ELO 500 - What Should I expect from myself?

TibetanWolff
I began playing chess about two months ago. my elo is 500, with about an increase of 100 points in the past month (although, i just went through an embarassing streak of losses.)
TibetanWolff

Reflecting, my biggest issue is undefended pieces: careless mistakes made out of frustration. I tanked by some 60 points today. That said, my overall goal is an ELO of 1600. I am going through the study guides and old lessons. Perhaps I should take off of live games and focus solely on those to give myself a break? anyways, feedback appreciated! Chess is a newfound passion, i love learning about it! Such an intricate gain. For me, what do you think would be the most expeditious route for hitting my goal in the next couple years? Undefended pieces is a culprit (at times, i keep my pieces coordinated quite well. other times, I'll become tired or disheartened and make careless mistakes.) I'm focusing on looking for forks, pins, skewers, double and discovered attacks. Also, going through the lessons and puzzles daily.

nexim

Play less blitz and more longer games. Either 30 min + rapid games or daily games (1-3 days per move) should be good. Learning chess at the beginning is a tedious task of going through all the basic principles before every move.

At the very basic level:
Which of my pieces are undefended? What are my opponents undefended pieces? Can I attack them? can he attack my undefended pieces? How do I put more pressure on weak points and cover my weak points? You need to do this AT EVERY TURN.

A bit more experienced:
1. Does my opponent have a threat
IF Yes: What is the best way to deal with it (defend or counter with a bigger threat?)
IF No: Do I have a way to win material or checkmate? (check all forcing moves, like captures and checks) If no, continue to step 2.

2. Is there a way I could threaten my opponent?
IF Yes: Double check before making a move, does the threat actually work or give you something, or is it just a hopeful attempt that maybe your opponent misses it? Don't hope. You win a lot of beginners easily by making simple threats that they will miss, but eventually you'll hit a wall against players who can defend simple threats and take the control of the game. If you have a good threat that is hard to parry, go for it.
IF No: Go to step 3.

3. What is my worst placed piece?
Identify the piece that is doing the least (furthest from the action, blocked from participating, doesn't really cover any important squares), try to figure how to get that piece playing. You want to have ALL of your pieces participating in the action. Basics like rooks on open files, knights controlling the centre, bishops on long diagonals, preferably aiming towards opponents castled king.

Basic opening principles:
1. Don't move the same piece twice, unless you can win material (1 pawn is often not enough compensation to ruin your development)
2. Try to develop all of your pieces to the game as fast as possible
3. Don't make too many pawn moves, it's more important to get the pieces out. Knights and bishops before rooks and queen.
4. Castle often and castle before it's too late.
5. Get your queen of the back-rank so your rooks can see each other. Make sure to keep queen in a square where she isn't easily harassed by opponents minor pieces, forcing you to keep wasting time moving the queen around.

As you can see, going through a checklist like this on EVERY MOVE, requires time. So that's why you should play games where you actually have time to think. The more you do this, the more automatic it becomes and you will start seeing weaknesses in your and opponents position much faster. But there is no point in trying to run, if you can't even walk yet. Learn to crawl first.

Apart from these, practice basic 1, 2 and 3 move tactics and checkmates. You can do some very basic learning of couple openings you like to play, but don't over do it. Memorizing lines that you get to play once every ten games isn't going to solve 99% of the issues you have at your level. Learn the principles. Learn the way to think.

It's tedious as heck at the start, but it's the fastest way to actually learn. Two years and 1600 elo wouldn't seem at all impossible with fairly serious commitment to daily practice THE RIGHT WAY.

