Road to a Master title


Thanks asad, I don't have a fide rating yet as I only started to play tournaments seriously last year. I have a CFC rating which is around 1800 although it is completely inaccurate since I haven't played any serious tournaments for half a year or so, during which I have learned a lot! I am still not at NM strength since the NM's in my province can beat me but compared to the people I can beat, I think I am hovering around 2000 strength. As for the latter part of your question, it took me about half a year to get from 1400 CFC, which was my kid rating, to 1856, which was the rating before the current half year break. 


thanks, you too!

manfredmann wrote:

Does anyone know - if it's possible to edit a forum title once the forum has been created?


manage all content





ok, now can we get an illustrated roadmap to the master title? Wink


hold on I'm busy taking photographs, damn I'm handsome! Wink


Omar, you say that the first step is tactical mastery and that we should strive to get 2000 otb rating.  I've been studying tactics a really long time but I am no where near that score and I've been stuck at the same level for a really long time.  I am currently at 1550 on tactics trainer and I've reached as high at 1700 on in the standard mode.  My pass rate on tactics trainer is 65% and I've noticed that stronger players like you have strong tactical skill levels with closer to a 50% pass rating.  Obviously, I get punished for time.  Also, I've noticed that when I work on visualization drills, sometimes I see the board much better and my tactics skills momentarily increases and might ballon to a 1700 on the tactics trainer, but this usually fades in a short amount of time.  What would you suggest to get past this tactics ratings plateau? 


Hi Redglove, I have one very easy solution for you. There is a site called or something like that. You can find it by searching chess emerald in any search engine. The tactics there are very simple, timed, and the whole point of using that site is to build up your rudimentary skills in order to solve more complicated problems on and the like. One other thing I will suggest is, don't try to do something. Do it. I keep noticing that so many people on the forums on this site have a completely defeatist attitude towards their own chess improvement. In their minds they have already accepted that they will never make it. For you, my friend, forget the goal of 2000 otb rating. When you do your tactics, put in 100 percent like you are going to be world champion. The reason I'm saying this is because there is no reason for you to be 1500 and to be stuck there. Just from reading your post I can see that you are an educated guy and you should be a lot higher. No excuses! 

To summarize, go on chess emerald and change your mentality. 

In addition to this, I will suggest going through Laszlo Polgar's book of 3000 checkmates. It is a fat honking book. Although they are only checkmate problems and not tactics problems, the advantage is that it will not only lessen the tedium of regular tactics training but will also let you make a smooth transition into solving more complicated problems. When you finish the mates in 1's, then the mates in 2's, then the mates in 3's, your spatial mental abilities will have improved sufficiently in order to tackle the world of combinations, the kind you will find on tactics trainer.

Good luck!


Wait, so omar_kj has only been playing chess for two years and he's a master already?!?!  I mean hell, how else would he know what to suggest?


If you would like to suggest anything better, feel free buddy. 


Another thing I can recommend is, fail some problems on purpose to get an idea of how the combinations work. Complicated combinations are built up of simpler patterns, hence the importance of pattern recognition. So, maybe go down to about 75 percent on the bar, and then if you haven't gotten the first move, then guess. Eventually you will see enough patterns to be able to recognize them right off the bat.

Usually when people start working out, they hit a plateau after a certian point. The only way to bust through that plateau is to try something radically different. Either that means bombing the body part with extra reps till it has no choice but to grow or to switch up exercises altogether. That is what I am trying to recommend to you. Go overboard and change it up. 

sxdx wrote:

Wait, so omar_kj has only been playing chess for two years and he's a master already?!?!  I mean hell, how else would he know what to suggest?

I didn't read anywhere in this post that Omar confirmed he's already a master. Rather it's a post regarding his journey towards it. Unselfish, he revealed his cards and provided suggestions to others.


Thanks for the advice.  I've used chess.emerald before but stopped after a found chesstempo which I like more because it gives you more time to solve the problems.  Might be useful to go back to it.  Will give it a try and see how it goes. 


glad I could help


Simone070792 wrote:

I'd personally start my game-phase practice with the endgame rather than the opening.

I hear this all the time, but what happens if your games rarely get to the endgame?  Shouldn't you start with the middle game?  I know it's more complex, but why study something if you hardly ever get to that part of the game?


When you are more confident facing the endgame, your middle-game will anticipate. So you'll play a better middle-game, because you know what kind of simplifications to embrace, and which to avoid. And when you play a better middle-game, you'll start to grow a feeling for different types of positions (do you like open or closed positions, do you like positions with or without a lot of tension etc.). And when you know the type of positions you like to play, you should study the road to that position (the opening).

As Dutch IM Herman Grooten indicates on the starting pages of his book Chess Strategy For Club Players: "The importance of opening-theory is usually grossly overestimated."

Of course, tactics run throughout all phases of the game.

The more you play, the better you get, and the more likely it is to reach an endgame, because both you and your opponents will make less blunders.

There is a tendency amongst quite some players to only study the opening. Knowing hundreds of opening lines will get you to some level but not to the top, because from, like, 1600 on, the uttermost games are not won from the opening.
Most mistakes are made just after the opening-theory ended (not knowing your way in the early middle-game), at critical moments in the game (where action must take place in order to justify for the middle-game strategy), or in the far endgame (when, with few pieces left on the board, people become reluctant to make an effort to think). Besides, when so few have studied the endgame, there are lots of treasures to collect from there.


wanna be a master troll like me? Play some of the following openings:


Double knight on the edge:

The crazy knight:

Advanced Bongcloud:

Early rooks out(my immortal):

Have fun!


I don't think there is a clear definition when the opening becomes a middlegame and when the middlegame becomes an endgame. Some might argue that you are still playing the opening when you follow theory moves, even if the position is closer to a middlegame or endgame. In the Fischer and Petrosion game I certainly wouldn't call it an endgame after the queens get exchanged. The play is more about the open files and piece activity rather than getting the king active after all, so I would consider it to be more of a middlegame. If someone would say they study endgames I certainly wouldn't expect them to study games like that.


Nice games Chess_Troller, you seem to live up to your name. Laughing