Forums

What's my problem? stuck under rating 500

Sort:
maxkho2
PawnTsunami wrote:

And I'm not talking about blitz and bullet (where even GMs fall into 1- and 2-move blunders from time to time).  When you watch long time control games against 500-level players, there are a ton of 1- and 2- move blunders.  When you watch the same games against 2000+-level players, there might be 1 of those every 3-5 games.

Yes, 500s blunder a lot. Blunders and tactics are certainly a significant factor at the 500 level, but they diminish in importance the higher the rating. In classical, 1500s also outright blunder comparatively rarely; even when they do, that would usually be after a period of sustained pressure that the opponent would need to fend off not to emerge in a simply losing position, and which a sub-1500 would not be able to do more often than not.

PawnTsunami wrote:

It is not even in the same ballpark

It is. I'm talking about blitz games here. Again, if we're talking about classical, a number of decisive positional moments will have occurred before the first tactical blunder even in a game between 2 1500s.

PawnTsunami wrote:

The skill difference between them is literally 1 thing:  tactics.

So there is nothing that separates a 1500 from a 1000 other than tactics? Again, I already proposed an experiment which would definitely either corroborate or definitively disprove this claim. You have conveniently ignored it, but that won't stop it from existing. I'm having a hard time believing that even you yourself believe that there is nothing that a 1500 is better than a 1000 at than tactics. It's a completely idiotic statement that not even the most hard-core tactics proponents would agree with.

PawnTsunami wrote:

 It doesn't take a genius to figure out what is going on with your 2 accounts (@maxkho and @maxkho2).

I'm genuinely curious. What do you think is happening with those 2 accounts? Do you think I'm cheating or pitting them against each other to farm rating? I'm no genius, but I'm struggling to pick up on your implication.

PawnTsunami wrote:

Second, pattern recognition is literally how you learn tactics

Yeah, it's important to learn the patterns ─ personally, I have done that either directly from seeing them in my games or through post-game analysis with the engine ─ but that doesn't take long at all. The rest is down to practice ─ real games are FAR better practice than puzzles (for reasons that I can't be bothered to explain, but which most people already know). Either way, all of this is irrelevant as I've clearly stated I don't think tactics are the predominant component of chess ability past, like, 1000.

PawnTsunami wrote:

Do tell the world how they should "understand" a smothered mate pattern or a hook mate pattern.  Or when a Greek Gift will work vs when it won't.  Go ahead, we'll wait.

Yeah, these are very specific patterns that are far less essential to know than general concepts such as what constitutes king safety, how and when to attack, etc.

I think we're beginning to go in circles. You know what, let's just agree to disagree. According to Mark Dvoretsky, we are both wrong. So let's just go about it our own way and each just do what works for us.

blunderbus67

When i had a chess breakdown and grenaded my previous account I found plenty of challenging games around the 500 mark. Don't be so hard on yourself, lots of tricky games at 500, the thing is there is a long way to go to get to plus 1000, so I was inclined to grind game after game which doesn't help with improving. If you want to dive in the deep end re sign your account as intermediate, it'll start off at 1200 elo however with each loss or victory there will be large jumps till the engine has suited you to a skill level. If your losing games due to lack of discipline rather than skill level then playing full focus at a higher elo with fewer games may be the key.

PawnTsunami
maxkho2 wrote:

So there is nothing that separates a 1500 from a 1000 other than tactics? Again, I already proposed an experiment which would definitely either corroborate or definitively disprove this claim. You have conveniently ignored it, but that won't stop it from existing. I'm having a hard time believing that even you yourself believe that there is nothing that a 1500 is better than a 1000 at than tactics. It's a completely idiotic statement that not even the most hard-core tactics proponents would agree with.

I did not say there is nothing else - I was pointing out that the biggest difference between a 500, 1000, and 1500 is their tactical ability.  That will be their biggest weakness.  Trying to teach them why an outpost is important, or when a knight is better than a bishop, or why getting rooks on the 7th is important is all useless when they are dropping pieces.  I wish I could find the Silman quote to that effect, but I'm not going to dig through the Heisman articles to find it.

maxkho2 wrote:

I'm genuinely curious. What do you think is happening with those 2 accounts? Do you think I'm cheating or pitting them against each other to farm rating? I'm no genius, but I'm struggling to pick up on your implication.

You are trying to be coy, but no, you are not struggling to understand.  https://lichess.org/@/Maxkho

Anytime you have an adult who has spent months struggling at the 500-level, disappears for a couple months and suddenly is playing better than IMs, it raises eyebrows.  Young kids do not even improve that fast.

maxkho2 wrote:

Yeah, it's important to learn the patterns ─ personally, I have done that either directly from seeing them in my games or through post-game analysis with the engine ─ but that doesn't take long at all. The rest is down to practice ─ real games are FAR better practice than puzzles (for reasons that I can't be bothered to explain, but which most people already know). Either way, all of this is irrelevant as I've clearly stated I don't think tactics are the predominant component of chess ability past, like, 1000.

Real games are not practice, they are the test.  You do not get better at basketball by going out and playing nothing but real games all the time.  You have drippling drills, you have shooting drills, you have passing drills, etc.  Playing is important, but if that is all you do, your progress will stall.  Likewise, if all you do is practice, your playing performance will suffer.  No one in this discussion has made a claim about not playing - the discussion was about how to spend their study time.

And if you are recommending your students not bother with practicing tactics beyond ~1000, I hope you are not charging them for that - you would owe them money for it!

maxkho2 wrote:

Yeah, these are very specific patterns that are far less essential to know than general concepts such as what constitutes king safety, how and when to attack, etc.

