Sexy rating? I personally feel that anything under 2000 sucks... :-) And yes, it's OTB.
There's nothing special about 2000... just a round nice number, roughly halfway between beginner and world champion :D
No no, it's a special number. It's a GOLDEN number. You know you want it!
Once you're over 2000, you're a bit like those Spassky's and Karpov's and Carlsen's and Kasparov's...
So long as you start with "1..." you're still among the plebeians of the chess world, a country player, a dabbler...
And actually it takes about 2200, not 2000, to know that you're finally safe from falling back to that warm place, where way over 99% of chess players are located. 2200 is a really safe distance from that great kingdom of patzers... Once you get to 2200, losing to someone below 2000 becomes rare - as it should really be.
Oh, it's special all right. In the first tournament I played with an expert rating I won a game I should have lost, and it was solely because my rating started with a 2. I had white against an 1800 player and I was getting a good attack on his castled king when I noticed a shot that would end it instantly. His queen was on c8 and he had a rook on e8. I had a rook opposing his on e1. I saw that I could play Qxc7 (a pawn) and threaten mate on g7 where my bishop was pointing. I had a knight on g5 covering the empty f7 square, so his back rank was vulnerable. If he takes my unguarded queen, I mate him with my rook. He can't save himself with Rxe1+ because my king is on h2 so it won't be with check, and I just play Qxc8 followed by mate. It looked like it was all over for the 1800 player.
There was just one problem, and I realized it as I soon as I played the move. My king was on h2 and the h2-c7 diagonal was clear, so he could have taken my queen with check. I punched my clock and as calmly as I could, stood up and wandered off to pretend to look at the other games. Actually, though, I was watching my opponent. He was just sitting there staring at the position looking more and more dejected. Finally, he reached over and stopped the clock and started to clear the board. I stopped him and motioned him outside so we could talk about it. As it turned out, he was intimidated by my 2000+ rating and just assumed that I had known what I was doing when I played that horrible blunder. He never even saw the check. Instead, he just sat there cursing his fate for having been paired with an "expert" in the first round and after a couple of minutes, gave up. He took it pretty well, though, probably better than I did.
Anyway, that 2 in front of your rating definitely can mean something. Most class players are at least a little bit intimidated by it. For most of us, it's a psychological hurdle if nothing else. I know it was for me, and if I started playing again it probably still would be.
2200 is a really safe distance from that great kingdom of patzers...
LOL, kingdom of patzers. I guess I'll always be the court jester in that kingdom :D
And yeah I was of course joking... 2000 is impressive enough. At least until the first human crosses the 3000 barrier. It doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon though.
When the first human crosses 3000, he'll still be some kind of a freak, and 2000+ would still be the coveted, promised land...
It's only when most published games by most strong players have their ratings start at 3..., that our little 2000+ club would start to get devalued...
<Weevil99> in my first (and only, so far) tournament I ever played starting with 2000+ FIDE (it was 2015), in both game three and game four I simply dropped a pawn in the opening - which my respected opponents (also rated 2000+, one of them around 2150) didn't take out of respect... :-)
They thought they saw compensation, or maybe they were afraid of some theory...
So get to 2000 and blunder pawns freely in the opening - it's quite all right, it turns out.
I drew both games (but later lost that magical 2 prefix, and I'm still trying to get it back in the FIDE ratings...)
This is the link for that tournament: https://www.chess.com/forum/view/game-analysis/cannes-chess-festival---2014
Check out games 3 and 4 and see for yourself...
And also - check out game five - one of the prettiest I ever played (although I lost) - but in game two a nice queen sacrifice was handsomely rewarded. They are all very recommended reading.
Nice Q sac, and I enjoyed the draws as well. But most of all, I enjoyed your comments. Very entertaining. That magical 2 prefix really can work wonders. The trick is not just getting there, but keeping it. I didn't keep mine for very long, but it was fun while it lasted.
You wait, I'll be right back up there!! :-)
If you liked my annotations you're invited to look at more of my threads and leave your own commentary :-)
I have to look into his claim about having started at 19. Being a friend of Magnus Carlsen's makes it unlikely he actually started playing chess at that age, but it is worth a look.