Why do I suck (1500)?

  • #41
    Rasparovov wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    Scottrf wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:

    1500 is 1700 USCF? Then I'm almost 2200 and that's not right.

    Not in online chess which is too high, blitz numbers are generally a good amount lower than USCF.

    Blitz USCF or standard time controls? Cus I'm one of those guys that suck at blitz compared to standard.

    Its blitz Chess.com rating to standard (OTB tournament controls is what I call it) USCF rating.

    That's a rather retarded formula then. It's just a very general idea of a persons rating that can vary by insane amounts.

    Actually the data backs it up well from what I've read and witnessed myself. Here is a link to one recent discussion on the matter (its long, you can skip to the relevent parts).

    Well the data also backs my formula that online chess is within 1000 rating of USCF. This is complete nonsense.

    Well if it does and its repeatable then you have a valid claim. I can't say many will care much about it, though. :)

    @Adam I'm interested in how you have such a high bullet rating but much lower blitz rating here. Do you move to fast (even for blitz) that opponents can capitalize on your errors more unlike in bullet?

    It's not valid, it's stupid. Who would care for such a stupid formula, blitz +200 is USCF, it's ridiculous.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion on the matter. :)

    @Adam I have a question, how often do you play in USCF tournaments?

  • #42
    KingsEye wrote:

    @Adam I have a question, how often do you play in USCF tournaments?

    Not very often anymore. I'll probably go to the state tournament in May. I read something by Heisman who said that after you get to 17-1800 in standard otb, you should start playing a lot of blitz online, so that's what I've been doing here.

  • #43

    Hello Adam, A key factor to self-improvement is to do two things, after every game played, find the opening and critical moment improvements. The first part is obvious enough, hit your opening books and ensure you played the opening correctly. I checked your most recent game today, you were White, and the game started 1 d4 c5 2 d5 Nf6 3 c4 etc. Most of my opening books site 1..c5 as slightly inaccurate, and that 3 Nc3 is a strong response. One could argue that 3 c4 transposes to the Benoni, and White loses nothing in allowing the transposition, but if you want to win, then no opportunity should be left on the board.

    The second part, the critical moment improvement, is simply finding out how you could have played a middlegame better. It could be finding a better move, finding a better plan, seeing a tactic missed, stopping the opponent's plan, etc. basically an effort to improve one's middlegame knowledge and play. I often tell students, find a key point which defines an opening line, then seek out games to play over with that line used, so you can see how the middlegame could have been played. With the opening improvement noted above, the process for me would be: I get a pgn of that game, I put the game into chessbase, add 3 Nc3 as a variation, seeking online games with that move played, I sort on White ELO (since the improvement is for White), and then I rather quickly play over the top dozen games. I am attempting to soak in the ideas and flow of play. It does not have to exhaustive study. Over time doing this process game after game, the ideas, the flow of moves, the middlegame plans, etc. start to build upon themselves. Good Chess! Keith

  • #44

    Some argue that blitz fosters bad habits and/or weaker play. I think if one works the process of improvment after every game, then blitz can be a nice way to get volume for study material.

    Here is an example of how I do critical-moment improvements:

    [Event "Denton Frolic"]
    [Site "Denton TX"]
    [Date "2011.06.05"]
    [Round "2.1"]
    [White "Hayward, Keith"]
    [Black "Rinkleff, Adam"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [ECO "C14"]
    [WhiteElo "2256"]
    [BlackElo "1794"]
    1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bg5 e6 4. e4 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 a6 8. Nf3 c5 9. dxc5 Qxc5 10. Qd2 Nc6 11. Bd3 Nb4 12. Qf2 Nxd3+ 13. cxd3 Qxf2+ 14. Kxf2 b5 15. Rhc1 Bb7 16. a4 (16. Ne2 $1 Rc8 17. Rxc8+ Bxc8 18. Rc1 {Black is in trouble, with a bad bishop.}) 16... b4 (16... Nc5 $1 17. Rd1 b4 18. Ne2 a5 19. Ke3 {White has the better of an even position.}) 17. Na2 b3 18. Nc3 Ke7 19. Nd4 Nc5 20. Nxd5+ Bxd5 21. Rxc5 Rhc8 22. Rac1 Kd7 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Rxc8 Kxc8 25. a5 Kc7 26. g3 g6 27. Ke3 h5 28. Kd2 Kb7 29. Kc3 Kc7 30. Nxb3 Bxb3 31. Kxb3 Kc6 32. Ka4 Kc5 33. b4+ Kc6 34. b5+ axb5+ 35. Kb4 1-0

    BTW, I think I played the opening fine, and did not note an improvement there. I diligently attempt to do the improvement process with all my games. Alhtough sometimes I play too many games online to get them all done.