You cannot understand the abstract if you fail to know the concrete.  Presumably, you are studying math in college.  You should understand that.

maxkho2 wrote:

I think we're beginning to go in circles. You know what, let's just agree to disagree. According to Mark Dvoretsky, we are both wrong. So let's just go about it our own way and each just do what works for us.

You may want to actually read some of Dvoretsky's work before trying to make such claim.  I would suggest starting with the series he did with Artur Yusupov called "Secrets of Chess Training".  There are 5 volumes - it will be enlightening for you.

maxkho2
PawnTsunami wrote:

I did not say there is nothing else - I was pointing out that the biggest difference between a 500, 1000, and 1500 is their tactical ability.  

PawnTsunami wrote:

The skill difference between them is literally 1 thing:  tactics. 

Ehmm... 

PawnTsunami wrote:

Trying to teach them why an outpost is important, or when a knight is better than a bishop, or why getting rooks on the 7th is important is all useless when they are dropping pieces.

I have already explained multiple times why it IS important despite them dropping pieces left, right and centre. You have not addressed this explanation yet. As a demonstrative example, if you know that rooks on the 7th are dangerous, you'll be more likely to not blunder the Blind Swine mate.

PawnTsunami wrote:

You are trying to be coy, but no, you are not struggling to understand.  https://lichess.org/@/Maxkho

Lol, I was genuinely struggling to understand. It was impossible to tell from your comment if you were implying that I'm cheating or manipulating rating. Anyway, my original Lichess account got banned because of this extension. I used to use it to "bookmark" interesting positions by opening them in another tab, but Lichess's auto-cheat detection interpreted that as cheating. I explained that to Lichess, but they literally said "we can't prove that you AREN'T a cheater, and we trust our system, so we'll ban you". I can provide a screenshot if you want.

PawnTsunami wrote:

Anytime you have an adult who has spent months struggling at the 500-level, disappears for a couple months and suddenly is playing better than IMs, it raises eyebrows.

Literally none of what you said applies to me lol.

PawnTsunami wrote:

...has spent months struggling at the 500-level

I only spent a week improving from learning the rules to 500, then a week after that I was already ~700 (my rating didn't hadn't caught up by that point yet, but I was winning ~70% of the games), and a week after that my Rapid rating stabilised just under 900. The following week, I switched to my current account (maxkho2) and reached 1200 exactly one month after I played my first rated game. I was a quick improver from the very beginning.

PawnTsunami wrote:

...disappears for a couple months

I never disappeared anywhere. I played relatively regularly ever since I played my first rated game.

PawnTsunami wrote:

suddenly is playing better than IMs

I "beat" (mouse-slipped in the end and it was a draw) my first IM in March 2021 ─ that's over a year after I first started playing, not "a couple of months".

And I have official OTB ratings (both national and FIDE), too. Or do I cheat OTB as well?

PawnTsunami wrote:

Real games are not practice, they are the test... Playing is important, but if that is all you do, your progress will stall

Again, you are telling this to somebody who only played and analysed and did not stall. Real games are both the practice and the test ─ ask AlphaZero. But okay, as you rightly point out, that's not even relevant to the topic of contention. 

PawnTsunami wrote:

And if you are recommending your students not bother with practicing tactics beyond ~1000, I hope you are not charging them for that - you would owe them money for it!

I obviously recommend them a combination of both depending on their own strengths and weaknesses. I'm just telling you that my experience has shown me that most intermediate players' weaknesses are mostly not purely tactical.

PawnTsunami wrote:

You may want to actually read some of Dvoretsky's work before trying to make such claim

"Some claim that chess is 95% tactics, while others hold that the basis of chess is positional play. We should not take such statements seriously; they are worthless and only disorient people because each one reflects only a single facet of the problem. In fact, when we think over a dilemma, be it the one I have just mentioned or another one - for example, should we work to develop strong qualities of a player or to liquidate his weaknesses? - any unambiguous answer like 'we do either this or that' will be a wrong one. The truth lies in skillful combination of the opposite approaches, in search for an optimal proportion between them. And this proportion is individual for every particular case" - Dvoretsky 2003

CTABAX
maxkho2 wrote:
PawnTsunami wrote:

I did not say there is nothing else - I was pointing out that the biggest difference between a 500, 1000, and 1500 is their tactical ability.  

PawnTsunami wrote:

The skill difference between them is literally 1 thing:  tactics. 

Ehmm... 

PawnTsunami wrote:

Trying to teach them why an outpost is important, or when a knight is better than a bishop, or why getting rooks on the 7th is important is all useless when they are dropping pieces.

I have already explained multiple times why it IS important despite them dropping pieces left, right and centre. You have not addressed this explanation yet. As a demonstrative example, if you know that rooks on the 7th are dangerous, you'll be more likely to not blunder the Blind Swine mate.

PawnTsunami wrote:

You are trying to be coy, but no, you are not struggling to understand.  https://lichess.org/@/Maxkho

Lol, I was genuinely struggling to understand. It was impossible to tell from your comment if you were implying that I'm cheating or manipulating rating. Anyway, my original Lichess account got banned because of this extension. I used to use it to "bookmark" interesting positions by opening them in another tab, but Lichess's auto-cheat detection interpreted that as cheating. I explained that to Lichess, but they literally said "we can't prove that you AREN'T a cheater, and we trust our system, so we'll ban you". I can provide a screenshot if you want.

