From a 500 ELO Beginner to a 2000 ELO Expert

Mind_o_Reader

How a Chess Player Improves from a 500 ELO Beginner to a 2000 ELO Expert
Originally Posted on August 2, 2009 on beginchess

Everyone is different; each person is going to reach a certain level at a different rate. Some people can jump sever hundred rating points in a matter of months, other people will stay at a particular rating level for a lifetime. There is no secret to improving in chess, but there are different things that a person can work on at each rating level.

Throughout my life, I have personally held ratings at each rating level. I believe I can relate better to players at each ELO since I am not a prodigy. I remember spending years at a 650 rating and I have had a peak rating of 1830 in 2016. I’ve spent significant time battling many players at each level as I climbed my way up (and falling back down) the ladder.

As of 2019, I will have played chess for 15+ years on and off. Currently, I believe I’m probably rated around the 1650s. Like most of you reading this I’m not trying to become a professional and I didn’t do any special training regimen. I just play for fun.

The following is based a combination of what I have learned and observed at each level and the post that was written in beninchess which a lot of things I agree with and adopted here. As stated originally, the idea is to show the estimated chess rating, the required knowledge and skill. Then show a rough timeframe of what it would take an average person with a modest amount of commitment to attain a specific ELO rating.

0-500 (less than 3 months of experience) Bright Learner. The realm of the beginning chess player. Player at this stage has just learned the game, he will constantly leave pieces en prise, and make many blunders. Player has no tactical, endgame, or positional knowledge. Player does not know about chess strategy and has no evaluation or analysis skills. A player at this level should just focus on playing more games and learn a little bit of basic theory, tactics, and combinations.

500-1000 (3-6 months of experience) Near Beginner. Player now has several games under his belt. He is able do some calculations and make a few combinations. He misses most of the tactics though, he make a lot of blunders, and leave pieces en prise. He plays without a plan. A player at this level should continue learning the basic theory. Focus on how to develop your pieces, castling early, and controlling the center. Also, start learning tactical motifs; focus on pins, forks, discovered attacks.

1000-1100 (6-14 months of experience) Beginner. Player begins to understand that chess is a two player game, and begins to ask what the opponent’s last move is threatening. He have very basic positional and tactical knowledge. He continue to make many blunders and leave pieces en prise, but less than before. Misses many tactics. He plays without a plan or plays with the wrong plan. Players at this level need to work on finding the right plan as well as review games to see the tactics and blunders missed. A player at this level typically struggle still with blunders and missing winning combinations. Blunders will lessen as you play more games. Work on mating in 1s and mating in 2s.

1100-1200 (1-2 years of experience) Astute Beginner. Player looks for checks, captures, and basic tactics. Has developed an understanding of the threats after opponent’s moves. At this level the player can probably beat the majority of his friends. He continue to blunder and occasionally leaves pieces en prise, but this is not a common occurrence. Sometimes plays with a plan, but the plan is usually incorrect. Since players at this level are starting to realize they are better than all their friends, they start playing unsoundly and breaking chess principles. Instead, you should re-double your efforts on the fundamentals. Focus on developing pieces properly, castling early, avoid traps, and most importantly force yourself NOT to move a piece twice until move 12 (unless you absolutely have no choice because your opponent is threatening to take a piece). This will force you to think really carefully about which squares you move a piece to because you cannot move them again for a while.

1200-1300 (2-3 years of experience) Intermediate Beginner. Players at this level have developed a decent thought process. Player has much better calculation ability and is able to better understand positional strengths and weaknesses. Blunders occasionally and improving in not leaving pieces en prise. It’s at this level that they typically struggle with making a lot of inaccurate moves and failing to see all the opponent’s threats when faced with multiple threats or less obvious threats. It’s a good idea here to focus on reviewing your own games to see better moves you could have made in critical points in the game. Also, in reviewing games, put yourself in your opponent’s shoes to try to understand why he made each move he made and what was he trying to do.

1300-1400 (3-5 years of experience) Advanced Beginner. Blunders still occur but less frequently. One major reason for their rating increase, is that player stops leaving pieces en prise. Player has stronger tactical skills but still misses many tactical shots. Starts to build an opening repertoire, which gets them into the middlegame with a better position. Very limited endgame skills and improving positional play. Starts making better plans due to limited endgame and positional knowledge. Players at this level often have glaring issues with their game and a lot of that revolves around blunders. The best way to clean that up is to focus on avoidance tactics and defensive tactics where your goal is to see and avoid or neutralize your opponent’s combinations.

