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.
I’ve had a rough six weeks when it comes to chess. On the one hand, yes, I got my rating to its highest ever. On the other hand, I’ve lost more games in the last few weeks than the last few months. All of them have been caused by gross blunders, and one of them still stings six weeks later.
I then wrote last week about trying to overcome that disappointment. I went from a stratospheric high, on the verge of beating a titled player in a regular game, to a subterranean low, blowing everything in one move. This game questioned my resolve, my fortitude, and early on I barely limped on. I even thought about quitting chess, just because I’ll never live it down and life would be better without feeling such pain.
But it’s hard….
I wavered between the two choices, either continuing my study or giving up entirely, and I told myself I need to make a choice. This week. No more waffling around, wallowing in self-pity. Go big or go home, and I have decided definitely to go big. Continue reading