't use this excuse too often, or your low level of play becomes the new normal. 

7. "I was distracted."
Distractions are a part of life. If you can't focus on the chessboard, what are your prospects for achieving anything elsewhere?

6. "I made a mouse slip."
This one is exclusive to online chess, but over the board it was simply: "I touched the wrong piece." Unless you're a computer program, moving your own pieces is part of the game.

5. "I stayed up too late."
This is no excuse at all. Forty percent of chess masters surveyed by admit they have played marathon blitz sessions of six hours or more. If the "chessbrahs" can play well late into the night, so could you -- if you were a better player.

4. "I play worse against lower-rated players."
Consistency is king in most games and sports. If you can't play your best when the competition is lacking, maybe you're not as good as you think you are. 

3. "I don't play well against this opening."
Maybe this is a valid excuse for complete beginners, but the general opening principles are the same no matter which way your opponent chooses to start the game. Don't believe it? Force Stockfish to play 1. a3 against you and see if you can score a single point.

2. "I'm sick."
This one could make some sense; many times people are too sick to perform their best. But then why did you start the game? You were feeling well enough to play when you thought you could win.

1. "It's my birthday."
I don't think the chess pieces know or care which day it is. And do you know how Hikaru Nakamura celebrated his 23rd birthday? By beating Vladimir Kramnik with Black.