PawnTsunami wrote:

Anytime you have an adult who has spent months struggling at the 500-level, disappears for a couple months and suddenly is playing better than IMs, it raises eyebrows.

Literally none of what you said applies to me lol.

PawnTsunami wrote:

...has spent months struggling at the 500-level

I only spent a week improving from learning the rules to 500, then a week after that I was already ~700 (my rating didn't hadn't caught up by that point yet, but I was winning ~70% of the games), and a week after that my Rapid rating stabilised just under 900. The following week, I switched to my current account (maxkho2) and reached 1200 exactly one month after I played my first rated game. I was a quick improver from the very beginning.

PawnTsunami wrote:

...disappears for a couple months

I never disappeared anywhere. I played relatively regularly ever since I played my first rated game.

PawnTsunami wrote:

suddenly is playing better than IMs

I "beat" (mouse-slipped in the end and it was a draw) my first IM in March 2021 ─ that's over a year after I first started playing, not "a couple of months".

And I have official OTB ratings (both national and FIDE), too. Or do I cheat OTB as well?

PawnTsunami wrote:

Real games are not practice, they are the test... Playing is important, but if that is all you do, your progress will stall

Again, you are telling this to somebody who only played and analysed and did not stall. Real games are both the practice and the test ─ ask AlphaZero. But okay, as you rightly point out, that's not even relevant to the topic of contention. 

PawnTsunami wrote:

And if you are recommending your students not bother with practicing tactics beyond ~1000, I hope you are not charging them for that - you would owe them money for it!

I obviously recommend them a combination of both depending on their own strengths and weaknesses. I'm just telling you that my experience has shown me that most intermediate players' weaknesses are mostly not purely tactical.

PawnTsunami wrote:

You may want to actually read some of Dvoretsky's work before trying to make such claim

"Some claim that chess is 95% tactics, while others hold that the basis of chess is positional play. We should not take such statements seriously; they are worthless and only disorient people because each one reflects only a single facet of the problem. In fact, when we think over a dilemma, be it the one I have just mentioned or another one - for example, should we work to develop strong qualities of a player or to liquidate his weaknesses? - any unambiguous answer like 'we do either this or that' will be a wrong one. The truth lies in skillful combination of the opposite approaches, in search for an optimal proportion between them. And this proportion is individual for every particular case" - Dvoretsky 2003

 

Laskersnephew

This is not a complicated subject! If you look at the games of 500-level players, including the OP, you will see numerous examples of serious blunders in every game. Obviously, the first step towards improvement is to eliminate, or at least minimize those blunders. Understanding more advanced ideas doesn't help if your opponent suddenly just grabs your knight for nothing and you say: "Oh! I didn't see that." The improving player has to get into the habit of looking at every check and capture--both his and his opponents. Otherwise, the blunders will keep on coming and chess won't be fun

PawnTsunami
maxkho2 wrote:
PawnTsunami wrote:

I did not say there is nothing else - I was pointing out that the biggest difference between a 500, 1000, and 1500 is their tactical ability.  

PawnTsunami wrote:

The skill difference between them is literally 1 thing:  tactics. 

Ehmm..

You are stretching that a bit.  I assume you are familiar with the concept of significant figures or the degree of an equation, yes?  If your biggest weakness dominates the other factors, does that mean you do not have them?  Conversely, if you address the other factors, does it have much of an impact?  For example, Ax^2 + Bx + C.  I could change B and C all I want, A is still going to dominate the expression.  The same goes for Chess.  If you are dropping pieces (A), positional play and endgames (B and C) are not going to matter much.  What good is getting a nice position on move 15 if you blunder a piece on move 16?

It is much easier to teach positional concepts to someone who has mastered tactical patterns than it is to someone who is only vaguely familiar with tactical patterns.  That is why books like "How to Reassess Your Chess" state in the introduction that they are meant for players at a certain level already - the assumption being they have already built up a sufficient level of tactical mastery.

maxkho2 wrote:

I have already explained multiple times why it IS important despite them dropping pieces left, right and centre. You have not addressed this explanation yet. As a demonstrative example, if you know that rooks on the 7th are dangerous, you'll be more likely to not blunder the Blind Swine mate.

You haven't explained anything.  You've simply asserted that tactics are not important above a certain level and that you prefer "understanding-first".  That is the equivalent to saying "Arithmetic is not important above a certain level ... I prefer Calculus-first!"

maxkho2 wrote:

Lol, I was genuinely struggling to understand. It was impossible to tell from your comment if you were implying that I'm cheating or manipulating rating. Anyway, my original Lichess account got banned because of this extension. I used to use it to "bookmark" interesting positions by opening them in another tab, but Lichess's auto-cheat detection interpreted that as cheating. I explained that to Lichess, but they literally said "we can't prove that you AREN'T a cheater, and we trust our system, so we'll ban you". I can provide a screenshot if you want.

Oh, I do not think you are manipulating rating.  And yes, I see that you have a grand total of 5 FIDE rated games with a first rating of ~1950.  Looking at your game history, your rating is somewhat inflated due to the fact that your average opponent is ~2000 with so few games.  that said, it doesn't change the fact that an adult beginner typically does not go from beginner to expert in a year (or 2 for that matter).  Hell, even child prodigies do not do that!

Looking at your online games across your account - lets just say people can judge for themselves.

and 5 months later ...

and on your other account at the same time ...

And for some reason, you stopped playing on your first account for a while and then decided to come back almost a year later ...