1400-1500 (4-6 years of experience) Near Intermediate. Players at this level have reached a near intermediate thought process. Player has become pretty good at creating combinations and is able to calculate much better. Doesn't often leave pieces en prise and blunders less frequently. Very good with basic offensive tactics and improving on the defensive tactics side, but still misses a lot. Still building opening repertoire. Starts learning basic endgame and middlegame strategy, but knowledge is still very basic. This level is an important milestone for the beginning chess player because they are on the verge of being an intermediate player. Players at this level typically have trouble implementing plans. Focus on learning how to coordinate pieces to setting up for combination moves or to create weaknesses for the opponent.

1500-1600 (5-7 years of experience) Intermediate. Player has intermediate positional and tactical understanding. Able to calculate many levels deep and will see tactics quickly. Rarely leaves pieces en prise. The player still misses more advanced tactics and does not understand subtleties in positions. Has learned the type of player he is and developed pet openings. Still has basic knowledge of endgame and middle game strategies. Inaccuracies are still fairly common. Blunders are rarer, but still happen especially when time is an issue. Because players at this stage don’t make a lot of blunders, and more importantly know how to spot and punish blunders, making one single blunder will decide games. Hence, this is the main thing preventing players from going to the next level. Eliminating blunders and playing several games in a row blunder free games is the goal. Change up your time controls to work on visualization and calculating with time pressures. Try doing visualization exercises and other gaming types, switching things up often helps the brain.

1600-1700 (6-8 years of experience) Astute Intermediate. Player has better thought process, does not leave pieces en prise. A blunder only happens about one in ten games. Strong tactically, both on offense and defense (might occasionally miss a defensive tactic). Has an opening repertoire and plays pet openings. Starting to understand endgame, positional ideas, and developing good analysis skills. Players at this level often have poor positional evaluation abilities and need to develop more advanced planning and positional skills. The best thing to do is to review your games with a higher level player or a chess coach. Compare your thoughts make sure you are understanding the position properly.

1700-1800 (7-9 years of experience) Advanced intermediate. Player has stronger tactical skills and thought process. Player has developed decent endgame and positional skills at this stage. Good positional evaluation and analysis skills. Inaccuracies still happen, but are more under control due to stronger evaluation abilities. Players at this level are much better at exploiting inaccuracies which means that is often the difference between winning and losing. In order to advance further, the player must clean up inaccuracies in their game. The best way is to get a chess trainer to help clean that up. Also, join a local club to play against strong opposition then analyze the game with them.

1800-1900 (8-10 years of experience) Near Expert. Player is strong tactical skills and thought process. Intermediate endgame and positional skills. Intermediate evaluation skills. Very good analyst. Player needs to continue focusing on evaluation and analysis skills. Players at this level typically struggle with seeing and capitalizing on subtle weaknesses in a position. Hence, opening theory knowledge becomes an important component for further improvement. Player has a good database of structures that that can help them when they reach unfamiliar positions in OTB play. Player should reach expert level in approximately 2 more years, which falls in line with expert theory which claims that it takes 10 years to become an expert in any field.

Aaravm

i am 1600 in a year ( from beginner)

Aaravm

good blog. nice description of players 

bishbash1
Load of rubbish, has no basis whatsoever, perhaps if it was written by a 2500 plus with great knowledge then maybe.....and that’s maybe I would give it some credit. But no load of rubbish.
Mind_o_Reader
bishbash1 wrote:
Load of rubbish, has no basis whatsoever, perhaps if it was written by a 2500 plus with great knowledge then maybe.....and that’s maybe I would give it some credit. But no load of rubbish.

 

HAHAHA~ omg am I supposed to feel insulted or amused?

First of all, this guy clearly didn't read the post. That is exactly the point that this isn't written by a 2500 plus grandmaster. It's written by a casual player who spent considerable time in each rating level. It is observations and advice for casual players in each level. And it picks out one or two things they can focus on and gives them a preview of what it's like in the next rating level.

Second of all, I have some advice for you: dump your chess coach and get a grammar teacher instead. You speak like my eight year old brother when he is mad: "no load of rubbish!!" hahaha.

 

little_guinea_pig

I'm not sure about his analysis. at my level, on chess.com, my opponents rarely leave pieces en prise. They seem to be fairly strong on tactics (they can see about half of all 3 move tactics) but are terrible on defence lol. I already have a pet opening (the Caro-Kann) and am much stronger at endgames than opponents my level (so much so that a "drawn" endgame is almost invariably a win). I also am a decent positional player (I know about outposts, bishop pair, controlling key squares etc.), but...…. I blunder. A lot. I'd be at 1500 level if it wasn't for blundering simple tactics (both falling into them and missing them!), so that's what I'm working on now.

drmrboss

How did you achieve 1830? Online (which site), or OTB

All I see about your strength is 1600+, and ur best win was vs 1600+ only

.

