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So I have been a member of chess.com for about a year now and I feel like I have been making steady progress. Just curious as to what other people's rate of progress was. How long did it take people to get to say the 1700-1800 range? Is there a normal rate of progress for most people, or does it just simpy depend on the individual?
Simply depends on your ability to practice correctly (deliberately!) as opposed to mindlessly (which is what most people do! :))
When learning on your own stops getting you anywhere, it is a good time to start looking for help (mentors/coaches/strong players at your local club etc.)
To your other question : jumping to higher rating classes takes increasingly logarithmic levels of effort and for most people, the rating climb typically slows down the higher you go, even though it crawls up if you are putting in the work.
I joined the site last summer, and was assigned the usual 1200 starting rating. In the past nine months or so, I've gained over 900 rating points.
... of course... it's not as simple as that. I've been playing in local tournaments since the 1970's and was already a 2000+ rated OTB player.
I dont measure progress by my rating. I measure it by how the chess playing impacts my life after I stop playing games that day-how does it help me deal with situations I dont want to deal with and am forced to such as traffic, stupid people at work, etc. I find increasingly that games such as chess and Go help and are tools for coping with societal forced bs. I cant hear the argument that a higher rating is going to help me make more money, etc, however if the rating is a side effect of the progression of above of course Im all for it.
There is no answer to the question because every player is different.
Everyone begins with a different affinity for the game, and how much and how fast each improves is subject to many variables like motivation, time invested, proper guidance, experience against strong opponents, and others. There is just no way to calculate or estimate what anyone "could" do.
But one great aspect of chess is you can get a lot of enjoyment and amazement from it, and be "wowed" by extraordinary ideas and moves and attacks, no matter what level you are at the time, or how fast you are improving.
There was a man in the local clubs 30-40 years ago, he was a college professor with a double doctorate, one in psychology. He sometimes played in tournaments, often in the one-game-a-week events, but never really got much better over the years. He was stuck at a low level.
But he told me, "I am disappointed at my progress, nothing else in life has challenged me like chess, nor have I failed so miserably in anything else. But I can't give it up! I find so much beauty in it, even in the games that other duffers play. I'm still fascinated by it."
So the worst that can happen is you get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Not bad, when you think of it.
2009 I hit 2000 rating after joining late 2008. Getting a high rating means study discipline practice and coaching. Since 2009 I play only to enjoy myself like any other duffer. Besides there is a great margin of error in any rating due to tourney withdrawals etc
I had pretty fast progress rate originally. For years I just knew the moves but no principles or strategy, but then I found some people would play chess during their breaks and I suddenly realised how bad I was. So I picked up a book, read about the opening principles and some tactics and BAM; instant 1300 player.
After what couldn't have been more than 15 games I was a stronger player than everyone else I knew, so I moved on to Internet chess.
A few months later I moved here where I am apparently a 1900+ player who has never played e4...
But now I'm stuck at a learning cliff, so all that fast progress in the early stages can only get you so far
At another site in the late '90s, I started out on a ratings rollercoaster in bullet chess from the mid-1400s to 1600. I settled into a 1500s funk for several months. I had already been reading a variety of chess books, but learned from discussions on the forums of that site that I was reading the wrong books for me at my level. I enjoyed my books, but I wasn't getting the instructional value from them that I sought.
I started buying better instructional chess books based on the advice from the forums. I found a cheap set of Seirawan/Silman Winning Chess books at a used bookstore, and worked through them fairly quickly. I was surprised at how much of the material I already knew, but also at how much of the basic material I had never seen before, particularly in the endgame.
I then moved on to Silman's books (How to Reassess Your Chess, The Amateur's Mind, and his Workbook), and worked through them slowly with a chessboard in some cases or by setting up the positions in Chessmaster in others. During this time, I was playing more slow chess against Chessmaster's lobotomized engines than online bullet, and I was working my way up from the 1300-1500 "players" to those from 1700-2000. Those books were tough but rich for me, and there is no question in my mind that they were exactly what I needed at that time for improvement. Some players here do not like these books. All I can say is that they helped me move up from a plateau effectively and--to me--enjoyably.
When I returned to online bullet, maybe two or three months later, I rose quickly to the 1700s and coasted into the 1800s. I honestly think I would benefit from rereading Silman's books at this point.
I'm sure there are other effective programs for improvement, and you will probably hear about them in threads like this one. This is simply what worked for me at that time.
After 1 year I had a performance rating of 1944 in a 90 min +30 sec tournament OTB.I pretty much got to 1700 online rating after 4-5 months on this site I think.
A few years.
It depends on the individual.
I think Zazen5 has the right idea; it should be a lot more about how chess helps you in real life than your rating. When I first joined a little over 2 years ago I found playing to be an incredibly anxious affair; I would literally spend 2 or 3 hours making up my mind about what to play (online correspondence chess obviously). I'd find candidate moves and literally agonize over the choices, much as I have been doing in real life, all my life. I think watching IM Danny Rensch's Live Session videos has helped tremendously in dealing with choices. You identify candidate moves, you make your best choice without being lazy or impulsive, and you move on. Some of that of course is just experience playing, and accumulating a better knowledge base to make your moves can't hurt either. Still don't play that much online, and 2 or 3 games is about all I'm comfortable with, but I'm remarkably less anxious both here and OTB. It's almost embarassing to admit that I'm a much less anxious and neurotic a person in real life also. Somehow the process of making lots of little decisions in the game of chess has helped greatly with life's decision making processes as well.
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