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Yea, I know, its 200 points. Now that I got that out of the way let me get to my question. I am currently rated right at 1500. 3 weeks ago i was just below 1400 and joined the tourny "7th Chess.com tourny 1200-1400".
Well needless to say I have pretty mush walked thru the first round. I did lose one match but the ones i won were won pretty easily. So my rating gets up to as high as 1520 or so. I then played a few matches against some 1600 rated players. Here is my dilemma, it was like those 1600 guys just mashed me. I am in the process of having the game analyzed but it was amazing to me how against the 1400 guys I had control and against the 1600 I was on the defensive the whole time. Or I felt like it anyway.
I guess there is no advice to be given other than to practice. Maybe I just had a bad couple of games when I played the 1600 guys, I dont know. Just got frustrated I guess.
...Here is my dilemma, it was like those 1600 guys just mashed me..."
Could you tell us more about how you got mashed? Was it the openings? middle games? end games?
Let me look more into them and i will explain more. I thin kmy main problem may have just been not having my head right.
I guess there is no advice to be given other than to practice.
If by practice you mean just playing games then actual studying will probably do more good..
Possibly. One of the best pieces of advise I've taken on was in "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal". He said once he realised that not only was he scared of his opponents but they also were scared of him he started to get better results..
Also, of the 3 matches I have against the roughly 1600 players only one is finished and after relooking at it, i know where i went wrong. the other two i am struggling in, but I guess i need to see how they finish to really get a handle on what I am doing wrong.
By "studying" I assume you mean tactics trainer and so forth? I do tactics trainer fairly often and come to think of it during that tourny I was doing the trainer everyday. Sonce the tourny slowed down, i also slowed down my trainer. I do not use the chess mentor too often because I find it difficult to know what to do due to their being so many options in it.
I dont know the names of any openings, I just know what i do. And in the first game of the three i am discussing, I tried something different just to be doing something different.
Well chess.com rating is extremely inflated. Those 1600s are probably more like 1300-1400's and if you win your rating goes way up so who knows how accurate they are? I'm almost 2200 here but in reality I'm only at mid 1600 level.
You know what, that makes alot of sense. I am sure when i play higher rated opponents, i am intimidated to some extent. I need to always try and clear my head of all that nonsense.
that makes me feel even better...lol
Yeah, stuff like that. Personally I prefer tactics books to online tactics trainers for the simple reason that the puzzles are usually better organised and you get to do them again and again to really drill the patterns into your subconcious..
You should learn a few limited opening lines and ideas IMO but don't worry about it that much it's not very important..
Take this with a grain of salt; these are just observations and are not meant to be a stereotype of these levels of players. I believe, having played a lot of both groups over time, that the primary differences are:
- Still drop pieces
- Some opening knowledge but tend to deviate/lose opening advantage easily (for instance, things like 1. d4 Nf6 2. e3)
- Basic tactical understanding (the major fork squares on c2/f2 at the outset, things like that)
- Do not usually create a plan
- Usually castle in their games, but have not yet learned the concepts of how to use the Rooks in the middlegame
- Only tend to spot overt errors (dropped pieces/mate in 1 or 2)
- Usually drop pawns at the worst
- More opening knowledge, may use Game Explorer more often, choose stronger openings overall
- More tactical understanding - back rank weaknesses, forks, pins, skewers (extent varies but it's almost always significantly more than a 1400)
- Sometimes have a plan; basic strategy (which side to castle is safer, basic pawn thrusts, etc.)
- Castle either side and understand where Rooks should be placed; may or may not understand "doubling" of Rooks yet
- Spot tactical errors (opponent allows forks, walks into a mating net, etc)
Knowledge of the endgame is widely varied among these players; some may already know the Lucena position while others don't yet know that the king must be active in the endgame.
So, the 200-point rating gap is significant. Against a 1600, it's probably a lot more important to watch for opening traps or to be sure to play strong moves from the outset, since they will understand when a player is not taking any action in the center or not developing pieces well. They also tend to understand weaknesses of doubled pawns, backward pawns, and misplaced/wrong color pieces - more positional info than a 1400 may have learned so far.
EDIT: I guess I should answer the original question, too. Spend a good bit of time with the Tactics Trainer. I know this is constantly stated, but it's really important for a developing player. If you can achieve 1700 on the TT, you've got a solid understanding of basic tactics that can match or exceed a 1600 player. They teach you how to attack on the kingside and how to exploit the placement of your opponent's pieces.
