The Dreadful Chess Plateau
FYI: I am not sponsored by Gatorade.

The Dreadful Chess Plateau

| 59

Unless you were born some chess genius, at one point, you're going to hit something called a chess plateau. It could be at any rating, 800, 1400, or 1700, but likely one of the most known plateaus is at the rating of 2000. A chess plateau is when you hit a particular rating, but after a few weeks, months, or even years, your rating has seen little progress. In November, I was able to reach a USCF rating of 2007, although from then until now; I've been stuck at the 1980-2000 rating mark. Today, we'll be taking a look at my games during this dreadful plateau of rating. From the great wins to the painful losses, this is a look into my chess plateau. 

North American Open

The North American Open playing hall.

For me, the North American Open was a major letdown. I started the tournament off strong, with 1.5/3 against 2100-2200 rated opponents. But after that, it all went down hill, I went onto lose 4 games in a row, and in the last round I drew an 1800. There is two reasons for this, one of them was a lack of stamina, as playing multiple day chess tournaments can be very exhausting. Another reason could be COVID-19, as after this tournament, I tested positive and this may have been the result for my tiredness during the games; at the time I thought that was due to lack of stamina. I started this tournament with a rating of 1988, and ended with a rating of 1971. Not a great tournament, but it was a learning experience, and I did pretty good in the blitz tournament at least.

Dreaming King Open

The Dreaming King Open playing hall.

The Dreaming King Open, named after Martin Luther King Jr. was a so-so tournament for me. I played a lot of strong players, and I only lost two games. I finished with a score of 2.5/6, and gained just two points from this tournament. I had a lot of draws and on the brightside, I got to play against an IM and learned a lot from my losses and draws. This was also my first tournament post-COVID so I got to see all my friends and I also won money from the blitz tournament, where I played a GM, which was an awesome experience.

Memorial Day Classic

The Memorial Day Classic playing hall.

The Memorial Day Classic was a tournament full of many learning experiences. In the first round, I got to play an FM, as seen above, and I held on although due to poor mindset after losing the pawn, I eventually lost. Although what that game showed was that even though someone might be an NM or FM. It is not like they are completely above the 2000 level, people at the 2000 level can still hold a solid game and can even draw, or win, against people at that level. Despite losing to an 1800, I had an overall good tournament after the first day and finished with a score of 3/6, after starting the tournament 0/2. 

Final Thoughts

Me vs. GM Melikset Khachiyan, Dreaming King Open, Blitz Tournament.

Although some tournaments will not go your way, there is always something you can learn, and takeaway from that tournament. Even in tournaments where you do good, or even in tournaments where you win all your games, there is always something to learn, and I think that is why we play chess. Of course we play chess to win, but we also play chess to learn, and deal with losing; take that loss, to come back next time, stronger and better. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan