Tournament players: Determine your playing strength from your results!

Tournament players: Determine your playing strength from your results!

NM Coach-Bill
Oct 6, 2014, 1:45 PM |

What is your rating and how strong do you think you are? Read on and I'll show you how to decide this.


We know ratings measure your playing strength, but do you belong at your current rating or are you underrated? For USCF members, your rating webpage online holds statistics of how you have done versus the various rating ranges back to late 1991.


I contend you need to have good results against the ranges just below you. For a slowly improving player this may be misleading if they played a lot of 1600's and lost when they were around 1400. In this case, the last 12 months of activity should measure your results better, and this could be manually adjusted by you to add months or reduce them,If you are improving rapidly.


It's documented in my free video lessons course on youTube I went from about 2000 to 2200 in 3 months back in 1981. I dug through my scorebooks, and have a created a chart to depict my results:

Rating Games Wins Draws Losses % score

1600-1699 G=5 +5 =0 -0 100.0%

1700-1799 G=6 +5 =1 -0 91.7%

1800-1899 G=9 +8 =1 -0 94.4%

1900-1999 G=8 +6 =1 -1 81.3%

2000-2099 G=9 +5 =4 -0 77.8%

2100-2199 G=10 +7 =0 -3 70%

2200-2299 G=6 +1 =4 -1 50%

Total G=53 +37 =11 -5 80.2%


One reason I did so well is ratings were manually calculated back then and I played in many tournaments with a 2006, and a 1976 rating. My opponents may have underestimated me while I was out for blood as I was rapidly gaining confidence and experience. Those results indicate I was definitely worthy of my master title. Over the next several months, my rating caught up to me and everyone took me seriously. I dropped back to about 2070 in a few months, recovered, and went back over 2200 by late 1982.


Here are my results from 1991 to date. They aren't as good as my earlier results. Some of these include rapid game 30 events, which I don't do particularly well at. I prefer a good 3 to 6 hour game. However, they do show I maintain a consistent decent plus score against players 2000-2199 which legitimatizes my master title, and thus strength.


Lifetime (since 1991) Record

Rating Games Wins Draws Losses % score

1600-1699 G=10 +9 =0 -1 90.0%

1700-1799 G=21 +15 =5 -1 83.3%

1800-1899 G=19 +11 =4 -4 68.4%

1900-1999 G=20 +14 =3 -3 77.5%

2000-2099 G=30 +17 =7 -6 68.3%

2100-2199 G=26 +11 =8 -7 57.7%

2200-2299 G=6 +2 =1 -3 41.7%

Total G=132 +79 =28 -25 70.5%

I didn't play in any rated tournaments mid 1996 to end of 2012, other than a few 10 2 games on the old online USCL server which were rated by USCF. I played plenty of 2200-2500 correspondence chess opponents with ICCF, CCLA etc from 1986 to 2000 with great results. I twice qualified into the world's correspondence championship. My goal is to try to break 2300 FIDE and get an FM title. I already have CM, just haven't applied for it. Having NM is fine. Now, I just need to get out there and face the top competiton so I can demonstrate what I know about this game!

If you would like a clear plan to improve your chess and duplicate my success, try my free video lessons course. It's in my group, linked in sidebar to right.

Thanks for your time.