And getting banned on LiChess while playing games like this:  https://lichess.org/6bPW78LQ

I'm sure you had an extension in your browser that allows you to analyze positions live, and never used it ... not once in all those almost perfect games.  I am not a fan of the LiChess anti-cheat system, but this one is kind of obvious, especially when the behavior is consistent across not one, not two, not three, but 4 accounts on 2 different chess sites (do you also have 2 accounts on chess24?  it would be a fascinating study to look at the pattern there as well)

In short, I see 3 possible scenarios:

1) you are lying about when you learned how to play chess and were effectively sandbagging early on.

2) you were frustrated that you were not improving as fast as you wanted, so you decided to start fishing.

3) you are a chess savant.

The interesting thing is that it doesn't really matter which of the 3 is actually the truth here as the end result is the same:  you cannot offer advice on how to improve if 1) you didn't actually have to improve, 2) are using "enhancements", and/or 3) pick things up magically.

As to your OTB rating - play more games.  USCF requires 25 games in a given time control for an established rating (which is basically the minimum in order to get some sort of baseline as to where you actually are).

maxkho2 wrote:

I only spent a week improving from learning the rules to 500, then a week after that I was already ~700 (my rating didn't hadn't caught up by that point yet, but I was winning ~70% of the games), and a week after that my Rapid rating stabilised just under 900. The following week, I switched to my current account (maxkho2) and reached 1200 exactly one month after I played my first rated game. I was a quick improver from the very beginning.

As I said, it doesn't matter which of the 3 are true, as someone who picked up the game at 20-years-old, you are claiming you went from 0 to 2000 faster than someone like Hikaru or Magnus (who were both chess prodigies).  So, either something fishy is going on, or you are a savant.  In either case, your suggestions would not be useful to the average person looking to improve (unless you are telling them to install some browser plugin as well ...)

maxkho2 wrote:

I obviously recommend them a combination of both depending on their own strengths and weaknesses. I'm just telling you that my experience has shown me that most intermediate players' weaknesses are mostly not purely tactical.

First off all, 500 is not "intermediate".  1500 online is not even intermediate.  1500 USCF is an average club player (FIDE's ratings are a bit skewed on the lower end because they don't even give ratings below 1000).

Second, if you look at a sampling of any random 1500 USCF player (someone who has been stabilized at 1500 for a while - not an improving kid that is just passing through 1500), you will almost always see a common theme:  about 1-2 times per game, they will miss a 1- or 2-move tactic.  You can see that in the statistics both here (check the Insights feature) or on AimChess (which gives you the breakdown of other players in your rating range).  Just pulling up the numbers to demonstrate it (for rapid time controls on chess.com):

Definitions: 
Blunder - a move that drops at least a piece (+/-3 or more pawns)
Mistake - a move that drops 1.5-2.9 pawns
Inaccuracy - a move that drops 0.5-1.4 pawns.

In the 0-800 rating range, 5.6/3.2/8.4 (blunders/mistakes/inaccuracies per game)

In the 800-1000 rating range, 4.4/2.8/7.6

In the 1000-1200 rating range, 4/2.8/7.6

In the 1200-1400 rating range, 3.2/2.4/7.2

In the 1400-1600 rating range, 2.8/2/7.2

In the 1600-1800 rating range, 2.4/2/6.8

In the 1800-2000 rating range, 2/1.6/6.8

In the 2000-2200 rating range, 1.2/1.6/6.4

In the 2200-2400 rating range, 0.8/1.2/6.4

Notice that all 3 areas are decreasing, but as the rating goes up, one of them is decreasing much faster than the other 2.  Now ask yourself why 2400 players have so few blunders compared to say, 1600 players.  What is it they have practiced and mastered that the 1600 is still working on?

(Side note:  in case you were wondering, your averages in your rapid games are 1.6/1.2/6.4 - you blunder almost twice as much as other players in your rating group.  Interestingly enough, you convert on almost 100% of your advantages - regardless of how small the advantage is ... which goes back to the discussion above).

And for the record, I'm not saying a coach should avoid discussing positional concepts with a lower rated player.  I'm saying that when that player is studying on their own, the bulk of their time should be spent drilling tactics until they are second nature and that the vast majority of players who are stuck below 2000 (but certainly below 1500) have the same biggest weakness.

The caveat to that is important because I'm not talking about kids who are underrated because they haven't played a rated game in a while but have been drilling and practicing with stronger players.  Those players are just passing through 1500 to get to their actual strength.  I'm referring to players who are stuck at an established rating and are looking to break the plateau.

maxkho2 wrote:

"Some claim that chess is 95% tactics, while others hold that the basis of chess is positional play. We should not take such statements seriously; they are worthless and only disorient people because each one reflects only a single facet of the problem. In fact, when we think over a dilemma, be it the one I have just mentioned or another one - for example, should we work to develop strong qualities of a player or to liquidate his weaknesses? - any unambiguous answer like 'we do either this or that' will be a wrong one. The truth lies in skillful combination of the opposite approaches, in search for an optimal proportion between them. And this proportion is individual for every particular case" - Dvoretsky 2003

I'm not making the claim that chess is 95% tactics.  Tactics and strategy (aka positional play) work hand in hand.  However, you must have a firm grasp of the former (the concrete) before you can start to understand the latter (the abstract).  But it is worth nothing that Dvoretsky did not work with beginners (nor even intermediate players for that matter).  In fact, even Yusupov admitted that he underestimated how low "beginner" actually was when he wrote his 9-book series.  He had intended it to be useful from "beginner to master", but realized after publishing that you really need to be around 1400ish before the first book is of any use.

