How I became a 2100 fide rated in 1 year!


In the past year my rating has increased from a low 1917 to 2100. In this post I will discuss how I managed to do it, and how YOU CAN DO IT as well!

First I am pretty sure that all the chess players reading this post have dedicated countless hours to the game and have a passion for chess. The first thing to get right is the right approach that will generate good results in the future.

I have for many years not been doing the right thing, a lot of blitz online and little study combined with little tournament experience. This made me a strong player online but an average OTB player. While I could beat very strong players in blitz, GMs and IMs on good days, this never translated into my real chess strength.

How frustrating it was to realize that I was able to beat a GM on blitz but I was really struggling to beat regular players of my elo, 1800-1900s.

Well this came to an end when I was able to reassess my game and employed the right studying technique.

How to become a substantially stronger player:


Improving my calculation abilities

As I said before, I had to reassess my game, and I found out that I wasn’t thinking deep enough in my calculations. Somehow I was content to calculate a few variations and cutting my analysis too short to be any useful. This meant that I was not making the strongest moves, because I was unable to calculate well and accurately. My first big improvement was to train in tactics servers. I used two servers, and chesstempo. I recommend both, since they have different styles, but chesstempo without any doubt will make you the stronger player. In chesstempo my biggest improvement came in over a year when I went from 1800 rated elo, to 2050 which is really strong. Improvement comes with time, but in my case, I had to fight all the laziness that had installed in me after all those years in blitz. This meant calculating deeper and improving visualization skills. I found myself after a few months of intense training to be calculating much better. 30 min a day is enough, I did mainly 10 problems in and 2-3 in chesstempo as part of my daily routine. problems tend to be easier and are marked with time, while chesstempo problems tend to be more complex and don’t require time management. It’s important to note that, to become good at this, you have to put some effort, and really try to go deep in the position. It is useless to try to guess a move by intuition. For example “this move looks good so let’s play it”. Here you have a chance to calculate all variants and not leave any hole behind. I was amazed about how good I became in visualizing the resulting variants, something that before my training I could never even dream of.

Improving my positional /strategical skills

Here I used a feature that I discovered a few years ago. I can say it’s the greatest tool for learning positional chess that I’ve seen so far on the internet. This is the chessmentor from Yes of course you have to pay but it’s worth the money. Over the course of 2 years I have done more than 900 lessons. As part of my daily routine I would complete 3 lessons. I am pretty sure that part of my improvement was thanks to this tool. It covers all kind of topics, opening, middle game positions, endgames, master games. It’s a fantastic tool. What I like about this tool, is that it explains each move you make, and explains why it was good or bad. It’s like having a coach going over the position with you at any time.

Apart from chessmentor I bought myself a few books: Strategic Play by Mark Dvoretsky and My system from aron nimzowitsch. I did study them in detail.

Watching videos/lectures

For over a couple of years, I have been watching chess videos. This is passive learning, nonetheless as a complement to regular chess studying it is quite useful. Here I’m sure that I’ve learned a lot. I have watched occasionally videos and lectures by GMs. But there is on youtube a lot of stuff which is very interesting. I started watching Kingscrusher on youtube, and I found it very entertaining, but then I discovered Chessexplained, and never looked back. He’s by far the greatest commentator on the internet, he regularly comments his own games which are high quality IM level, and he does a fantastic job. I have probably watched chessexplained for over 200 hours in the last few years. If you are looking for a great place to learn passively I strongly recommend chessexplained from youtube.

Playing standard games online

Over the past few years I’ve been playing standard games regularly. Let’s say 3-4 games every week. I like 15 0 or longer time controls. I’m pretty sure that I’ve learned a lot from these games. It’s important to always take these games seriously as if it was OTB game, and then analyze afterwards with an engine and research the openings.



I hope this helps! I will keep you posted if I manage to reach master level. Now Im including in my training Convetka products which have many great tools aswell.

Regards to everyone!Smile




Being stuck at 2000 FIDE myself I found it really appealing


Nice post, and congrats on your rating increase! I should use chessmentor more I think, my positional skills are often criticised by stronger players. I definitely find myself being lazy in tactics trainer as well - gotta force myself to calculate accurately!


Great job! 


ChessExplained is a good find. Thanks!


You might also check out Lucas Chess and for excellent exercises in calculation and board awareness


Chessexplained is great. I also recommend Greg Shahade on youtube - he has a slightly different style - but his play is still very entertaining and informative


Congratulations on your great achievements, and thank you for sharing your improvement regime.

May I ask if you're still a young player (U25) and how many OTB games you played to jump from 1917 to 2100 elo ?

hicetnunc wrote:

Congratulations on your great achievements, and thank you for sharing your improvement regime.

May I ask if you're still a young player (U25) and how many OTB games you played to jump from 1917 to 2100 elo ?

I played 61 games in that year. (9 games were played under k=30, so I had a chance to gain 61 points in a single tournament, the rest of games were played with k=15).

And im not so young as you might think, I was 26 at the start of that year. And I hadn't played any rated games from age 18-24. At the age of 24-25 I was a mere 1850-1900 player. Although I should point out that I had played less than 22 games under fide rating.

Heres my actual results to gain 175 points in that year:


2500 2299 2165 2123 2107 2101 2042 1877 1853 1847


2231 2175 2128 2073 1999 1997 1993 1989 1988 1976 1951 1939 1938 1910
1904 1892 1867 1857 1859 1851 1827 1811 1793 1747 1734 1724 1693 1690
1679 1677 1648 1618 1618 1572


2368 2363 2342 2168 2128 2104 2094 2015 2009 1999 1996 1972 1973 1950 1892 1880


So how is doing puzzles on chess tempo different from just playing regular (or even longer blitz) chess? This is a serious question - how are they different? 


Very interesting.



Can we assume that you know the difference between a roof and a fully constructed house.  I think you are capable of answering your own question.

A serious answer.


hehe actually chesstempo problems are way too easy




Chesstempo is a vastly better tactics trainer than You can do standard tactics (untimed), blitz (timed) and mixed (this includes defensive moves, quiet moves as well as standard tactics like in both standard and blitz. You can also do end game problems (either theory or practice). As well, you can set up custom problem sets by tactical motif, rating, mate in x, etc. You can even set up spaced recognition sets that repeat problems on a schedule you set up to help drive home the patterns. I stopped using the tactics trainer because it it is a one trick pony and not very helpful. I agree with the OP that chess mentor is a very good tool.


Awesome. Keep up the good work. 2100 is definitely a great milestone.


Great info, thanks. Let me summarize it in my own way...

Kingzilla wrote:

. . .900 lessons. . .

. . .I bought myself a few books. . .

. . .watched chessexplained for over 200 hours. . .

Time + money. Smile


I agree, calculation is everything in chess, those who can analyze accurate, will become a master.


This is really great articles ... i have one question How do you study chess opeings?