Playing higher rated players

Mar 28, 2008, 11:30 AM |

When I first started playing at my rating advanced fairly quickly.  Then somewhere in the mid 1500's I felt as if my game wasn't really advancing.  I was an average player playing other average players.  Granted I had a fairly high percentage of victories, but the thrill of victory was on the wane.  So I went to the games in progress section and started challenging players above 2000 (otherwise known as the experts)  I wasn't surprised to find that they really play on an expert level.  I also wasn't surprised to start a losing streak.  Still,  I had made a pact with myself -- keep playing the experts.  Then I noticed that it took them more moves to win.  Did that mean I was getting ?  Could be. 

At last a victory against a 2111 rated player.  The thrill of winning was back!  I felt I was playing my opponents side of the game even more intently than my own.  I was visualizing complex combinations on the other side of the board and developing strong responses.  Then when my opponent made the same move  I anticipated I started having confidence that I may even be playing on the same level.  Then another victory -- a light-bulb had turned inside my head.

There are a few of the experts on that only want to play other experts.  But on the whole, most of them know what it takes for a less experienced player to advance and seem willing to give you a chance.