How do u know the strength/and weakness of 2000 player when you haven't ever achieved and haven't ever played against them.

 

null

GoldenKiwi

1600-1700 "Astute Intermediate. Player has better thought process, does not leave pieces en prise." Are you sure? When I was 1700, I dropped pieces all over the place, and every time I play one now, they usually drop a piece at one point or another.

Mind_o_Reader
drmrboss wrote:

How did you achieve 1830? Online (which site), or OTB

All I see about your strength is 1600+, and ur best win was vs 1600+ only

.

How do u know the strength/and weakness of 2000 player when you haven't ever achieved and haven't ever played against them.

 

 

 

I play chess otb and online but I play on and off as you can tell from my stats. So my rating fluctuates. I have been rated in the 1800 to 1900 rating range when I was playing a lot and when I don't play for a long period of time it drops down. Here is a screen shot of one of my old closed accounts on chess.com from two years ago.

null

 

Also I don't claim to know the strength and weaknesses of 2000 players or even 1900+ players for that matter. The last section I kept pretty close to what beginchess originally wrote in his post: http://beginchess.com/2009/08/02/anatomy-of-a-chess-player-from-beginner-to-expert/

He left it at "approximately 2 more years" to reach 2000s which is where I left it as well.

If your interested, feel free to fill in that section.

 

Mind_o_Reader
GoldenKiwi wrote:

1600-1700 "Astute Intermediate. Player has better thought process, does not leave pieces en prise." Are you sure? When I was 1700, I dropped pieces all over the place, and every time I play one now, they usually drop a piece at one point or another.

 

Yep I agree with you on dropping pieces at one point or another, but not every game certainly. Would you say you dropped a piece every one in five or one in ten games or so?? Also, under more time pressures in shorter time controlled games yea for sure, at this level 1700s drop pieces at a much higher frequency.

bishbash1
Again what a load of old tosh, you have tried to spam this tripe on loads of threads on chess.com. As said above your best win is only 1600 and reviewing your games, the only time you have ever been close to 2000 is in one of your wet dreams. As for the fake try on showing an 1800 plus account 😂😂😂😂.
Mind_o_Reader
littleLizz wrote:

I'm not sure about his analysis. at my level, on chess.com, my opponents rarely leave pieces en prise. They seem to be fairly strong on tactics (they can see about half of all 3 move tactics) but are terrible on defence lol. I already have a pet opening (the Caro-Kann) and am much stronger at endgames than opponents my level (so much so that a "drawn" endgame is almost invariably a win). I also am a decent positional player (I know about outposts, bishop pair, controlling key squares etc.), but...…. I blunder. A lot. I'd be at 1500 level if it wasn't for blundering simple tactics (both falling into them and missing them!), so that's what I'm working on now.

 

Hey littlelizz. Thanks for the comment. I have to say that I might not have given the 1000-1100 enough credit. I do remember being in the 1000s myself and playing against other 1000s and thinking wow are these people really "beginners"... the are really good.

Having said that, 1000-1100 do have lot of blunders and leave pieces en prise a lot. Now I don't mean every game that they leave pieces for you to freely take but once ever couple of games for sure.

Just as an example I looked at 3 of your most recent games you played a 1033 player, between the two of you I counted 7 blunders and 1 en prise, In your game with a 1024 player I counted 5 blunders and 2 en prise pieces. In your game vs a 1141 player, you did really good, no blunders and your opponent made 2.

So yep I would say that getting a control on blunders and be able to see your opponents blunders should be the main goal of 1000s.

It's great that you picked a solid opening as your pet opening. I remember played exclusively the grob attack as my pet opening at around 1000s. I can be fairly confident to say that your opening choice is gonna change once you get higher.

Also its great that you have good end game play and are fairly positional.

Can't wait to see you climb the rating ladder.

 

 

 

Mind_o_Reader
bishbash1 wrote:
Again what a load of old tosh, you have tried to spam this tripe on loads of threads on chess.com. As said above your best win is only 1600 and reviewing your games, the only time you have ever been close to 2000 is in one of your wet dreams. As for the fake try on showing an 1800 plus account 😂😂😂😂.

 

HAHAHAHA it's this 8 year old again. Lmfao omg you either need to go back to grade school or you have some brain deficiencies by the way you talk. "load of old tosh" hahaha.

