Playing many games doesn't improve rating


dis guy ses his not improvin but he aint lost a standard game yet... shud play more

uhohspaghettio wrote:
Giacometti wrote:
uhohspaghettio wrote:
Giacometti wrote:

Study tactics.  Study tactics.  Study tactics.  Until you get to 1800.  It's as simple as that.

I really hope this is supposed to be a joke... 

Why would this be a joke?  1800 OL = 1500 USCF.  Below 1500 USCF the best way to get better is to improve your board vision and calculating ability...which means study tactics.  It's not rocket science?

No. The best way "to improve your board vision and calculating ability" does not mean "study tactics", and especially not to the exclusion of all else.

And the idea of "board vision" is nonsensical anyway. Everything is "board vision". Oh I have to improve my "board vision". It's a meaningless concept. However for what it's worth/what it's supposed to mean, you would improve your "board vision" a lot more by studying strategic principles. 

I'm tired of the same old nonsense and tired cliches continuing on from the de la Maza era, they're enormous lies. 


I am no fan of De la Maza, who claimed you could become a NM (national master) by studying tactics alone.  What I'm talking about is something else entirely.  And board vision is a very real mental concept, it  has to do with one's ability to see patterns and calculate variations.  This isn't developed by learning that a knight outpost is a good thing, it's developed by doing lots and lots of tactical exercises.  Don't get me wrong, after 15-1600 USCF you need to start studying positional themes and techniques, but prior to that level your best bet for improvement is tactics.


What helped me the most (or close to it) was when I started going to a chess club where literally all the players were rated at least 200 points above me.  I went about every week for a year.  1 or 2 of them were rated 400 points above me.  And I got my butt kicked very night I went there.  Club rules were no games faster than 10/10 by the way, and rarely could you play someone more than twice in a row  (the guy owned the building so he could make any rules he wanted heh).  Comments made after the game were fantastic, it's amazing how a few phrases can mean a lot.

Also I was a player who had done ~95% of his learning form tactic puzzle books + online blitz games and very briefly looking at the games with an engine afterwards... I very much lacked any kind evaluation or planning.  Anyway around the time I was visiting this club I read and played though every page of Dvoretsky's endgame manual (sometimes I wonder how I did that heh) and Soltis' pawn structure book.  I then read and played over the notes I took while reading these books (about a notebook worth).  I believe these two books hit on my weaknesses squarely and so also helped me improve a lot.  (I was also sporadically going though the Zurich 1953 game collection book, although I never finished it).

So my advice is play long games against people better than you (tournaments are best) and analyze afterwards.  Also it's my opinion that if you haven't read at least 1 endgame, 1 middle game, and 1 game collection book then you can't really say you've hit a wall in your improvement yet.

IMO this is what pushed me from strong C / weak B player to weak A player, roughly 200 points.  I was not frequenting tournament at this time (which I regret) so I'm not sure how my USCF rating would have reacted, but I do base this opinion on my performance at the few tournaments I did go to as well as being able to do well at the club in the end :)


Hmm, I notice your live chess - standard rating is much higher than your blitz/bullet (and you haven't lost a game yet, so it may go even higher!)  I'm not sure, but from the few people I've looked at usually their standard rating is lower than their bullet/blitz.

If your question is only about blitz/bullet ratings then it seems you already have a good foundation and aren't playing fast enough.  In one sense in speed games you have to be in puzzle solving mode... that is the very first thing you do is "see" the possible checks and captures and "check" if there are any 1-2 move tactics.

I use quotes because, for example, when I say add 2+2 you don't "check" the answer by adding on your fingers, you just know that it's 4.  Also the possible checks and captures in a position only change 1 move at a time so this is also fairly instant.

It also pays to play a lot of common sense moves with little or no analysis... you could go for an attack in a double edged position, or you could finish development... well to be safe just make the developing move even if you feel it gives up a small advantage.  The time you save from analysing is worth it.

