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I am a little over 1900 USCF and also FIDE and my short-term goal is to break expert (2000) by the end of the summer. Recently I won a $50 gift certificate for Amazon.com at a chess tournament. What should I buy with it to get to the next level? Any other suggestions are welcome.
Well thats funny. I was recently at a tournament and the first place winner gets a $50 amazon gift card as well. (didnt do too good though :P)
Buy a some chess books
If you want to buy books then we'll need some more information.
Besides books, $50 is enough for Rybka/Houdini/Fritz (assuming you don't have a good engine, or you want to upgrade).
Another option is a DVD. Search for Fritz Trainer on amazon and you'll see many. For $30 you can get 4+ hours of lecture material from the likes of Shirov and Kasparov.
Good luck on your quest. As someone who's been there I can relate quite well.
P.S. Now that I checked, the Kasparov DVD on the Queen's Gambit is only 12 bucks... Has to be the chess bargain of the year.
You could always pull the trick of having a TD set up an 8 or 12-game match with someone else rated 1900. If you think you can beat them most of the time, you'll crack 2000 easy. This same trick was used to break the record of 'youngest USA master ever' a few years back, which I agreed with Nakamura that it was a bit shady. Nevertheless, it's within the rules of the USCF.
Well it looks like you are in the same state as me and I tied for first for the gift card, so it must have been the same tournament.
Jontsef: I already have houdini (its free). Also opening DVDs not sure how relevant they will be for me. I only own 2 non-opening books: The art of attack and Silman's endgame course. I've also read Silman's how to reassess your chess.
FirebrandX: I want to just play tournaments to break 2000. No Shady Business!
ChessTower: I don't think Amazon.com is an appropriate site to buy Vitamins and health products. I'm looking for something more chess related.
Buy Grandmaster's secrets by GM Igor smirov.
at the National Open in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, every one who had a plus score (3.5 out of 6 or over) got a $50 gift certificate for the Rochesster Chess Store. I got myself the 9-DVD Nalimov tablebases for $55.
The tablebases are free public domain. I downloaded the 6-piece set years ago. I suppose if you're not willing to download them or don't have a decent internet connection, it might be worth spending $55 on the discs.
BTW, you gave too much information away in your post and I was able to find out your real name and tournament history on the USCF web site.
As far as getting to 2000, I got to 1900 in July of 2011 and got to 2000 at the North American Open in Las Vegas in December 2011. I did something I probably shouldn't have done - going into the tournament I was 1966 but I had a really good tournament with 3.5 out of 5. We calculated where I was at, and it was projected that I would be a bit over 2000 so I withdrew after the 5th round. I was going to take a bye for the 7th round anyhow so it wasn't like I was going to win a lot of money. I had wanted to lock in the 2000 because that was the original cutoff to qualify for World Youth for U12. But at the end of January 2012 they changed the freaking cutoff to 2050!!
The best way to gain lots of rating points ("lots" means > 50 points in a tournament) is to join a class tournament where you are in the lower end of the section. For example, if you're a 1900, in 3 weeks there's a Goichberg tournament in Agoura Hills, CA that has a U2100 section. That would be perfect for you. U2000 sections for a 1900-rated player is typically low reward/high risk because you get many players who are 1700s who try to play up.
hmm the Chicago class is coming up in 3 weeks so I think i'll play in the 2000-2200 section. Thanks for the advice! If the Nalimov Tablebases are free, I still need to find something to spend my giftcard on.
Do you already have a decent database? If not I believe you can get Chess King for around $50.. It comes with a 5 mil game database so that you can study GM games, search for positions of interest to see how they should play out, etc...
It also comes with Houdini 2 which is a small upgrade over the free 1.5 (though that's not really a big deal), a moderate selection of static puzzles, and a mode which generates random winnable positions. In addition the quest mode is useful for learning to win won games. (playing against houdini full strength with material advantage)..
Really though, the value of the program really boils down to the database and the programs searching/position generation features. The database functionality isn't as full featured as chessbase, but it's price value and included other features still make it a buy in my opinion.
I already have chessbase. Thanks for the input though!
You may want to buy a few books on relaxation/meditation.
Having a clear mind becomes more and more helpful as you climb up the chess ranks.
well, I'd sugest buying a bunch of those nice little knight erasers they had at the store :D I'm just a kid, what can I say.
chessbase 11 with mega database so you have access to every master game to study.
Really, 50 dollars? I've gotten a 150 dollar prize without even placing 1st.
Was the goal achieved?
Heh, always funny when some guy comes on saying he's rated 2000 FIDE for example and his chess.com ratings are all 1300... no I swear, for 8 months I thought the resign button was the congratulate my opponent on a good game button... also I always pressed it right before I won... I swear.
I know internet ratings don't mean much, but I'd guess redchessman is at least 1900
haha no not yet...although I am pretty sure i broke my cycle of being low 1900s and high 1800s since I just jumped up 70 points to high 1900 with a 2290 performance lol. One more good tournament should do it...sadly I probably won't be able to get to another tournament for like 2months at minimum might be more due to the inconvenient location of my university.
Edit: Btw shadowknights advice was right on the money! I played like all masters to gain a massive point boost.
Just an observation, the people I've seen rated ~2300 on blitz are much stronger than 1900 OTB. IMO it's just a matter of time. A nearly 2300 performance rating I think indicates you're a bit better than 1900 lol