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The way to improvement, show me...
Although I started playing chess a little less than a year ago, I thought that by now, my rating would be a bit higher than the 1450-1500 around which I seem to hover.
I read chess books, for example I'm now busy reading/studying "Reassess your chess" by Silman (which at first gave me a lower rating!) and worked my way through a few of Seirawan' s series too. But, my rating stays the same.
A few months after I started, I thought that a 2000 rating would be an attainable goal, one day. But I'm starting to doubt that now!
Anyone else in the same boat? Or to the higher rated players, how did you get to your rating?
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that it is not worth worrying about. If you put in the effort you will increase in the long term. It is very hard to say what makes one go up or down every few weeks or months, I can only say that on the long term you will increase. I got interested in chess two and a half year ago after the summervacation. My OTB level was about 1000 and did not seem to increase in those months so I quit. Then a year I again started playing, starting out with a strength of about 1100 to 1150 (still extremely low) and again I did not seem to go up. Then I picked it up again last summervacation (2005) and I noticed that I was even stronger (having not played in the meantime) and from there I rose quickly till I was about 1450 in OTB.
There are no real strict rules for improving quickly. For a adult a increase of 100 ratingpoints is considered alot so I guess it is best to just go the way your going and you will enivitably go up in strength. If rating of 2000 is a reasonable goal depends on your age, but as long as you are determend to improve your game I'm sure you wil on the long run.
46 ( +1 | -1 )
Give it time.
A 1500 rating after playing only a year is fantastic. It shows you have the aptitude for the game.
However 2000 may take you years to obtain. There is a distinct difference every couple hundred Elo points.
You are doing all the right things by reading quality books and playing on line. A bit of coaching by the right individual would also be helpful. Try joining a local chess club or try the Coaching Club here.
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99% of all chess books are a total waste of time and money. In these days of databases, and access almost instant to any game played, I improved the most by replaying master level games one move at a time. I would try to figure the next move, and if mine differed from theirs, figure out (analyze) why their move was better.
Chessbase is the best investment I ever made to improve my game. Fritz was the second best. It is great to always have a high level opponent at my disposal. You improve by playing, not reading books.
Using this system, it took me about a year of intense work to improve from 1600 to 2000. To maintain, I stlll spend 1-2 hours a day of study and play.
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Maybe it's not my place to argue with someone who has 500 points on my rating but I disagree when you say, "You improve by playing, not reading books" from my (very short) experience that maybe isn't true. I've been playing for over 3 and half months and have found the most benifit, for me, has come from a combination of learning from those better than you *and* book work. It guess it all depends on your study technique, I make a point of being sure that everything I study I apply. That combined with playing games & analysing afterwards helped me go from ~1170 to ~1460 in that time (though I resigned all my tournament games recently as I didn't have enough time to play that many games, so my rating has dropped.) but at the end of the day (and this is something I am just coming to terms with) the rating is just a number and I think that if you get too tied up in its significance then it may actually be a hinderance to your progress, a psychological barrier so to speak. My advice would be, as this is what I tell myself, just forget about it and have fun! I know I learn a lot more efficiently when I'm enjoying what I do, I'll just let my competitive spirit drive my progress...hopefully. ;)
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Don't worry and enjoy
A friend of mine, a really strong player, says Elo is one of the worst things ever happened to Chess.
Playing on the board, I'm 1600. Here in GK I used to be around 1350 and lately fell down to 1200. Why?
I think that playing in "real time" is different. You prepare yourself and concentrate for a few hours. Playing separately along moves and days makes that concentration loose, and when your work is getting you into trouble, you have to go on with the games. (When that happens, I don't get into local tournments...).
It's useful to real goog books, it's usefull to use chess software.
But tue question is: Why are you playing for?
I play because I love doing it. But the thing I enjoy most is analyzing the games. Anygame. That's what I'm here, and that's why I will be here, despite what happens to my on line and to my off line ELO.
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Predator at the Chessboard
Someone was looking for this...
I've not yet read the site, so no opinion on its worth.
