Is my progression too slow?


I am a newish chess player. I did after-school chess in elementary (mid-20s now) and tried to pick it up in recent years, only getting serious these past few months. I have been playing many games, post-game analyses, puzzles, and YouTube videos on openings, traps, etc. I felt good about my progress until I started browsing others' posts on their progression, and now I feel dumb compared to other folks. Some people are getting to 1000 elo in a few months, even after learning from scratch, and I am here stuck at 650 after a few months. Am I going about my studies wrong, or should I accept I am a bit slower than others? Haha. If anyone else has had slow progress, please let me know what you did differently to improve or things you've learned along the way. Anything is appreciated. Cheers!


It took me about a year to get to 1000 and I played nearly everyday. You might be progressing slower but in my experience that is not a bad thing as I know and understand the foundations better than someone who jumped to 1000 in 3 months. Some people are slower at improving at chess but that does not make the game less enjoyable and you shouldn't worry about it


I will give you some alternative view.

If you put too much importance to things like speed of progression and sentences like: "The person X did this in this many months and I am only up to here in the same this many months", you will end up stressed and the point of playing and studying chess will be lost.

There are already enough things in life to be stressed about.

My advice is to treat chess like a hobby, and hobby should be something enjoyable. Do it at your comfortable pace and pay no mind to how quickly some other people are progressing. 


I agree with comment #2 & #3 and I would like to add - as long as you continue enjoying the game, everything will be fine -
Many are not complete beginners when they open their account, and if they are, sometimes their progress is due to a combination of training with a chess coach, or being part of a club that plays OTB games. And also people who learn very quickly, no one denies that. 
Something also important is that taking this site as a reference, there are scores that represent being above 98% of the people who play here, but naturally almost the entire volume of players is between much more modest values.
So remember the top part of my comment and don't take too much stock in those comparisons.

[ Translated ]


Thanks for all the insights, guys! You're all right, and I'm putting too much pressure on my progression, which really takes away the game's enjoyment. I will keep doing what I am doing and try not to compare myself to others. I really appreciate the perspective, cheers!



"I have been playing many games" ++ Good, preferably 15|10 rapid time control.

"post-game analyses" ++ Good, especially lost games.

"puzzles" ++ A few puzzles is a good warm-up before you play.

"YouTube videos on openings, traps, etc." ++ Useless waste of time and effort.

"stuck at 650 after a few months"
++ Most important: always check your intended move is no blunder before you play it.
That little mental discipline alone is enough to reach 1500.
Think about your move. Consider 3 candidate moves. Calculate what can happen. Evaluate the positions resulting from the 3 candidate moves. Decide which move is best. Now do not play this move, but imagine it played on the board. Check it does not lose any piece or pawn or run into checkmate. Only then play it.

tygxc wrote:

Most important: always check your intended move is no blunder before you play it.That little mental discipline alone is enough to reach 1500.


I know it may sound discouraging, so try not to pay attention especially to quoted part. That is not how it works. It is true that you should do everything you can to make sure the move is not a blunder, but to get to 1 500 level, you will need more than that.

To avoid blunders sufficiently in order to get to 1 500, you will have to know more about chess (some people underestimate this), and it will take time and effort. Small percentage of people will do it quickly, but they are not the majority of players. After all, the average rapid rating is just above 630.

So just do it on your own timetable and try to enjoy.

In any case, have fun improving and best of luck.


Me also,that is why! I wanna play with you ..just for progression. vipercurse.


I'll just say that these comments are also making me feel a lot better : I downloaded in September, because I joined a chess club at school. I was not a complete beginner, I already knew how the pieces moved. Although I'm playing a few games everyday, I'm not even above 400. I felt OK with my progress though until I read online that some people in the same amount of time got to 800 easily. It made me feel rubbish and quite dumb so thank you all for making me realise that comparing myself is not the answer.


But is there anyone who could give me some tips? I don't really know what to ask for specifically and I'm not quite sure what my weaknesses so any advice would be appreciated :P


OK thanks 😊 :tup

Lots of great advice and encouragement here. I learned how to move pieces and basic tactics in my pre-teens and have only started to take it seriously now in my early 40’s.

My rating hovers around 400 and often I’m discouraged to think I can reach 2000 in 2 years.

Push through the doubt. You will improve one way or the other.