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?
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.
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.
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 →
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 →