When you teach mathematics, you start by teaching addition, subtraction.  Then you move on to multiplication and division.  Then exponents and order of operations.  Eventually you get to Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry.  Mastering those would be roughly the equivalent to a 2000-rated chess player.  Until you have a firm grasp on those concepts, you cannot get into Calculus, Analytical Geometry, Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations, etc.  The positional concepts start getting into those realms, and mastering them is what separates a 2000 "expert" from a master.  Just like trying to teach someone Calculus when they are having trouble with Algebra, trying to teach someone positional concepts when they are struggling with tactics is not useful.

NervesofButter

A 500 player is a 500 player for 1 reason.  They lack board vision. 

maxkho2
PawnTsunami wrote:

You are stretching that a bit.  I assume you are familiar with the concept of significant figures or the degree of an equation, yes?  If your biggest weakness dominates the other factors, does that mean you do not have them?  Conversely, if you address the other factors, does it have much of an impact?  For example, Ax^2 + Bx + C.  I could change B and C all I want, A is still going to dominate the expression. The same goes for Chess.  If you are dropping pieces (A), positional play and endgames (B and C) are not going to matter much.  What good is getting a nice position on move 15 if you blunder a piece on move 16?

First of all, you said there is "only 1 thing" that separates a 500 and a 1500, that thing being tactics, implying there is nothing else that separates them; you even used the word "literally". So your analogy is irrelevant. But okay, I can choose to ignore that one sentence, no big deal.

Neither significant figures nor degrees of an equation have anything to do with your analogy, either, but again, that's beside the point.

As to this question: "What good is getting a nice position on move 15 if you blunder a piece on move 16?", I have already answered it more than once. Superior understanding means not only that you will get better positions, but also that you will simply blunder less. I already gave you the example of knowing the importance of rooks on the seventh enabling one to recognise Blind Swine mates more effectively. Moreover, I have likewise already explained that, at the 1500 level, the first blunder will occur after a number of critical positional moments that needed to be navigated more or less accurately for the game not to be lost right there and then. We are  really starting to go in circles. You're not paying attention to what I'm saying.

PawnTsunami wrote:

You haven't explained anything.  You've simply asserted that tactics are not important above a certain level and that you prefer "understanding-first".

Yeah, no. I have given you a number of explanations as to why understanding is more important than tactics, including literally proposing an experiment which should prove this proposition empirically. The fact that you are saying this only corroborates my suspicion that you aren't paying attention to what I'm saying. This conversation is useless unless both of us actually listen to what the other has to say...

PawnTsunami wrote:

Looking at your game history, your rating is somewhat inflated.

The exact opposite is true. My rating is deflated due to the fact that I just started playing OTB and haven't gotten used to the setting yet. I will naturally gain rating as I get accustomed to OTB classical chess.

PawnTsunami wrote:

and on your other account at the same time ...

Yes, I played on my other account when I was too stressed to feel on my main. This is actually allowed by chess.com, which says that one main and one training account are allowed for each chess.com user.

PawnTsunami wrote:

I'm sure you had an extension in your browser that allows you to analyze positions live, and never used it ... not once in all those almost perfect games

The fact that you don't see the trivial flaw in this logic is a bit disappointing after all the impressive research that you've done... You do realise the reason my first Lichess account got banned is that I had several "cheat detected" forfeits which were literally triggered by the use of this exact extension (without engine evaluation)? I'm sure you're bright enough to realise the same forfeit would be triggered if I were to use the extension with engine evaluation. I appreciate your compliments about my games, though. I agree the decisive tactic I found in the game that you linked was really cool.

PawnTsunami wrote:

In short, I see 3 possible scenarios:

1) you are lying about when you learned how to play chess and were effectively sandbagging early on.

2) you were frustrated that you were not improving as fast as you wanted, so you decided to start fishing.

3) you are a chess savant.

The interesting thing is that it doesn't really matter which of the 3 is actually the truth here as the end result is the same:  you cannot offer advice on how to improve if 1) you didn't actually have to improve, 2) are using "enhancements", and/or 3) pick things up magically.

How about a fourth option? That I simply figured something out about how chess improvement works that most other people have not? And, possibly, that this something is related to what I've been trying to tell you in this thread? And that the reason that you haven't progressed as fast is that your conceptions about chess improvement aren't entirely accurate? You know, I'm not saying that this is the case, but surely that's at least a possibility?

PawnTsunami wrote:

You are claiming you went from 0 to 2000 faster than someone like Hikaru or Magnus (who were both chess prodigies)

Both Hikaru and Magnus were only children when they made that jump, and children have been shown to learn at a slower pace than adults (they have also been shown to learn more comprehensively than adults, which is why starting as a kid is so essential being a top player later on, but that's beside the point). They also didn't have the luxury of free superhuman engine analysis while growing up. So it's not fair to compare their improvement curves with mine.

PawnTsunami wrote:

In either case, your suggestions would not be useful to the average person looking to improve

But they already have been... As I said, I have coached a couple of students, and my coaching has proven useful to all of them. 

PawnTsunami wrote:

First off all, 500 is not "intermediate"

I know. There is no doubt that basic board vision is the main differentiating component below around 800. I was talking about 1000+ players ─ specifically, chess.com Rapid 1500s.

PawnTsunami wrote:

What is it they have practiced and mastered that the 1600 is still working on?

Understanding. As I have explained, better understanding leads to fewer blunders, especially by chess.com's definition of "blunder". Many of the moves classified as blunders beyond 1500 are positional in nature ─ the player who made them wouldn't even be able to tell you why these moves are blunders even after seeing the top continuation.