Here's a quick annotation of your latest rapid game with some commentary:


Good luck on your chess journey! ;-)

daxypoo
if you are near any chess clubs that offer rated tournaments i would get in there asap

playing a classical time control game with all your attention and focus channeled to the best of your ability will give the biggest dividends

even better if you can get one of the seasoned players, or take a chess lesson and go over your games, to go over game with you

if you cant do that them i would suggest playing 30 min games(at least) and spending time going over your games when you finish

you seem to get by ok so far so daily isnt needed i dont believe
Marie-AnneLiz
TibetanWolff a écrit :

Reflecting, my biggest issue is undefended pieces: careless mistakes made out of frustration. I tanked by some 60 points today. That said, my overall goal is an ELO of 1600. I am going through the study guides and old lessons. Perhaps I should take off of live games and focus solely on those to give myself a break? anyways, feedback appreciated! Chess is a newfound passion, i love learning about it! Such an intricate gain. For me, what do you think would be the most expeditious route for hitting my goal in the next couple years? Undefended pieces is a culprit (at times, i keep my pieces coordinated quite well. other times, I'll become tired or disheartened and make careless mistakes.) I'm focusing on looking for forks, pins, skewers, double and discovered attacks. Also, going through the lessons and puzzles daily.

Only play 15 min +10....faster game are not good to improve your knowledge and quality of play.

KeSetoKaiba

When my rating drops, I sometimes find forums like these helpful https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/why-is-my-rating-dropping 

perhaps it will help you too. 

Sometimes a break (even a few days) is what you need and other times it is just looking at things in a different way. It is great that you've found that undefended pieces are a problem for you. Turn your thinking around. Maybe look into why your pieces are undefended? Are you passively defending too much? Are you coordinating your attacks with many pieces on converging targets effectively? Are you not double checking your moves before you play them? These questions, and others, could help you better understand the reason for your pieces being undefended often and therefore, could help you prevent this from being a problem. 

Hope this helps; try looking at things from a different light and putting things in a different perspective. happy.png 

TibetanWolff
nexim wrote:

Play less blitz and more longer games. Either 30 min + rapid games or daily games (1-3 days per move) should be good. Learning chess at the beginning is a tedious task of going through all the basic principles before every move.

At the very basic level:
Which of my pieces are undefended? What are my opponents undefended pieces? Can I attack them? can he attack my undefended pieces? How do I put more pressure on weak points and cover my weak points? You need to do this AT EVERY TURN.

A bit more experienced:
1. Does my opponent have a threat
IF Yes: What is the best way to deal with it (defend or counter with a bigger threat?)
IF No: Do I have a way to win material or checkmate? (check all forcing moves, like captures and checks) If no, continue to step 2.

2. Is there a way I could threaten my opponent?
IF Yes: Double check before making a move, does the threat actually work or give you something, or is it just a hopeful attempt that maybe your opponent misses it? Don't hope. You win a lot of beginners easily by making simple threats that they will miss, but eventually you'll hit a wall against players who can defend simple threats and take the control of the game. If you have a good threat that is hard to parry, go for it.
IF No: Go to step 3.

3. What is my worst placed piece?
Identify the piece that is doing the least (furthest from the action, blocked from participating, doesn't really cover any important squares), try to figure how to get that piece playing. You want to have ALL of your pieces participating in the action. Basics like rooks on open files, knights controlling the centre, bishops on long diagonals, preferably aiming towards opponents castled king.

Basic opening principles:
1. Don't move the same piece twice, unless you can win material (1 pawn is often not enough compensation to ruin your development)
2. Try to develop all of your pieces to the game as fast as possible
3. Don't make too many pawn moves, it's more important to get the pieces out. Knights and bishops before rooks and queen.
4. Castle often and castle before it's too late.
5. Get your queen of the back-rank so your rooks can see each other. Make sure to keep queen in a square where she isn't easily harassed by opponents minor pieces, forcing you to keep wasting time moving the queen around.

As you can see, going through a checklist like this on EVERY MOVE, requires time. So that's why you should play games where you actually have time to think. The more you do this, the more automatic it becomes and you will start seeing weaknesses in your and opponents position much faster. But there is no point in trying to run, if you can't even walk yet. Learn to crawl first.

Apart from these, practice basic 1, 2 and 3 move tactics and checkmates. You can do some very basic learning of couple openings you like to play, but don't over do it. Memorizing lines that you get to play once every ten games isn't going to solve 99% of the issues you have at your level. Learn the principles. Learn the way to think.

It's tedious as heck at the start, but it's the fastest way to actually learn. Two years and 1600 elo wouldn't seem at all impossible with fairly serious commitment to daily practice THE RIGHT WAY.