  • #45
    Drawyah wrote:

    A key factor to self-improvement is to do two things, after every game played, find the opening and critical moment improvements... I checked your most recent game today, you were White, and the game started 1 d4 c5 2 d5 Nf6 3 c4 etc. Most of my opening books site 1..c5 as slightly inaccurate, and that 3 Nc3 is a strong response.

    Yah, lol, you gave me that same advice a year or two ago. I think its pretty sound, and pretty much defines what I do: every game I play, I look at it with the computer and try to figure out what I could have done better. I'm actually looking at that game right now with Houdini. I suppose the point of 3.Nc3 is to threaten 4.e4, whereas 3.c4 doesn't really do anything at all.

    Sometimes I wish there was some magical thing I could do to get better, like read some endgame book, or study some powerful tactical combination, but really I think the reality is exactly as you said: I just need to play more games, and learn from my mistakes. Its a slow process. : \

    Sometimes I use Houdini to beat Chessmaster, but I'm not sure that I actually learn anything from that. In theory, it should be instructive though.

  • #46

    Look, everyone, after reading two posts from Keith Hayward I played this brilliant game! This is why he is the best chess coach ever.

  • #47
    skinnypurpleducks wrote:

    that is not a 1300 ....

    It really happened! Lol. 6.b3???

  • #48
    AdamRinkleff wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:

    @Adam I have a question, how often do you play in USCF tournaments?

    Not very often anymore. I'll probably go to the state tournament in May. I read something by Heisman who said that after you get to 17-1800 in standard otb, you should start playing a lot of blitz online, so that's what I've been doing here.

    Dan Heisman? I dont think I have ever heard him reccomend blitz.

  • #49
    robobeer wrote

    Dan Heisman? I dont think I have ever heard him reccomend blitz.

    Yah, he said beginners should avoid blitz, until they learn to play at slower time controls. However, after they hit about 17-1800, they should start playing blitz, so they can get more experience with different positions and openings.

  • #50
    Rasparovov wrote:
    Sunshiny wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    Sunshiny wrote:
    VULPES_VULPES wrote:

    Well, according to your evaluation, AdamRinkleEff, that means I suck at chess.

    The truth hurts, doesn't it? Want a hug?

    But is that really the truth? I wouldn't say a 1700 online chess player here on chess.com sucks.

    It depends on how you look at it. If 1600 is avg., then 1500 would be a little below avg., while 1700 would be a little above. Then again, a 1700 still has much to learn, and could be considered a sucky player in one person's point of view. In another point of view, a 1700 might be making less obvious blunders and the word "suck" might not truly apply. Take an amateur boxer for example. This boxer would probably be better than the average person off the street in a boxing match. The boxer might even be very good against many of the opponent's faced in the arena. Now pit this boxer against a professional boxer in a ring. What does the audience see and think of this boxer?

    Well then it's certainly not the truth.

    It's more truth for the 1500 than the 1700.

  • #51
    AdamRinkleff wrote:
    robobeer wrote

    Dan Heisman? I dont think I have ever heard him reccomend blitz.

    Yah, he said beginners should avoid blitz, until they learn to play at slower time controls. However, after they hit about 17-1800, they should start playing blitz, so they can get more experience with different positions and openings.

    Heisman does recommend some blitz, for the reasons you give, but he definitely doesn't recommend playing "lots of blitz" (i.e., more blitz than standard slow games). For example, in The Four Homework Assignments, he recommends that you spend your chess time as follows:

    Play ~55% of your chess time; Study 45%:

    • Of the Play time, use 85-90% of your time to play long time control games slowly and 10-15% for speed games with the same increment as your important slow games. Play about 60% of your opponents slightly stronger than yourself, etc.
    • Of the Study time, use approximately 50% of your time doing appropriate level puzzles (tactics, positional, endgame), 30% instructive annotated games, 15% "other", and 5% learning opening tabiyas and looking up your openings
  • #52

    LOL I never knew there was a way to calculate the optimal time spent on chess. Total jokes. Pro-tip - quit surfing the forums and play some blitz chess. Spend like an hour or so (or more) playing and analyzing your games afterwards either with an engine or with a friend.