PawnTsunami wrote:

You blunder almost twice as much as other players in your rating group.  Interestingly enough, you convert on almost 100% of your advantages

Thanks for this bit of info! It's genuinely quite insightful. I always thought of myself as somebody who is prone to blunders but who has a comparatively good level of general understanding, but this stat appears to confirm that. And, just so you know, humans (like myself) can also be good at converting advantages ─ this isn't exclusive to engines.

PawnTsunami wrote:

The positional concepts start getting into those realms, and mastering them is what separates a 2000 "expert" from a master.

I'm not sure what kind of tactics must be mastered before understanding that king safety is important or that you should develop your pieces in the opening. Tactical patterns and strategical concepts, for the most part, run in parallel to each other, and each have their own hierarchy of difficulty. There isn't some unified hierarchy of difficulty with all the tactical patterns at the bottom and all the strategical patterns at the top; that's not how chess works.

Anyway, I'm actually really busy working on my Master's thesis right now, so, unfortunately, I won't be able to engage in this discussion any longer. But thank you for participating in it. I am grateful for some of the insights that you have provided and will take some of your arguments into account, but, ultimately, you haven't managed to convince me, so let's just agree to disagree. Peace✌

PawnTsunami
maxkho2 wrote:

First of all, you said there is "only 1 thing" that separates a 500 and a 1500, that thing being tactics, implying there is nothing else that separates them; you even used the word "literally".

Yep.  Ratings are based on performance.  When you win, it goes up, when you lose, it goes down.  So, the reason a 500 is 500 and a 1500 is a 1500 is because the 500 loses more often.  Why do they lose?  Is it because they lack understanding of positional concepts?  Or is it because they are dropping pieces?  While I'm sure they do lack the former, the latter is why they are losing games.

maxkho2 wrote:

So your analogy is irrelevant. But okay, I can choose to ignore that one sentence, no big deal.

Neither significant figures nor degrees of an equation have anything to do with your analogy, either, but again, that's beside the point.

Now I'm starting to question your supposed college studies as well.

maxkho2 wrote:

As to this question: "What good is getting a nice position on move 15 if you blunder a piece on move 16?", I have already answered it more than once. Superior understanding means not only that you will get better positions, but also that you will simply blunder less.

This is getting almost comical.  I'll give you another example:

This is White to move.  The players are both sub-1000.  White has an absolutely crushing position.  In fact, there is a mate-in-1 immediately!  What if I told you that White lost this game?  Was it because he didn't "understand" the position?  No, it was very simple:  he did not recognize the mating pattern and spent virtually no time calculating.  A 1500+-level player sees the mate-in-1 almost immediately (in fact, they probably saw the idea 2-3 moves earlier, which is why they played to get to this position in the first place!).

You keep asserting that "understanding pigs on the 7th are good, so do not let your opponent get them" is the be-all-end-all of chess understanding.  That is simply nonsense.  Yes, pigs on the 7th are good, but they do not just magically appear there.

maxkho2 wrote:

You're not paying attention to what I'm saying.

Oh, I'm paying attention to your nonsense.

PawnTsunami wrote:

Looking at your game history, your rating is somewhat inflated.

The exact opposite is true. My rating is deflated due to the fact that I just started playing OTB and haven't gotten used to the setting yet. I will naturally gain rating as I get accustomed to OTB classical chess.

I love how you cut the quote mid-sentence and tried to dispute what was not actually said.  The actual quote is "Looking at your game history, your rating is somewhat inflated due to the fact that your average opponent is ~2000 with so few games."  When you beat 2 1900s, lose to 2 2100s, and draw another, you simply do not have enough games to establish a good baseline.  For example, if you were to play another 5 games in the "Elite" section (so your lowest opponent would be ~2000) and lose all 5, your rating would drop to ~1870, but your K-value would still be 40 (because you do not have more than 30 games played).  Meaning your rating will have wild swings with decisive results (USCF calls this period your "provisional rating" - there are certain types of events you cannot even play in with a provisional rating because of this fluxuation).

Yes, I played on my other account when I was too stressed to feel on my main. This is actually allowed by chess.com, which says that one main and one training account are allowed for each chess.com user.

I think the point flew over your head.  I was not asserting you were violating the TOS (they changed the TOS a few years ago to allow for this).  I was looking at the games.  You go from playing like a beginner on one account, and switch over to the other account and magically play at a master level with accuracy ratings consistently above 90% for multiple consecutive games.  Even playing into some highly theoretical opening lines where you played 12-15 moves of theory (in multiple unrelated opening lines).  All completely legit, I'm sure.

The fact that you don't see the trivial flaw in this logic is a bit disappointing after all the impressive research that you've done... You do realise the reason my first Lichess account got banned is that I had several "cheat detected" forfeits which were literally triggered by the use of this exact extension (without engine evaluation)? I'm sure you're bright enough to realise the same forfeit would be triggered if I were to use the extension with engine evaluation. I appreciate your compliments about my games, though. I agree the decisive tactic I found in the game that you linked was really cool.

Yes, and I'm sure your professors accept the "dog ate my homework" excuse as well.

How about a fourth option? That I simply figured something out about how chess improvement works that most other people have not? And, possibly, that this something is related to what I've been trying to tell you in this thread? And that the reason that you haven't progressed as fast is that your conceptions about chess improvement aren't entirely accurate? You know, I'm not saying that this is the case, but surely that's at least a possibility?

