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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.
There's nothing special about 2000... just a round nice number, roughly halfway between beginner and world champion :D
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.
I had a discussion with my team mate TT Nguyen this week-end. He played as a kid in school in Vietnam, but only started competitve chess when he arrived in France at 23.
His first FIDE rating after one year of club play was 2150 and he became a FM 8 years later. His peak rating was 2368.
Another player who showed tremendous progress after 20 is GM John Shaw, who was rated a meagre 1700 at 19...
He also tells his story in the QC book "Grandmaster vs. amateur" in a chapter titled : "from amateur to GM... and back !"
"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 patzer"
Hey! Stop that! Quit moving the goal posts. I'm several years shy of 60 and rated 1400 in blitz. I'd be delighted to reach 2000 which is not, NOT, NOT!, patzer territory.
And I googled like crazy, and there was an Oscar Shapiro who hit master at age 74....
The goal posts that I move are my own, of course not yours!!
I have a friend who is rated FIDE 2375. He calls himself "an improved patzer". How's that now? :-)
Go ahead. Break 1500. You know you can.
"Go ahead. Break 1500. You know you can."
LOL. I'll get there. Anyways, back in the 80's when I was a USCF member and I was a rated "C" or "B" player, I was 1 1/2 - 1 1/2 against rated experts in tournament play at classical time controls. 1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss.
It was rather enjoyable (I should be ashamed) to see the horrified looks and disgust of Experts losing or drawing to players rated many hundreds of points lower than themselves. It has negative repercussions to their rating.
The fun part of playing players rated so much higher than you is: There's no pressure on you! They're supposed to win. So that frees you (actually me) up to play goofy chess. By goofy, I mean unconventional.
With all due respect, three games is a minuscule sample size.
I beat an expert when I was rated 1381 (although in doing so I stole so many points from the guy that he fell under 2000 and hasn't been back since!). I then didn't win another game vs an expert in my next forty attempts, although I did draw a bunch. So once the sample size increased, it became clear to a point that the first game was some fluke (mainly because of how overrated he was).
In the last year I've totally snapped out of whatever funk I was in against experts (wrote a blog about it), and have beaten a bunch recently, and in doing so have broken well into the 1900s.
It's all relative, isn't it? A 1400 FIDE Elo player would trash all beginners, occasional players, and probably all but the most serious amateurs. If those are the circles you mingle in, it's enough to be rated 1400 and feel like a chess god.
If you mingle in super GM circles however, you can be 2400 and still feel like a joke.
"It's all relative, isn't it? A 1400 FIDE Elo player would trash all beginners, occasional players, and probably all but the most serious amateurs. If those are the circles you mingle in, it's enough to be rated 1400 and feel like a chess god."
That's true. It depends on who you compare yourself with. And why.
Just like money. Someone who's making a $100K/year might feel poor if he's comparing himself with folks making $500K/year, but you go a 3rd world country, and you make a $100K there, you are the millionaire!
Anyways, 2000 is a nice round rating number. And "Expert" sounds a lot better than "Class B" or "Class A." Of course, "Master" is way better than "Expert" but at my age I'd rather set more attainable goals.
The money analogy is pretty bang on. I guess the only difference between money and rating points is that the latter are harder and harder to accumulate as you approach your limit. We all have our ultimate limits, even Carlsen is stuck at 2820-2840 for some time (though I'm sure most people would agree +2800 is not a bad number to be stuck with). I think the main problem with adult improvers is the law of diminishing returns... beyond a certain point you have to put in ever increasing amounts of time and effort in order to gain fewer and fewer points. Not to mention that beyond a certain age you have to put in more effort just to stay afloat...