In November/December - I stopped any studying of chess for about a month, and now resumed it. While that wasted a month of chess learning, this kind of temporary hiatus can have positive effects on your chess improvement and even overall well being (!):
- You free up time for non-chess activities during the break
- A break gives time to reflect on your studying methods
- You can assess the improvements made during the previous study period
- You get to plan on what your next goal in chess is, and what are the steps to achieve it
- You get to reflect on the importance and role of chess (if any) in your life
- You regain appetite for studying chess – when you feel like you are ready for it again
- If you play a lot online, you also regain appetite for playing chess
- Your new efforts will have some new, better focus
- Your brush off bad habits, such as looking at games too quickly, or spending too much time surfing chess news websites
- The openings that you felt were getting too boring, may not appear so when you look at them after a break – that can save you time for changing repertoire!
It is very easy to get into a rut in chess, like in anything in life, so taking a break is likely a good thing for any passion you may have!
Happy Chess Learning in 2012!