PawnTsunami wrote:

You are claiming you went from 0 to 2000 faster than someone like Hikaru or Magnus (who were both chess prodigies)

Both Hikaru and Magnus were only children when they made that jump, and children have been shown to learn at a slower pace than adults (they have also been shown to learn more comprehensively than adults, which is why starting as a kid is so essential being a top player later on, but that's beside the point). They also didn't have the luxury of free superhuman engine analysis while growing up. So it's not fair to compare their improvement curves with mine.

I was going to be done with this thread and just let people judge for themselves, but then you had to say this nonsense (emphasis mine).  This is a great example of giving someone enough rope so they hang themselves.

Understanding. As I have explained, better understanding leads to fewer blunders, especially by chess.com's definition of "blunder".

Max Deutsch tried this same idea a few years ago.  He thought he could "understand" chess to the point where he could win against Magnus Age 26 on the PlayMagnus app.  When Magnus got wind of the idea, he offered to play him in real life.  The game went something like this:  13 moves of known theory in the Ruy Lopez, followed by an immediate blunder of a piece on move 14.

And for the record, when I'm talking "blunder" in this discussion, I'm not referring to the chess.com game review definition (which is something along the lines of anything that swings the evaluation more than 2 pawns unless you are already in a massively winning/losing position).  I'm referring to moves that drop pieces in 1 or 2 moves - the obvious tactics.  I agree there are positional blunders, but at the sub-1500 level, those rarely are the deciding factor in a game (and are almost never the deciding factor in a sub-1000 level game).

I'm not sure what kind of tactics must be mastered before understanding that king safety is important or that you should develop your pieces in the opening. Tactical patterns and strategical concepts, for the most part, run in parallel to each other, and each have their own hierarchy of difficulty. There isn't some unified hierarchy of difficulty with all the tactical patterns at the bottom and all the strategical patterns at the top; that's not how chess works.

I'm pretty sure I said opening principles should be taught first.  Those take almost no time to learn.  It is much more time consuming to build the requisite pattern recognition (you know, unless you install a browser plugin that recognizes those patterns for you).

And I've said it before:  strategy and tactics work hand in hand.  Tactics are the concrete, strategy is the abstract.  You cannot understand the abstract without having a firm grasp of the concrete.  Just like you cannot deal in theoretical mathematics if you have no mastery of basic arithmetic.

Anyway, I'm actually really busy working on my Master's thesis right now, so, unfortunately, I won't be able to engage in this discussion any longer. But thank you for participating in it. I am grateful for some of the insights that you have provided and will take some of your arguments into account, but, ultimately, you haven't managed to convince me, so let's just agree to disagree. Peace✌

I haven't been trying to convince you of anything.  It is pointless to try to persuade someone who is knowingly being dishonest that they are being dishonest - they already know that!  The point was to dispute your nonsensical claims and then let you refute yourself.

Oh, I'm sure that thesis is getting a lot of progress done in between the bullet and hyperbullet sessions.  You know, especially considering the Summer session ended about 8 weeks ago and the Fall session doesn't start for another 2 weeks.  But, what should I expect.

nklristic
PawnTsunami wrote:

And for the record, when I'm talking "blunder" in this discussion, I'm not referring to the chess.com game review definition (which is something along the lines of anything that swings the evaluation more than 2 pawns unless you are already in a massively winning/losing position).  I'm referring to moves that drop pieces in 1 or 2 moves - the obvious tactics. 

I just want to say something about this. I will show you some of my games (some of them are actually 30|0, even though I played mostly 60|0 at the time and today as well), when I was around 1 200 - 1 300. They are from 2020. when I restarted playing chess, a few months after I joined the site. Those are 6 games in succession, I will leave one out because it was a 4 move win due to early resignation in an equal position.

So I am going to show if there was a piece blunder due to simple tactics, like you say.

https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4731726494

I mean by your definition, no. I was a pawn up and with a better pawn structure, before that resignation.

https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4739522800

Painful game for me at the time. I was winning against 1 400 rated player, which was a big deal for me at the time. I lost concentration and blundered a rook due to a simple pin. So this game is an obvious representation of your claim. 

https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4739702580

As for this, it is a bit of stretch, because I only really blundered when my opponent's time was about to pass, so I was winning in any case. And still he had to find a way to exploit the pin. But I will give you this one. 

https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4740119803

No. I was 2 pawns up with an active queen, but I opted for 3fold repetition because the position was complicated for me, and I was under 3 minutes. 

https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4748558644

No blunder by your definition. Embarrassing game by me. It taught me that even 3 pawns up game can be lost if you don't activate your king in the endgame.

https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4754965558

On move 24 I could've gained a passed pawn protected by an uncontested bishop, (24. Be7, Rd7, 25.d6, Ng5). So this is not a blunder by your definition, even though I missed that I could have a winning advantage because of that pawn. I lost the game in the endgame. 

Now bear in mind that I am a lot lower here than 1 500, and yet substantial amount of my games were not won or lost due to a simple tactic or hanging piece. There were shifts in estimation in all the games, but mostly either due to a pawn loss, or due to some more permanent advantage in the position. 

Now to be fair, I have no idea is this the trend in my games at the time, I don't want to continue doing this, as it took me a long time to write this message. 

In any case, I don't agree that simple blunders (by your definition) are almost the only thing that matters between 1 000 and 1 500 rated players. As you can see, at least in my games, it often came down to a pawn or 2, or some endgame mistake, so there is more to it.

There is a substantial amount of blundering of course and that is to be expected, but that is not the only thing on that level, at least for long games, from where lies my experience. 

