Finally... 2000

Finally... 2000

Mar 15, 2018, 1:53 PM |

It must have been around the 1st week of January in 2014 when I said to myself "You know what? I'm going to increase my rating to 2000 at this site." And believe it or not, I was naive enough to think that this will happen in few months, if not few weeks. I think I was around 1400 in blitz at the time. I easily raised my rating from the default 1200 that you get when you first create the account to 1400, and so I thought that it would be just as easy to raise it to 2000. After all, you just raise your rating by 200 three more times, right?


How wrong I was...


As soon as I broke into 1500s, I hit a brick wall. Man, those 1500 players were so good. It felt like they were imbued with positional understanding of Karpov and Kramnik. They never had any weaknesses in their position, they never gave a piece or a pawn for free, and whenever I made a slight mistake, they seemingly punished me right away. It felt like I was up against an insurmountable wall... I was on a such a bad losing streak that I had to stop playing against another human for few months from February 2014 to April 2014.


That all seem such a long time ago. After all, 4 years have passed since then, and many things have happened in between, such as realizing that ratings aren't as important as your actual playing strength. It's funny... by the time you get close to a rating that you want to achieve, you realize that that rating isn't all that. But still, you shouldn't rob yourself of all the joy out of reaching a milestone. I wrote a blog about 2 and a half years ago when I first broke 1800. That was a cool feeling. I knew then, that 2000 was not far off. In fact, I was very close last year, when I got to 1990 in April of 2017, but I just could not get that 1 or 2 more wins.


Well, today is the day my friends.

What I set out to do 4 years and 2 months ago, I have finally done it. It's certainly an amazing feeling. Not the rating itself, but the fact that I set a goal for myself, a one that I eventually found out would be very difficult and would take a long time, but I stuck through it until I achieved it. And of course, I cannot deny that there is something about that first digit being a 2 that makes you pretty good inside.


But one thing that I realized in this journey, especially recently, is that, the best thing about being high rated is your access to other high rated players. Iron sharpens Iron. You get to rub shoulder with other very good players on a consistent basis, and that to me is the biggest benefit of being high rated. Back when I was a 1400~1500 player, I used to think that "Man, if I was a 2000 rated player, I would be so good and I would win so easily" What I found is the complete opposite. It doesn't get easier to win games as you move up the rating ladder; it gets HARDER. Your opponents are better, it's harder to win material, it's harder to convert an advantage, it's harder to finish a guy off, every little mistake gets punished more swiftly and harshly than ever before, and the margin of error gets smaller and smaller as you move up. But I have come to embrace that. It forces me to give more effort and be more focused. Without it, I would never have improved from where I was 4 years ago.


Where do I go from here? This is not the end of my journey. Now that I broke into 2000s, I obviously want to maintain it, otherwise it would feel like a fluke, but I don't necessarily have any goals of reaching a further rating as far as online blitz goes. 2000 was just a milestone that I set for myself back in the days, but now, I want to focus on OTB milestones. 


I wonder where I would be 4 years from now. Hopefully somewhere that I can feel good about.