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I should also mention this thread: -> gameknot.com. wschmidt is coaching me right now and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that working together has given me a positive direction, piece of mind that I'm not working on the wrong things, improved my study technique, massively increased the depth in which I look into positions on the board (I've only really just started to make the most of that recently now that I've cut down the number of games I was playing). It's also helped me spot things which are wrong with my game and need improving (which was/is most things!) and has greatly improved my tactical and strategic awareness which is a by product of the analysis/book work. If you have time and the club is still looking for students I suggest you make a post!
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It's great to see you get around a 1500 rating in so short a time; however. patience is a great virtue when you're trying to move up in the "Ranks" of the 2000+ crowd. My USCF Correspondence Rating, for example is 1759 & I haven't gotten any higher (the years have taken their toll). Persistance is the second virtue in my opinion (though in my case I'm simply too stubborn for my own good). Book learning is great for getting you started & for quick reference (I find a book easier to lug around than a computer--& it doesn't require power to look at); it's also great for historical research, if that is an interest. Computers have a great deal to offer, of which I consider being able to meet & trade ideas with other players the greatest asset! One obvious point is that perspective is different when playing online vs. over-the-board (I've made far more blunders online; due to the flat screen of the computer, I can't gauge the board nearly as well as when it's set up in front of me).
Keep up the good work, & let us know if we can lend a hand!!
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On line, on board
The difference between on line and on board playing schnarre mentions, is real.
During many years I just cannot play in the internet. I was terrible. I decided last year to go throuhg it, and I put a board at he side of mi PC till I get used.
Actually, I'm playing more in internet than on the board.
But form me the big difference is GK, as you have no c*** hunting you...
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Me too, but some advice...
Share your games with people that are BETTER than you AND who have a lot of time to analyse them, they will quickly get to the crux of what might be stalling your development.
I think its true and important to say that some people have a ceiling grading limit that they will never substainably exceed until they can hone in on certain chess issues with their game. When addressed it does get very personal, but you have to be able to listen and respect these mentors and unlearn your mistakes or revise your entire chess attitude! This is a hard thing to do... but watch it does interfere with your 'style'.
For me I am too eager to 'start the fight' OTB and CC, I find minor tactical complications that I pursue BEFORE I have developed all my pieces, and I have been struggling for two years to restrain myself. I am still struggling. I have inherent stubornness and I ONLY learn the hard way.... I learn slowly.
You can always study your own games, but you will unlikely give yourself an honest appraisal. But it still helps to go over these games and moreso the ones you LOST. If you find a trend then GREAT! you can isolate and deal with the problem! ...
I also think its good to know where the problems lie be they opening, middle game, end game and take a hierarchical perspective of this to filter down to the smaller aspects an concentrate on these...
Finally as I have always said (very arguable) there is no point in developing your endgame if you cannot get there in the first place, the opening to me is the single most important issue. ( here comes some flames I reckon )
Hope this helps you and good luck your doing very well,
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The interesting thing from my experience is that the best players I know seem to use the method of analysing grandmaster games and taking them appart move by move. That in my oppinion is the best way to improve your game sustainably. Persistant analysis of the move and playing out variations until you know the purpose behind the move. Also I saw that someone there found that their rating in reality is higher then their rating on gameknot, its the opposite with me, I only ever achieve around 1400 in real gameplay but on gameknot I have 1600. How do other people find this out of curiosity?
48 ( +1 | -1 )
Spurtus, I think end game training may have hidden benifits beyond our ability in that section of the game. If you know what endgames are won and lost, not just the simple combinations but more complex situations with subtle factors that would stand out to someone who had worked on this area, you would be able to fight in the middle game as hard as possible to get towards those you know are superior and to get away from those you know are lost.
86 ( +1 | -1 )
Scabrandi asks for the difference between on board and on line.
Me myself I'm better on board because I don't get into a tournmente but when I'm well prepared, just one or two each year. My concentration is higher, and I use to play with players from my own city (Montevideo, Uruguay). And here, everywhen is someone who can tell you "X uses to play Queen Gambit Acepted", o "Z has problems if the position isn't clear", etc. (Of course, they'd recieved similar information about me).
On line, and in "real" time, I use to play to "prepare" to on board playind.
On line, and in GK, I use to play to "learn". Lately I begin playing Bird and English Openings, which I'm not sure about using them "in real".
If your elo is best here than on the board, I will suppouse that has something with the use of time, or with the more relaxed situation when you're alone in your home.