Also, I don't care if you don't believe me and I don't care about ratings either. Its a number to group people so that they play with people of the same playing strength. I do this to help people get better to get more enjoyment out of the game.

You on the other hand, clearly have bigger insecurities in your life that you need to deal with. Stop play so much chess and go improve your English, it will help you more in life.

 

abcx123

I play chess for a few years but don't get better.

I geuss it's because i play for fun and don't care about openings and positions.

But i believe you.

The question is how much practice do you need for expierence .

bishbash1
HAHAHAHA it's this 8 year old again. Lmfao omg you either need to go back to grade school or you have some brain deficiencies by the way you talk. "load of old tosh" hahaha.

Also, I don't care if you don't believe me and I don't care about ratings either. Its a number to group people so that they play with people of the same playing strength. I do this to help people get better to get more enjoyment out of the game.

You on the other hand, clearly have bigger insecurities in your life that you need to deal with. Stop play so much chess and go improve your English, it will help you more in life.

—————————————————————-


Stop play!!!!! Followed by go improve your English oh the irony, as for the grammar oh dear kid.

Anyway “load of old tosh” a very English saying, guess it didn’t travel well when you butchered the language.

There’s only one person here claiming they better than they are, again ironic.
Mind_o_Reader
bishbash1 wrote:
HAHAHAHA it's this 8 year old again. Lmfao omg you either need to go back to grade school or you have some brain deficiencies by the way you talk. "load of old tosh" hahaha.

Also, I don't care if you don't believe me and I don't care about ratings either. Its a number to group people so that they play with people of the same playing strength. I do this to help people get better to get more enjoyment out of the game.

You on the other hand, clearly have bigger insecurities in your life that you need to deal with. Stop play so much chess and go improve your English, it will help you more in life.

—————————————————————-


Stop play!!!!! Followed by go improve your English oh the irony, as for the grammar oh dear kid.

Anyway “load of old tosh” a very English saying, guess it didn’t travel well when you butchered the language.

There’s only one person here claiming they better than they are, again ironic.

 

"Stop play!!! Followed by go improve your English oh the irony, as for the grammar oh dear kid." -> Wow. Are you dyslexic?

"There's only one person here claiming they better than they are, again ironic" -> The more you talk the more you just make yourself look bad. 

I have no reason to lie. Don't believe me, I don't care. 

 

bishbash1
We digress but....

“have no reason to lie. Don't believe me, I don't care. “. Mmmmmm just leave this sentence here for you to ponder.

As for chess message me when you get to 2000, forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.
little_guinea_pig
Mind_o_Reader wrote:
littleLizz wrote:

I'm not sure about his analysis. at my level, on chess.com, my opponents rarely leave pieces en prise. They seem to be fairly strong on tactics (they can see about half of all 3 move tactics) but are terrible on defence lol. I already have a pet opening (the Caro-Kann) and am much stronger at endgames than opponents my level (so much so that a "drawn" endgame is almost invariably a win). I also am a decent positional player (I know about outposts, bishop pair, controlling key squares etc.), but...…. I blunder. A lot. I'd be at 1500 level if it wasn't for blundering simple tactics (both falling into them and missing them!), so that's what I'm working on now.

 

Hey littlelizz. Thanks for the comment. I have to say that I might not have given the 1000-1100 enough credit. I do remember being in the 1000s myself and playing against other 1000s and thinking wow are these people really "beginners"... the are really good.

Having said that, 1000-1100 do have lot of blunders and leave pieces en prise a lot. Now I don't mean every game that they leave pieces for you to freely take but once ever couple of games for sure.

Just as an example I looked at 3 of your most recent games you played a 1033 player, between the two of you I counted 7 blunders and 1 en prise, In your game with a 1024 player I counted 5 blunders and 2 en prise pieces. In your game vs a 1141 player, you did really good, no blunders and your opponent made 2.

So yep I would say that getting a control on blunders and be able to see your opponents blunders should be the main goal of 1000s.

It's great that you picked a solid opening as your pet opening. I remember played exclusively the grob attack as my pet opening at around 1000s. I can be fairly confident to say that your opening choice is gonna change once you get higher.

Also its great that you have good end game play and are fairly positional.

Can't wait to see you climb the rating ladder.

 

 

 

7 blunders..... I was right! I do need to work on that. Thanks for taking the time to look at it.

bishbash1
Funny if you analyse your game via the site analysis littlelizz it doesn’t show 7 blunders, you made a couple of mistakes true but only 2 blunders in the game and not by you. Be careful who you listen to a lot of chancers on here.
Somtoth117

I found this super interesting. Truthfully I have been struggling to break 1k rating and I am nearing 500 games :/