It's also highly recommended to play with a plan. The basic rule of thumb is - once you've castled, you should have a plan. Do I attack kingside? Push on the queenside? Double on an open file? Push my strong center forward? Try and trade off the pieces protecting the king? This is up to you, and the specific board setup.
Well a true Federation-rated (ELO, USCF) 1600-rated player exhibits the Look-for-CCT behavior on 80-90% of ALL the moves in a game-> where the Look-for-CCT behavior stands for "Look for ALL of your opponent's checks, captures and threats after you decided on a move". Of course, when I mean look, I mean see if you can deal with it and if not, change your move.
Sounds simple ... but it is sad that nobody but the really good players do this 100% of the time.
I think a 1400-rated player does this barely 40-50% of the time on his moves.Which explains why he'll never cross 1600 unless he improves his "Look-for-CCT" score :)
Would it be fair to assume ( I'm 1718 USCF right now so I don't know) that the 1800+ players would be doing this 95-100% of the time? Please chime in! :)
To put things differently => I challenge a < 1600 Federation-rated player to show me a game where they lost inspite of SINCERELY looking for all of their opponent's checks, captures and threats before making their move".
Steev, thx for the info and that makes sense.
Shivsky, I for one am guilty of of not doing thatm yself at times. Never heard the term CCT, but I will definetly pay more attention to it as I should. Thx for all the info guys!
In correspondence, a 1400 is still weak in opening theory. This is just lazy :P.
1600's often play the 'correct' opening moves but have almost no idea what the purpose of those said moves are (ie... A 1600 will play 5. ... a6 to get into a Najdorf Sicilian, but has no idea that the concept behind it is to keep the knight out of b5 and (more deeply) to exert pressure on the d5/e4 squares).
Midgames at both levels are comprised of tactical errors and cheap traps. Understanding of positional play is limited to 'I Don't like when his bishop pins my knight *plays a3 on move 2 :P*'.
Neither 1400 nor 1600 players study endgames to any significant extent, and so drawn endgames are frequently lost by one side, neither side able to understand why.
Ultimately the biggest difference is tactical play. ... 1400's tend to make simple errors which 1600's are better equipped to exploit. A few hours in the tactics trainer and a more patient approach to the game should be enough to raise your rating into the 1600's :).
EDIT - In response to Shivsky... I must admit I very rarely make a conscious effort to look for 'CCT' :). ... at a certain point it comes very naturally (so you could say I do it 100% of the time... or never, whichever works better for you :P). There are times I will buckle down and take a very close look at my opponent's available checks (often times several moves into a deep calculation) because playing for mate doesn't help if your'e getting mated first :P.
That makes a lot of sense. I think I'll be passing that thought on to a few people if you don't mind. Although I hadn't thought about it I'd say yes I do it pretty much always now..
A player of any rating starts the game with the same pieces as everyone else.
It's how you play during the game that determines whether you win or lose.
And rating basically says how good of a chance you have to win or lose. It says nothing about whether you will hang pawns, rooks, queens, or whatever. Even 1900+ players have been known to blunder.
1. Keep expanding your knowledge of Chess.
2. Dust off old openings once in a while - you may have had terrible luck with them in the past, but sometimes seeing them with new knowledge of theory allows you to see moves you missed before.
3. Play against better players - despite the potential for losses, it's guaranteed to make you a better player.
4. And don't worry too much about your losses - neither side ever has perfect play, and every loss has something to tell you about where you can improve. Use them as learning tools.
Well don't give me credit for it. It is the mantra of my former coach Dan Heisman ... he terms this the difference between "Real chess" and "Hope chess". For more information => Visit his Novice Nooks on chesscafe.com :)
No way! If you saw some of the silly games that even experts lose, you would not consider this lol. 1800 USCF really only means that you've done some opening work and are no longer losing so much to the 1500s - *so much*.
I believe that the CCT system is practiced regularly by 2000+ players. After 2000, things start to get more solid IMO. :)
There are times I will buckle down and take a very close look at my opponent's available checks (often times several moves into a deep calculation) because playing for mate doesn't help if your'e getting mated first :P.
I am so guilty of failing at this. I can't tell you how many times I've been wildly excited as I'm executing the perfect mating pattern and just as I'm about to drop the finishing move on my pretty mate-in-four, I'm horrified that it's not my turn after all because the game is over.
It's tough to learn, but it's not the prettiest mate that wins, just the first.
Looking at the few games that I've played here, ih8sens seems pretty accurate. Anything significantly below 1400, and pieces start flying off of the board.
Along the same line of thought, what's the difference between 1600 and 1800 players at chess.com? I've never played anyone at the latter level.
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