Tag Archives: rating

How I Got Good at Chess

How did I get good at chess?  On hand, the answer is obvious: I took it seriously, I studied hard, I put in many hours and now I’m pretty good, rated over 2000 in online chess.  That’s true and all, but it’s also missing something.  I was stuck at 1800 for years and years … and yet many people never get above 1500 elo, let alone 1800.

The question, then, shouldn’t be how I got over my 1800 elo hump, but rather, how did I get to 1800 in the first place?

Image result for chess rating distribution graph

1800 puts you above 70% of chess players, which is pretty good when you think about it.

When I think back to my early chess development, I can identify a few key things I did that seemed to boost my skill higher than average.  I’ll share those here now.

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Breaking Down How I Win Chess Games

First, let me celebrate.  I recently reached the 2100 rating mark … and then immediately lost a game to fall below it … then had a few draws … then I won and now I’m back over 2100!  It’s by exactly one point, but I’ll take it.

Over 2100

Just a few years ago, I had been stuck at 1800 most of my life. To have my rating now over 2000, let alone over 2100, is like a dream come true.

When I broke the 2000 barrier for the first time last year, I wrote a post examining exactly how I did it.  That is, I looked at every single victory and classified it by type.  For instance, sometimes I won by a mating attack, sometimes by an endgame advantage, and sometimes my opponents just hung material and I took it.  It was a good experience, and quite eye-opening.  I learned a lot about myself…

… and then I wondered, if this were so useful only looking at one year’s worth of games, how much more insight would I get from looking at ALL my games?  The thought never left my head, and after nearly three months of work, I present to you my findings.  It’s pretty awesome. Continue reading

New Chess Milestone: Over 1900!

I wrote yesterday that I had a really good day.  I wrote that before the best news happened: I reached a new personal chess milestone, hitting over 1900 rating for the first time ever.

Real life milestones are a lot different and less motivational than personal milestones.

I had the day off, so I mostly sat at my computer playing chess.  I play correspondence chess at chess.com, and two other opponents were logged in at the same time.  We traded moves back and forth, and in the end I won all four games, two against each with both colours.  In doing so, my rating ballooned all the way past 1900. Continue reading