46 ( +1 | -1 )
mattdw, I agree with your take on the visualation of won / lost endgames and some players improve 100s of ELO points just by working on endgame.
But from my experience of playing much higher rated players, I cannot win if I lose the opening, so endgame training is irrelevant mostly.
However, if you felt that your endgame was weak, then I suppose its important to play players of a similar grade to make sure you get to it, to try it all out.
44 ( +1 | -1 )
You cannot compare the ELO ratings between OTB and CC- they are very different beasts. It's like comparing apples to pears. Some of the reasons are:
* CC and OTB are not under the same constraints, such as timing or the permission to use chess databases;
* the sample set is different (i.e. the players are not the same);
* you usually end an OTB game before starting another, which is not the case in CC;
That said, if you play in OTB-style here, you GK ELO rating should be somewhat similar to that of OTB, uh?
24 ( +1 | -1 )
GK ELO has a more international median aspect to it. OTB ELO points are generally 'shared' at an inter-club level. So your OTB rating might be quite different to how you rank with the inherent strength of your country, town or city.
30 ( +1 | -1 )
PLAN your Improvement Program:
For Example, The Five Step Plan:
Step #1.) Marry a Chessmaster
#2.) Receive Free lessons until overall comprehension is gained.
#3.) Pick their brain to attain all improvements and novelties stored there.
#4.) Be sure to obtain all Chess books and programs in the settlement.
#5.) Marry a Grandmaster ... :D
165 ( +1 | -1 )
You've done well
.. to get to 1500 in such a short space of time. Sometimes you will take a step backward before going two steps forward. There will be moments of stagnation, but that does not mean that you are not improving. When you start to stagnate, you have to look at why you are not making progress. I suggest you first identify what it is that is keeping you back. For example, is it a lack of ability to calculate forcing variations (my problem!), or that you know the openings but are not sure what the ideas behind them are? Do you come unstuck in the end-game, or the middle-game or the opening? Do you actually understand why you lose certain games? I think you learn more from losing than you do from winning. Analysing past games is very important. If you have a good computer chess program, analysing your games AFTER your match can also be useful. Also experimentation and experience are very important. Don't get too hung up on your rating, don't be too afraid to try things out. If you are in a position and you are not sure if a move is sound or not, why not try it and find out? That experience will help you in the future. You need to build up your chess instincts, and to do so sometimes you need to experience why certain moves were good or bad, and not just because a book has told you so. Chess books are great, but statments of the sort "white stands better because he has the two bishops" are completely useless unless you know why and how to make use of such an advantage, if such an advantage is applicable to the position. I think a good balance between study and play is the best, and if you can play against a stronger opponent that does not mind discussing the game as you go, all the better. Cheers, John.
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My book has been published!
I would like to let you know that my book about middlegame "The Very Unusual Book About Chess" in English & Russian has been published! It contains: Gifted Moves (Gifted Ideas); A Special Chapter "Easy, But Nice!" ; "Kasparov's Rook"; g6 followed by h6 with Opposite-Side Castling; Kings Can Do Even The Impossible!; f4-f5 in the Sicilian Defence!
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Good luck and best wishes!
107 ( +1 | -1 )
I started as rated 777 in otb Chess and it took me years but reached about 2076 I believe over time. In Postal Chess I started as Class A and reached Master within about 6 years. Prior to that made Expert in about 2 or 2.5 years I think. It is my belief that most players can attain the rating of Expert if they are willing to devote the necessary time and effort toward that goal. If you really want it enough, I think you can do it. But you must be willing to Gain Understanding, and work hard to Minimize Errors. You CANNOT make it by just learning some "secrets" and shortcuts, as some players seem to believe. [There ARE some of those, and they DO help. But that is not enough by far.]
Here is a thread from the coaching club at GK. I think that the posts of myself and the others there would be beneficial to your Quest. Best wishes on it too, and to attaining everything that you want out of Chess! Regards, Craig A.C.
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PS// RE your Profile ...
It is natural for most players, that their play will become slower when they have reached an inferior position. If you let this bother you, it will hinder your game. [It is true however, they would gain more if they put the extra effort into the game BEFORE reaching a bad position. That is when effort is best spent.imo.]