    Understand why you lost and why you suck. It's not enough to say oh I missed a tactic or I lost because of my poor endgame technique but figure out how to solve the problem. For example, if you keep losing against Sicilian najdorf because you keep getting mated on the queenside, maybe you could just castle kingside and avoid all the shenanigans? Alternatively, maybe play the Closed Sicilian or another respectible sideline (6. h3 against najdorf is pretty popular) and learn it well.

    You don't have to play the best moves or the best openings. For the longest time I played trompowsky, scandinavian and vienna game and was pretty successful with it. It's all about coming up with imaginative middlegame ideas and following through on it. If you're good with tactics, find ways to mate your opponent or win a pawn. If you're bad at positional chess, read some more Watson or watch some instructive videos and think critically. If you have some type of day-job that's not about flipping burgers, you can think critically. Apply the same type of thinking from your work to your chess and treat your chess as a hobby, not as a job (that's pretty key).

    The most important thing I want to emphasize is to play a lot of games to get a wide range of experiences to draw from and to help manage against time trouble and quick decision making skills. I cannot tell you how often I've seen someone with weak blitz skills get in time trouble or have difficulty deciding what to do. Working hard over the board is just as if not more important than studying and prepping beforehand. Take all your games seriously whether it's blitz or over the board chess.

  • #53
    sapientdust wrote:
    he definitely doesn't recommend playing "lots of blitz" (i.e., more blitz than standard slow games). For example, in The Four Homework Assignments...

    Yah, yah, but who is his target audience when he wrote that? People who still need to read stuff like "Novice Nook", etc, ie: beginners. However, somewhere on that huge site of his, he discusses the question of whether blitz is helpful or harmful, and he comes to the conclusion that its harmful for beginners, but helpful for more advanced players.

    He notes, echoing a similar essay by Larry Christiansen, that almost all grandmasters have played a lot of blitz. His conclusion is that beginners should avoid blitz, because it will reinforce bad habits, and they won't learn to think slowly. However, once you learn to think slowly, of course you shouldn't stop playing slow chess, but that shouldn't be your focus because it represents wasted energy. You'll never learn the different opening variations unless you sit down and play a LOT of blitz. This makes sense to me.

    In addition to Christiansen and Heisman, Keith Hayward and Bindi Cheng both said pretty much the same thing within this thread. At a certain point, if you want to get better, its a good idea to play a lot of blitz, but you need to make sure you analyze each game afterwards.

  • #54

    my blitz rating is 200 points higher than my USCF rating. why?

  • #55

    Well, as Dan Heisman says, being good at blitz doesn't help you in standard time controls, if you don't know how to play slowly. In contrast, if you know how to think slowly, being good at blitz will help you play standard time controls.

    Considering that you've only played three tournaments in the past year, all of which were at quick time controls of 30-40 minutes, I think its clear you need more experience playing slow chess. Try entering a few tournaments with a time control like G120 or 90'30".

    For you, getting better at standard won't be a matter of learning tactics or strategy. You just need more mental discipline, in order to use your allotted time more effectively.

  • #56
    AdamRinkleff wrote:
    sapientdust wrote:
    he definitely doesn't recommend playing "lots of blitz" (i.e., more blitz than standard slow games). For example, in The Four Homework Assignments...

    Yah, yah, but who is his target audience when he wrote that? People who still need to read stuff like "Novice Nook", etc, ie: beginners. However, somewhere on that huge site of his, he discusses the question of whether blitz is helpful or harmful, and he comes to the conclusion that its harmful for beginners, but helpful for more advanced players.

    He notes, echoing a similar essay by Larry Christiansen, that almost all grandmasters have played a lot of blitz. His conclusion is that beginners should avoid blitz, because it will reinforce bad habits, and they won't learn to think slowly. However, once you learn to think slowly, of course you shouldn't stop playing slow chess, but that shouldn't be your focus because it represents wasted energy. You'll never learn the different opening variations unless you sit down and play a LOT of blitz. This makes sense to me.

    In addition to Christiansen and Heisman, Keith Hayward and Bindi Cheng both said pretty much the same thing within this thread. At a certain point, if you want to get better, its a good idea to play a lot of blitz, but you need to make sure you analyze each game afterwards.

