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What chess rating do you think can be achieved without studying theory? I don't mean the basics such as pins, etc. I'm talking about openings, endgames, etc. Sort of learning as you play.
I would say this is different for each person.
In my case I don't study theory and I am around the 1500s. I am also stable at this rating, so I am on the point where if I want to improve I need to do somethig else/more/different than what I am doing.
Still there is a lot of posibility to improve in other areas and still get to increase my rating whiout touching the theory, for instance, in my personal case improving visualization can do a great deal for me. So if I train in something like blindfold or other visualization training my score maybe will improve another 100.
To answer the question more or less objectively , perhaps one should look at the level some very talented kids managed to reach before 8-9 years old , before they got serious into playing chess tournaments and studying theory .
The answer is maybe around 2100-2200 Fide , they would play extremely tactical . But ok , it's just my wild subjective guess , perhaps the answer is higher
If you study chess you're studying theory. Maybe superfiscially, but you're still studying it.
The answer really is whatever rating someone gets prior to playing a single rated game.
Kingpatzer, formally you are correct, but I meant a more specific thing, i.e. never committing oneself to the type of activity that is commonly referred to as 'studying theory'.
What do you consider to be part of that activity, AlexNic? Is watching GM games or playing over them "studying theory?" Is having someone explain to you the ideas behind why a paritcular move is bad "studying theory?"Honestly, I find it a non-sensical question in that most everyone has different modalities for gathering information that work better for them than others. Some people might find running through opening lines a great way to "study theory," others might achieve the same result by playing out their own ideas in blitz games where they pay attention to the resulting middle game positions from many different choices in the opening, still others might achieve the same result by watching videos or having casual conversations about games they've played with mentors, and still others might achieve the same results by analyzing their own games and considering possible moves. But utlimately, to even get to the point where one has a playable position out of the opening, one needs to do one or more of those things -- and so one must study theory at some level, be it formal or informal. Capablance is an example of someone who famously achieved quite a bit without much in the way of formally studying theory. Indeed, he was famous for having fairly rudimentary openings. But to say he didn't ever study theory would be fatuous. And if you mean more than opening theory, then the statement holds even more true: you can't win a chess game if you don't know some theory about how the pieces can be used in concert with each other, how endgame play goes, and so forth. How you learn those ideas isn't material, the point is that to know them is to have studied theory.
So, 'theory' is just analysis of past games, either your own games or somebody else's games. OK, that makes sense.
Well, theory is the concepts that fall out of positions. For example, the conditions required for a "Greek Gift" bishop sac to be successful are part of theory. It's the well known positional details and nuanced implications of positions.
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