Also pay attention to what weaknesses take more time to exploit.  If he's attacking your knigside don't try to find a legitimate defense, just close up some files even if it's terrible.  Maybe you're screwed but it will take him time to reposition... or maybe the endgame is lost but that will take 30 accurate moves to convert.  It's this sort of anti-chess thinking that helps speed you up and win more speed games.


Wow. This thread is different from all others I've seen here.

Whereas in most threads you needn't look past the third or fourth response, unless you want to read about race, religion, or politics, this thread begins with noise and ends with signal.

wafflemaster saves the day.


I was going to give you some advice but - oh no - my rating just dropped from 1802 to 1797. Please wait until I have regained credibility.

Scottrf wrote:

Can all you patzers stop posting.

(I'm only posting to tell you to stop)

Ah! They can; they may; but will they?

That seems to be the core of the question. 


Kypromancer wrote:

I was going to give you some advice but - oh no - my rating just dropped from 1802 to 1797. Please wait until I have regained credibility.

I just laughed for 20 minutes straight, thanks!

peterdubec schreef:

Hey guys,

DISCLAIMER: I only want to hear opinions from people rated at least 1800 in blitz/bullet. Sorry for being picky, but I learned that only good players can give good advice.

I suppose you got that advise from a good player as well?
Honestly, if you're looking for help I think the first step is being open to it.
Sorry, I'm not allowed to give advise and my live rating doesn't allow it by far. I don't think it's insulting or arrogant, but it definately seems a bit shallow.

Kypromancer wrote:

I was going to give you some advice but - oh no - my rating just dropped from 1802 to 1797. Please wait until I have regained credibility.



If you only want advice on how to play faster chess, blitz and bullet players are definitely the guys to ask; I agree that speed games are all tactics. I suck at fast games, so I have no advice to give. If you want advice on how to improve your slower games, ask people who play slower games. I am assuming you only want to improve at blitz. Slow chess is a whole different game. In my opinion, one can't become a good speed player without first becoming better in slower time controls, but I allow the possibility of being in error on this.

waffllemaster wrote:

Hmm, I notice your live chess - standard rating is much higher than your blitz/bullet (and you haven't lost a game yet, so it may go even higher!)  I'm not sure, but from the few people I've looked at usually their standard rating is lower than their bullet/blitz.

That's strange, because usually I see the standard rating as 200-400 points higher than the blitz rating on FICS. I haven't really paid attention to it at I've never had my blitz rating higher than my standard rating. Undecided


Wow you're 1700 standard trysts.

I really should check more people then.  From what I remember I've seen those with ~2000 blitz have ~1700 standard rating and I thought that's just how it goes.  But at the moment the handful of people I checked do indeed have standard > blitz.

In a week or two I think I'll starting playing some 15/0 games here and see what it's like.  Maybe I'm still bias but I somehow doubt my standard > my blitz.


I always thought the people here with 1900-2000 blitz rating were actually 2100-2300 standard rating on the Internet, and they just didn't play standard games. Maybe it's all different here. When I play a 1600-1700 blitz rated player on FICS, sometimes I'll check out their profile and they seem to always be about 1900-2000 rated in standard if they play standard time-control games.


Yeah, FICS and what I remember of ICC the standard ratings were always higher.  I figured's standard pool was somehow different.  Actually my theory was not many people played it, so it topped out around 2000 so only master strength players who beat nearly everyone would be as high as that.


I have 1790 rating  on my club in long time games , here in  rapid blitz bullet I still  sucks fail.

I like to think and chess is  a thinking gameLaughing


if you are weak you must much training f you are strong you can play much , carlsen play huge and less training.

TasmanianTiger wrote:

Seriously? You are so narrow-minded for not wanted to take advice from lower ranked players, they just might have something to say. At one point in his career Bobby Fischer was under 1800. So advice was not good from him? 

Learn to not be so narrow minded and arrogant. Shame on you.

Good way to put it :)


If you're apologizing for something then you know you've done wrong. "I'm sorry to do this but..." 


My friend is 1850 in blitz on  He knows openings really well, or what my other friend calls a "book whore". I am roughly 1700 for both blitz and bullet, and the difference between a 1600 and 1500 in blitz is tactical consitency.