PawnTsunami
nklristic wrote:


https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4731726494

I mean by your definition, no. I was a pawn up and with a better pawn structure.

Just to demonstrate the point:

This was a short, but rather impressive game for 2 1200s.  You are correct, while there were several inaccuracies and a fairly large positional mistake, there was no blunder on the board.  However, there was a BIG blunder in the game:  White resigned.  Yes, Black is much better (winning even), but there is still a lot of work to do.  Additionally, this was a 60+0 game, and neither of you spent more than 15 minutes of your time.  Effectively, you both played this like it as a blitz game.

nklristic wrote:


https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4739702580

As for this, it is a bit of stretch because I only really blundered when my opponent's time was about to pass, so I was winning in any case. And still he had to find a pin and find some way to exploit it. But I will give you this one. 

I'm not sure I agree here.

There were a couple times in that game where you just left a pawn hanging, and a couple times where he missed a 2-move tactic to gain material.  In the end, time management was a big factor in that game (which is unusual for that level - usually players at that level blitz out moves while he was spending a lot of time on many of those moves).

nklristic wrote:


https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4740119803

No. I was 2 pawns up with an active queen, but I opted for 3fold repetition because the position was complicated for me, and I was under 3 minutes. 

Again, pieces (pawns in particular) where hanging all of this game.

The main problem there was he dropped a pawn, proceeded to simplify the position, expose his own king, and then you bailed out from a winning position.  In short, there were at least 3 major blunders in that game (albeit, the biggest one was the last one which I admit doesn't fit neatly into the "losing material" definition - but is close enough as you are throwing away a won game for no reason).

nklristic wrote:


https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4748558644

No blunder by your definition. Embarrassing game by me. It taught me that even 3 pawns up can be lost if you don't activate your king.

Eh, yes and no.

There were several tactics missed by both sides in that game.

nklristic wrote:


https://www.chess.com/analysis/game/live/4754965558

On move 24 I could've gained a passed pawn protected by an uncontested bishop, (24. Be7, Rd7, 25.d6, Ng5). So this is not a blunder by your definition. I lost the game in the endgame. 

This game has a clear example of what I'm talking about:

There were many blunders in that game, with the last decisive one being trading into a completely lost endgame.

 nklristic wrote:
Now to be fair, I have no idea is this the trend in my games, I don't want to continue doing this, as it took me a long time to write this message. 

In any case, I don't agree that blunders are mostly what matters between 1 000 and 1 500. As you can se, at least in my games, it often came down to a pawn or 2, or some endgame mistake. There is a substantial amount of blundering, but that is not the only thing on that level, at least for long games, from where lies my experience. 

My experience doesn't just come from online games (and to be frank, I do not trust long time control games online unless there is a camera on both players - far too often I've seen 1200s play 35 moves of Najdorf theory online, but couldn't tell you how to get to the starting position OTB).  For years, I've watched kids and adults improve from ~400 USCF to as high as 2250 USCF.  The key difference between their games as they improved at the lower levels was their tactical skills (you'll see some people call it "board vision" - different name, same concept).  The players that get stuck (especially those at the sub-1000 levels) do so because they often miss tactics.

A quick comparison of 2 kids to demonstrate:

Kid 1:  started playing rated chess at 10-years-old with an initial rating of ~700.
Kid 2:  started playing rated chess at 11-years-old (but at the same year as kid 1) with an initial rating of ~1000.

Kid 2 did not like practicing tactics, so he stopped doing it.  He reached about 1400 by age 13, and 4 years later, he is still ~1400.

Kid 1 did almost nothing but drill tactical puzzles all day.  By age 16, he was 2182 and is making a push for his NM title (likely within the next year).  He did not start learning positional concepts and openings until he was already over 1800 USCF when his new coach (a 2600-level GM) started introducing them.

So when I say you can get to ~2000 almost entirely by drilling tactics, it is not because I'm making it up.  I've seen it happen, and there are countless examples of young masters (the Polgar sisters are a good example) who did just that.

Now, when you see a 22-year-old who is studying in college claim they picked up chess at 20-years-old and are now able to beat GMs in blitz simply by "understanding" chess, that should throw up red flags.

I'm not opposed to teaching positional concepts to lower rated players, but when someone asks "how do I get from 500 to 1500", the answer is not "learn how to use an outpost", but "practice your tactics".  Even in the games you posted, there were several times in each game where one side or the other could have ended the game almost immediately with a 1- or 2-move tactic (usually that both sides missed).  A couple of them were also 4-move tactics, but the concept is the same:  if you avoid making 1- and 2-move blunders and take advantage of your opponents' 1- and 2-move blunders, you will win a lot more games at the 100-1500 rating range.

nklristic

You said pieces, pawns are less than that. Sure dropping pawns is a mistake, but not what we were talking about. Especially because on sub 1000 people are dropping real pieces left and right. I think I've shown, that this is not really the case here, while there are big mistakes and some games like that, many games were decided by something else. And yeah, some more refined tactics are realistically blunders, but not the same as blunders that are made by sub 1 000 players. 

As for not trusting people online in long games, I beg to differ. Actually, I believe that in these long games there are less cheaters because it takes too much effort to win 45|45 games. At the same time, one could play 5|5 games and cheat if that is their intention. So the average cheater will not bother.  If you look at those games, there are not such games generally, games with too much opening theory known. 

tygxc

@29
"How do you avoid accidents?" "Drive better."
++ No, "Pay attention"
Not: "Read a book about driving."