Is there a universe of difference between a 600 and an 800 player and can you evaluate?


I've watched Finegold's video's a lot. But in my opinion he is more comedian than he is a teacher. I'd advise searching for 'chessnetwork' on youtube and following his beginner to master series at video 1. I just came across these videos only recently, but they've helped me as well. 


Interesting thread.



Yeah he reminds me of a lot of professors I had in college who I could tell were just "winging it" so to speak without preparing, but they kept their jobs because they were entertaining. I found the series you spoke of, I will soon be one of those deadly 800 level players lol.

Thanks to everyone who was helpful, oh and if there is any good online pdf books I can read (appropriate for someone who knows how the pieces move but has essentially no tactics, please chime in.

i can comment on this because i went through this here on

a lot of players here have a crap ton of experience, many played for years before ever stepping in here

i started out with 800 here immediately lost several games in a row and really started trying to make something out of this mess at 400 ish

first thing i did was only play daily games for a bit; rapid games were way too fast i felt rushed; starting at daily helped me catch my breath; after a bit i got tired of daily- not having that commitment for an hour to sit down and complete game was getting to me- i needed to jump back in the live action

by this time i had started doing tactics more and had gone through “bobby fisher teaches chess” and learned a out back rank mates- so that was my “plan”- to execute i had to develop and get castled quick to get a rook free and maybe- i might get lucky and get a potential pin against opponents king if he hadnt castled (though i wasnt too familiar with strength of pins quite yet)

i always feared there was some kind of checkmating attack for pretty much any opening and though many said that bringing the queen out early was folly my opponents cavalierly disregarded this advice and stormed across the board with such confidence

from 400-1100 i saw all kinds of variants and subtle attempts at the scholars mate; in fact, my greatest chess achievement was to finally navigate this opening defense successfully and having my moves be the correct sequence of moves to develop and defend and catch opponent behind on development- it was a eureka

so, yes, there is a difference; both players will make glaring catastrophic blunders but the 800 will pick up on it just a bit faster and maybe just have a little bit more experience to consistently eek out a 600; 800’s might have learned how to set up batteries and the 600 will miss the long range potential of rooks but especially bishops; both will make excessive pawn moves especially rook pawns

to get over this hump practice tactics, review your games and be tough on yourself, develop a simple opening response usually 1 e4 or 1d4 for your white games and your defense to 1e4 as (...e5, probably just go for this for now) and 1.d4 (...d5) and really try to apply quick development to traditional squares and checking your position for pieces that need protection

and play 30 minute games
try to use all of your clock
#16 red girlz makes an important point

when you improve at... pretty much anything it is not necessarily that one is improving his “best game” but, rather, improving the “weakest/worst game”

bringing your lowest more in line with your best and your best will slowly improve, as a by product almost, with constant work on out weakest areas

consistency as #16 mentions


i looked real quick at a recent game vs an 800

1.e4 and next two moves were pawn moves- none of which protected e4 itself, you made an early g3 (to fianchetto apparently) get out knight and kingside castle?; you did fianchetto but very next move hung your bishop (there was no xray pin here) luckily you opponent missed

this is common even into 1000’s moving on autopilot

your first move is e4- establishing a strong center- build on that; make moves which reinforce your center have your pieces protect your central pawns until you can maybe get more pawns to support each other as a simple plan

and make sure you move your pieces safely; be hesitant to make early moves into opponents territory;

your posts are coherent so you obviously are aware enough to improve through these early brackets

take ownership of your moves and your games; you do not want to make a move where you go back and review and when you ask yourself “why did i move there?” and then not have an answer- or, better put, really find out the why as to why you “didnt know why you moved there”


Do tactics. 


Despite playing poorly today, finally got to 800. To answer my own question, there is a big difference as far as an 800 player will almost always beat a 600 player, on the other hand, it does not take much improvement to move up those 200 points. Just watching some videos on developing my minor pieces and watching out for bishops and such when moving my queen and being more careful in general was pretty much enough. Of course I still play very poorly and still blunder pieces without compensation. Oh and I'm more careful with pawns. I still lose them needlessly, but I realize how important losing just one is and I get upset with myself when I lose one that my opponent was clearly targetting and I missed. 

One thing I notice which doesn't improve all that much between the levels is players failing to go for mate when my defense is weak. They'll take out a minor piece on the other side of the board instead of a combination attack on my king which I would have no idea of how to prevent.

By the by, this is all ratings, I suspect I'd actually be 700 or something irl. Too many players resign needlessly. I'm not talking about when I'm up a queen plus another piece, but I take their knight or something and they just quit or they just quit randomly, maybe something came up at the house or whatever.


Yes, there. 200 points is nothing to joke about.


To a 1500 there wont be. As to him both will seem like easy wins. However the 800 will crush someone lower than him by 200 points.



Actually it doesn't make much of a difference at that level. A six hundred can be as good as a 800 in a couple of weeks just by doing tactics and playing. 


Most will need some study though, although people with a high chess IQ probably would not need to. Obviously I'm not future Grandmaster material since I did need to put in some work to make the jump. So the next goal will be 1000 which I am expecting to reach sometime next year (hopefully early in the year) rather than the month or so the previous 200 took. 


Best thing for you to improve fast would be to give most of your chess time to solving tactics and playing a few games and analyzing them. Also watch videos on YouTube (John Bartholomew) if you have extra time. 


Look. I am around 1750-1800. When playing arenas, I see 1200-1300 players have a lot of stratengh there. I lost several times to them.


Main thing you can do to improve is to do tactic exercises. Websites like this one (and some others I'm not sure I'm allowed to mention) are providing with 5 free ones per day with puzzle difficulty customized to individual player strength. 
Also, play games with slow tempo, ideally over the board.
Good luck!


Here's a game I just finished against a 1400s player who challenged me. I never really had a chance. In theory I could have taken longer but I played it more rapid style as did my opponent as I have to sleep soon. While I missed a move or two that I might have caught at times, I think its pretty reflective of my skill level now.


Thanks for the earlier comments, I have been watching John's videos, more helpful than Finegold's although not as entertaining. Any free chessbooks available online pdf etc you'd recommend? I think my preferred style would be a counterattacking one.