Here's a quick annotation of your latest rapid game with some commentary:

 


Good luck on your chess journey! ;-)



Thank you so much for the analysis! It is deeply appreciated. I reviewed this game, and will continue to do so. Also, I am glad you like my checkmate! I have worked on endgames recently happy.png

TibetanWolff
KeSetoKaiba wrote:

When my rating drops, I sometimes find forums like these helpful https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/why-is-my-rating-dropping 

perhaps it will help you too. 

Sometimes a break (even a few days) is what you need and other times it is just looking at things in a different way. It is great that you've found that undefended pieces are a problem for you. Turn your thinking around. Maybe look into why your pieces are undefended? Are you passively defending too much? Are you coordinating your attacks with many pieces on converging targets effectively? Are you not double checking your moves before you play them? These questions, and others, could help you better understand the reason for your pieces being undefended often and therefore, could help you prevent this from being a problem. 

Hope this helps; try looking at things from a different light and putting things in a different perspective.  


Yes... I tend to overwork myself!

I'll keep this link saved

gf3

3 hours daily minimum, regardless of what variation, style, puzzle, games, study, whatever.  doing 3 hours daily over several years you will have the recipe; honing the recipe with tactics, gameplay, blitz, correspondence, study or whatever is icing on the cake but you need 3 hours daily to get there and be here

it is time and energy spent and this alone is enough, hit your chess clock in the morning and by bedtime have your 3 hours work done exclam it is this very simple, it is part time job good luck  

TibetanWolff
fe4 wrote:

3 hours daily minimum, regardless of what variation, style, puzzle, games, study, whatever.  doing 3 hours daily over several years you will have the recipe; honing the recipe with tactics, gameplay, blitz, correspondence, study or whatever is icing on the cake but you need 3 hours daily to get there and be here

it is time and energy spent and this alone is enough, hit your chess clock in the morning and by bedtime have your 3 hours work done exclam it is this very simple, it is part time job good luck  

 

Thank you very much. I'm time oriented, so this is superb advice.

Mi_Amigo
TibetanWolff wrote:
I began playing chess about two months ago. my elo is 500, with about an increase of 100 points in the past month (although, i just went through an embarassing streak of losses.)

an example will be me mi amigo, I was 400 2 and a half years ago, left playing for half a year so just 2 years ago, now I reached 1700(I'm on a long tilt)

Mi_Amigo

being 1650-ish my problem is still undefended pieces so it takes a bit of time to get around that, and against what nexim said, at your rating blitz is better because your opponents will be the ones that give mindless threats in hopes you blunder and have no plan, so deciphering something that isn't there is a waste of time, play blitz like 5|0 or 10|0 nothing lower

gf3

expectation-free living

benhunt72

TibetalWolff, I've sent you a friend request and a message re free coaching.

KraigUK

I started playing chess about 8 months ago and went from around 600 to 1560 in that time. (Although I reached 1500 after about 6 months, but havent made alot of progress in the past 2 months).

I would say you should focus on end games and tactics. No harm in learning a few lines on the most basic openings, but beginners are generally advised against studying openings too deeply.

I have made this improvement by primarily playing blitz, although at the 10 minute time control, which still gives you some time to calculate your moves. You definitely want to avoid shorter games until you've built up a solid foundation. 10 mins or 15+10 is a good mode to start with. If you have the patience for 30 minute games, go ahead!

I'd recommend a coach if you really want to improve fast, but studying yourself, and watching youtube content online (I highly recommend John Bartholomew climbing the rating ladder videos - search for the Under 1000 video) will also help. As will playing against stronger players and analysing your mistakes afterwards.

I haven't studied any books yet, because I find it hard to motivate myself to do so (not a big fan on reading), but I do enjoy interactive tactical puzzles and lessons on here.

Marie-AnneLiz
KraigUK a écrit :

I started playing chess about 8 months ago and went from around 600 to 1560 in that time. (Although I reached 1500 after about 6 months, but havent made alot of progress in the past 2 months).

I would say you should focus on end games and tactics. No harm in learning a few lines on the most basic openings, but beginners are generally advised against studying openings too deeply.

