If you enjoy playing chess and enjoy studying, why not use the time to train anyway. Suppose after 6 months you do nothing more than improve your tournament performance? Would that satisfy you? If nothing else, you will probably do at least that and what's more, find out if you enjoy chess enough to keep up with a difficult training schedule. Seems like it might be worth the experiment.
Also, statistically speaking, the chances of progressing from amateur to GM after age 37 are very low.
Does this imply that someone somewhere has actually achieved it? I mean really from an amateur level similar to knightwriter´s? Or is "very low" a euphemism for "nil"?
The closest I know of this myself is an English GM elect player called Jonathan Hawkins. He just finished joint 2nd in the recent Hastings Chess Congress and has writte a book just out called amatuer to IM! ALtho hes about to become a GM now. Maybe thats hes next book. ;) He went from 2000 ish (so still quite strong) at age 20 to now 2506 in 9 years. And hes more accurately a 2600 imo. But from 1500/1600 ish to say 2400 IM as an adult I would say is almost unknown or impossible.
I hope to change this trend myself ;) I have gone from 1200 on English grade conversion to 1700 ish in 18 months. I did play as a kid and was very strong but then did not play for 20 years. And I gave up aged 11. Then only came back a 6 years ago on the net and made my return to the board only 18 months ago age 32! And only a few months ago I came 3rd in a U2090 tournament! And won the adjacent u1650 tournament. So this has given me big hopes that I can make that step up. I also have been the most improved adult in the UK on the past 2 grading lists on the most active players list and am really proud of this but my new grade is only going to be going up around 5 points. About 50 elo pts which I suppose is still good as its only over a 6 month period.
I also coach chess on here and in real life and I am trying to make sure this does not effect my own dreams of one day getting a title. But ts very necessary due to the money I get form this is going towards my tournament fees/travel etc. And Hopefully soon I am going to get a coach myself to really push towards 2000.
I think most people here have got right idea on how to get better but I would liek to think I have a bit of experience on this but ofcourse this is only what helped me. I analise all my games throroughly. I play as many games as possible otb to try and help my concentration and to get rid of that 20 years of rust.
I play around 30 odd turn based games at a time and try things out in these games. I play around 20/30 blitz games 5/10 mins games each week and analise each of these on the computer. I try to watch 4/5 Chess vids a week sometimes more on varying areas. And I have loads of books that I am getting thru bit by bit that I read. Altho to this day I have never read 1 Chess book fully.
Anyway I would love to know how you get on and if I can help in anyway or we can track eachother progress that would be great. ;) But my biggest tip would be get a good coach!
Thank you all so very much for all your words of wisdom and encouragement. I do love the game very much and would be playing no matter what would be in my life. I'm thinking of trying to make this a goal of mine, an experiment if you will, to try to make expert or master level by forty and then possibly GM by fifty. I know that this is very unlikely, but I think it's a goal to strive for and try to be proud of. Whatever the outcome, I know that my chess will improve and I will be having fun playing the game that I love.
In addition, I live in an area where chess isn't popular. There are a few kids who play, but I want to create more of a chess interest in my area. I have plans in the works now to have after school sessions with kids that want to play chess, and I've started our local chess club at a coffee shop. Once I figure out how to conduct tournaments I will be doing that for the local chess enthusiasts.
Again thank you all for your comments and support. If anyone has more comments to add, I would greatly appreciate it.
Forget GM (wont happen), or master in 3 years. Set realistic intermediate goals, i.e. gaining 200 points in a year or you're just going to be frustrated when (inevitably) you don't make them.
Scottrf, I think you are right that I should set some intermediary goals. That would be a great way to keep the frustration at bay, as you say. I completely agree.
I was basically goint to say what Natalia Pogonina. If you are going to do something like that, do it because you like chess, not because you want to become a national master or something.
Also, maybe it's a good idea that when you do tactics trainer, to try to solve the puzzles faster. Tactics trainer is the only concrete thing I do to 'train' my chess. For me, it really is a tool to burn in patterns. It doesn't matter if you miss a few tactics as long as you learn the patterns. Later on, you'll use those patterns to deliver other threats, so your opponent might for example be able to block a mate in two, but will have to leave a piece hanging in the process.
It would also be wise to play long otb games which is something that doesn't particularly appeal to me. Oh, and get a paid chess.com membership, there's so much material on here, it will make you sick
You have some time on your hands...One of the key components of chess improvement is "How much time do you have for chess?" I address this topic in my free video lessons course in lesson 001. I have everything you need in my 11 videos in that free lessons program for you to know what to do to acheive a master rating.
Thanks aww-rats. I've checked out your website and this material looks terrific. I will look into your videos and I might be interested in some one on one training.
Making USCF B class or perhaps A Class ( @1800) is a bit more realistic. Playing strength jumps qualitatively every 400 rating points.
90 percent of competitors won't break USCF 1800. So you might be tilting at windmills.
Many dozens of threads have beat this topic to death. Perhaps you might want to browse one of the more recent ones, (see below).
Comments by NMs (and many others) in the following thread, I find eminently persuasive. The jokes are pretty good, too.
Is life so calculable as chess?