    You're totally mistaken if you think only beginners read "Novice Nook", despite the inappropriate name, and no, I don't think he intended that advice to be solely for beginners.

    I think you're misremembering something you read or repeating what you heard from some secondary source. I've read most of what Dan has written, and I've never heard him recommend that people should focus on blitz and state that slow chess is "wasted energy" once you progress past a certain point and learn to "think slowly".

    He definitely does recommend playing some blitz, but what I disagree with is that he says blitz should be the focus and that slow chess is "wasted energy", as you're saying.

  • #57
    sapientdust wrote:
    I think you're misremembering something you read or repeating what you heard from some secondary source.

    No, he was very clear. He reccomended slow chess for beginners, and blitz chess for those who had learned to play slow chess properly.

  • #58
    AdamRinkleff wrote:
    sapientdust wrote:
    he definitely doesn't recommend playing "lots of blitz" (i.e., more blitz than standard slow games). For example, in The Four Homework Assignments...

    Yah, yah, but who is his target audience when he wrote that? People who still need to read stuff like "Novice Nook", etc, ie: beginners. However, somewhere on that huge site of his, he discusses the question of whether blitz is helpful or harmful, and he comes to the conclusion that its harmful for beginners, but helpful for more advanced players.

    He notes, echoing a similar essay by Larry Christiansen, that almost all grandmasters have played a lot of blitz. His conclusion is that beginners should avoid blitz, because it will reinforce bad habits, and they won't learn to think slowly. However, once you learn to think slowly, of course you shouldn't stop playing slow chess, but that shouldn't be your focus because it represents wasted energy. You'll never learn the different opening variations unless you sit down and play a LOT of blitz. This makes sense to me.


    In addition to Christiansen and Heisman, Keith Hayward and Bindi Cheng both said pretty much the same thing within this thread. At a certain point, if you want to get better, its a good idea to play a lot of blitz, but you need to make sure you analyze each game afterwards.

    Did he say the part i italicized, or are you saying this? I think it's untrue.

    Edit: Apparently, it's not working. I meant this: " You'll never learn the different opening variations unless you sit down and play a LOT of blitz. This makes sense to me."  

  • #59
    AdamRinkleff wrote:

    Look, everyone, after reading two posts from Keith Hayward I played this brilliant game! This is why he is the best chess coach ever.

    This might have been tongue in cheek, and maybe I'm being too serious, but if you're taking the given advice to heart then this kind of game should feel like a total waste.  The advice to analyse after blitz games, with or without a computer, play long games, find ways to correct problems, etc all boils down to the advice "do some hard work"

    If you sit back and let houdini spit moves at you then you're not doing any work at all.  You have to think critically and second guess and find improvements.  During the game, after the game, whenever.  If houdidni gives you an odd move, then try to beat it.  Explore why it works, explore why your move doesn't work.  This is what makes you better.  Reading a book does nothing for you if you don't engage it.  Ask questions, think critically, take notes, work the exercises, whatever.  All the advice always boils down to put in some hard work and you'll improve. 

    Books, analysis, games, even getting a coach can all be done without working hard, and if that's the case you'll never see improvement.

  • #60
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    KingsEye wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:
    Scottrf wrote:
    Rasparovov wrote:

    1500 is 1700 USCF? Then I'm almost 2200 and that's not right.

    Not in online chess which is too high, blitz numbers are generally a good amount lower than USCF.

    Blitz USCF or standard time controls? Cus I'm one of those guys that suck at blitz compared to standard.

    Its blitz Chess.com rating to standard (OTB tournament controls is what I call it) USCF rating.

    That's a rather retarded formula then. It's just a very general idea of a persons rating that can vary by insane amounts.

    Actually the data backs it up well from what I've read and witnessed myself. Here is a link to one recent discussion on the matter (its long, you can skip to the relevent parts).

    Well the data also backs my formula that online chess is within 1000 rating of USCF. This is complete nonsense.

    Well if it does and its repeatable then you have a valid claim. I can't say many will care much about it, though. :)

    @Adam I'm interested in how you have such a high bullet rating but much lower blitz rating here. Do you move to fast (even for blitz) that opponents can capitalize on your errors more unlike in bullet?

    It's not valid, it's stupid. Who would care for such a stupid formula, blitz +200 is USCF, it's ridiculous.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion on the matter. :)

    @Adam I have a question, how often do you play in USCF tournaments?

    It's not an opinion it's a logic point of view.

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