I have made this improvement by primarily playing blitz, although at the 10 minute time control, which still gives you some time to calculate your moves. You definitely want to avoid shorter games until you've built up a solid foundation. 10 mins or 15+10 is a good mode to start with. If you have the patience for 30 minute games, go ahead!

I'd recommend a coach if you really want to improve fast, but studying yourself, and watching youtube content online (I highly recommend John Bartholomew climbing the rating ladder videos - search for the Under 1000 video) will also help. As will playing against stronger players and analysing your mistakes afterwards.

I haven't studied any books yet, because I find it hard to motivate myself to do so (not a big fan on reading), but I do enjoy interactive tactical puzzles and lessons on here.

That is why you are not improving....play 15 min +10 a lot more....and slower games if you can.

Laskersnephew

Does this help?

 

ghost_of_pushwood

Asking others what you should expect from yourself...I see.

KraigUK
Marie-AnneLiz wrote:
KraigUK a écrit :

I started playing chess about 8 months ago and went from around 600 to 1560 in that time. (Although I reached 1500 after about 6 months, but havent made alot of progress in the past 2 months).

I would say you should focus on end games and tactics. No harm in learning a few lines on the most basic openings, but beginners are generally advised against studying openings too deeply.

I have made this improvement by primarily playing blitz, although at the 10 minute time control, which still gives you some time to calculate your moves. You definitely want to avoid shorter games until you've built up a solid foundation. 10 mins or 15+10 is a good mode to start with. If you have the patience for 30 minute games, go ahead!

I'd recommend a coach if you really want to improve fast, but studying yourself, and watching youtube content online (I highly recommend John Bartholomew climbing the rating ladder videos - search for the Under 1000 video) will also help. As will playing against stronger players and analysing your mistakes afterwards.

I haven't studied any books yet, because I find it hard to motivate myself to do so (not a big fan on reading), but I do enjoy interactive tactical puzzles and lessons on here.

That is why you are not improving....play 15 min +10 a lot more....and slower games if you can.

 

I see you have went from 1200 to 1700 in 30 days.. what's been your secret for such fast improvement? happy.png

Marie-AnneLiz
KraigUK a écrit :
Marie-AnneLiz wrote:
KraigUK a écrit :

I started playing chess about 8 months ago and went from around 600 to 1560 in that time. (Although I reached 1500 after about 6 months, but havent made alot of progress in the past 2 months).

I would say you should focus on end games and tactics. No harm in learning a few lines on the most basic openings, but beginners are generally advised against studying openings too deeply.

I have made this improvement by primarily playing blitz, although at the 10 minute time control, which still gives you some time to calculate your moves. You definitely want to avoid shorter games until you've built up a solid foundation. 10 mins or 15+10 is a good mode to start with. If you have the patience for 30 minute games, go ahead!

I'd recommend a coach if you really want to improve fast, but studying yourself, and watching youtube content online (I highly recommend John Bartholomew climbing the rating ladder videos - search for the Under 1000 video) will also help. As will playing against stronger players and analysing your mistakes afterwards.

I haven't studied any books yet, because I find it hard to motivate myself to do so (not a big fan on reading), but I do enjoy interactive tactical puzzles and lessons on here.

That is why you are not improving....play 15 min +10 a lot more....and slower games if you can.

 

I see you have went from 1200 to 1700 in 30 days.. what's been your secret for such fast improvement?

I play chess on the net since 1999.... first on Caissa, a chess web site and after a few months playing there a lot every day,i went from 900 to 1300; i did read at least a dozen books around 1989....and i bought  monthly Chess life and Echec + and Europe Echecs for many years  ....and i'm a member of many chess web sites since 1999....caissa web site and chesstempo and chess24....and lichess....in the last 3 or 4 years i mainly play at chesstempo and chess24 and here a bit lately.

The rating on any site is not the real elo rating.....you can have an elo rating of 1650 and a rating of 2200+ on some sites just by playing with peoples under your real elo rating i said that often even here.

If you went from 800 to 1560 in 6 months well i went to 800 to 1600 real elo in 30 years playing on and off...a max of 4 years during those 30 years.