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Not Improving At All

  • #1

    Hey what's up guys, this is my first time posting here!  :D

    I've been playing chess on this website for a little over a year now, maybe a year and a half. I absolutely love the game and I try playing as much as I possibly can. I think I've played around 1,700 games of 5 minute bullet-chess alone! Anyways, I'm posting because of a huge problem I'm having-- no matter what I do, I simply cannot get better or increase my rating. It seems to be locked at around 1000-1100.

    I think I have the right amount of knowledge to move forward, such as knowing how to checkmate with virtually any combination of minor/major pieces, memorizing a couple of "classic" games and being able to perform multiple openings and attacks, but no matter what I do or study, my game doesn't improve. There's no consistency in any of my games. Sometimes I'll completely torture and destroy my opponent, and other times I feel like a small child being handled by a Grandmaster, utterly hopeless and unaware of how to defend against the inevitable checkmate.

    A lot of games are lost due to carelessness, but other times, the reason for why I played so poorly isn't as clear. I frequently watch chess videos and apply strategies taught by various sites (including this one!), but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable effect on my gameplay. It's been MONTHS since I confidently broke the 900 barrier and arrived at the 1000's. I really don't want this to be some insurmountable plateau that prevents me from getting better and learning more. Is there any advice you guys can give me? Thanks!

  • #2

    Hey, thanks for responding. I will definitely start playing longer games instead of focusing solely on bullet. Sometimes, after a streak of losses, I become so agitated and impatient that I'll just throw out 10 pre-moves in the beginning without even considering the moves that my opponent makes. I think playing 30-minute games like you said will ease my mind and give me more time to play methodically.

    It is disheartening, though, to see other people only play fast games and steadily improve regardless. I guess I'm just not that type of player.

  • #3
    munchd0g wrote:


    It is disheartening, though, to see other people only play fast games and steadily improve regardless. I guess I'm just not that type of player.

    There are many reasons this could be.

    They may have been playing slower games or OTB games for some time before playing bullet/blitz games.

    They may have mastered some of the bullet/blitz specific skills. A 5/0 game IS not the same as a 30/0 game. There are some important differences in the way they are played.

    Other than that, TigerProwl is correct. If you want to improve, playing only bullet/blitz games is probably not the best way to go.

  • #4

    Hey, I have been playing for a year now.  For 10 months I was stuck in the 900-1000 level.  I changed to playing 10min and 30min.  2 months ago, I purchased Fritz 12 and started pasting my games that I lost into the program to understand what I did wrong.  After analyzing and review games between masters, I moved up rather quickly. Last night I beat a 1540 at a 30min game!!!  

    One more thing about 5 minute at the 900 level, it is chaos. I have a coworker that is 2150.  He reviewed one my games when I was 900, and he could only say, pure madness and chaos.  At higher levels it's more organized and you'll see moves and combinations clearer.


  • #5

    Tigerprowl's advice is sound. Follow it.

    Just one thing. It might not help. Everybody's situation and talent and strength and weaknesses are unique.

    Many people are stuck on a certain level for years before they suddenly make a big leap forward to new heights. I know because I was one of them. Wink

    Noone really knows why this happens.


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