Improving at Chess

My good chessfriend 'Girusp' from India wrote today 5 May

"you enjoy this being a titled player and higher rating we have to be content with whatever comes our way"

I replied..

Truth is Girusp, I worked extremely hard to get my Fidemaster title.

I started playing at 16yrs old

I used to get 2 Rooks and a Queen start. Then I improved until the then State Champion could only give me a rook start (I was 17). My first rating at 17 was 20? Yes 20? with a question mark.  A year later it was 1570. I was 18 . By 19 I was leading the Australian Championship Masters for about 8 rounds until collapsing due to personal matters...Yes I do enjoy being a ChessMaster....because I know I studied chess every day when I was young buying the Yearly publication of Chess Informator containing about 700 GrandMaster games and playing thru several games Every day trying to understand how they think. I suggest to ALL my pupils to play through at least 2 GrandMaster games every day and try to understand why they make certain moves. Hopefully, some of the GrandMastery will rub off ... Smile


  • 4 years ago


    how do you study a lot of grandmaster games. This would be very helpful for me. I would really appreciate this.

  • 5 years ago


    I use to study the Grand master games every week in the NY Times, Post;and also solve the puzzles. I was a much better player then. I'm talking about the 80's

    So I think it's time to renew my history,for I still have a love for the game.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  • 6 years ago


    I must agree that it is hard work and consistent hard work at that.  Talent plays a miinor role and i say that from my experience in my fields of endevour being science and boxing.  I am talented at science and maths reaching quite advanced levels by the age of 13 however that was due in most to hard work and lots of it.  Boxing was something i had little talent in but many yerars of training made me an excellent amateur.  Alongside these comments i must add that i have been honoured to work  with nobel prize winners and world class boxers and these are rare people who not only have talent but discipline and intense levels of effort.  These poeple are rare and become legend in their fields not just masters, using the word "just" i mean not to belittle the status of master, i mean to say they are teh most disciplined to achieve their goal and this goal is not dependent on god given gifts but their own hard work and effort.  As horrible as this sounds i believe that we are exactly where we want to be, if you are not a master it is because yopu do not want it enough.  boy i can bable on!! i think my son is keeping me awake!! time to sleep!

  • 6 years ago


    Nice article... cheers 

  • 6 years ago


    We must not forget talent. A few are born with exceptional talent. Hard work will not produce talent in any field. You can study the piano for years but you will never become a Mozart. The same applies to chess which has all the characteristics of an art form.

  • 6 years ago


    thank you...:)

  • 6 years ago


    thanks for sharing, FM!

  • 6 years ago


    thanks for sharing, FM!

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


    Hard work and enthusiasm- this combination always works. Take out any one of the two and you may as well give up before you start.

    Very inspiring story you shared with us TheMagician. I wish you all the best in your quest to achieve your goal!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • 6 years ago


    @anstagos, it means that his opponent played against him with the queen and both rooks off the board.

  • 6 years ago


     desire vs mind torture..decide what you want to be , pay the price..

  • 6 years ago


    what does it mean when you say you used to get two rooks and a quess start?

  • 6 years ago


    Nice story. Thanks for sharing.I know a guy who became an IM in 4 years. 

  • 6 years ago


    iam 25 started playing chess seriosly last year and im hopping to be a grand master when iam 40 hopfully . thanks for the article

  • 6 years ago


    yes that's very nice tip for every single players in the world and make me very excited to play chess....absolutely in

  • 6 years ago


    i agree on deranged i also started playing chess 2 years ago at around age 16 and with the help of a science teacher, im improving, its good to hear that someone actually got into the ranks of master without being gifted with the ability to understand and make great moves at such a young age and i hope i get better in the years to come

  • 6 years ago


    I love it how you managed to get a FM title starting chess at the age of 16 and being only a class C chess player at the age of 18. Usually when I look at masters, I see some child prodigy where some 12 year old kid has a NM title (such as Kayden Troff), and me being 17 with only an approximate 1500 rating makes me think that I will never become a master. But when I look at you, I see that you can become a chess master through hard work and motivation. You don't have to be a child prodigy or start chess at a young age to end up very good. You give me hope so now I don't feel like giving up :)

  • 6 years ago


    How exceptional that you starting playing at 16. Congratulations on that supreme effort!

  • 6 years ago


    And I still do it every day.


    Noone can convince me however that a FIDE master, IM, GM or any master in chess has not gone through extensive training to get that far, else everyone would've been one by now.

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