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I have been meaning to ask the wider community a question for quite a while now, and having just completed some problems on Tactic Trainer, I have finally got myself worked up enough to ask the question.
As a bit of background, I used to play quite a lot as a child; at school, in local tournaments and with my father (who, having played him recently, is nowhere near as good as I recall at that age!). Since about 14 though, I haven't really played at all, other than the very odd game here and there. I then discovered Chess.com and I have been an active member for quite some time now (maybe a year?) mainly playing turn based chess online, as this fits in well to my work schedule. I am trying to improve my chess knowledge and tactics using Tactics Trainer and Chess Mentor, as well as playing these virtual turn based games.
This however is where the burning question has arisen.
Playing turn-based chess (TBC), I have played about 40 games and have a rating of approximately 1950 or so on this site. When I learn using Chess Mentor (CM), I have been as high as 1900, but generally hover around 1750. When I use Tactics Trainer (TT), I have been as high as only 1500 and yet consistently hover around 1200. I played one game of blitz chess on LIVE, and got my a*s kicked, and I hated the fact had to make all my moves for the whole game in about 3 minutes (no doubt because I amnot very good when I have to!).
First, I would like to point out that I actually am not too bothered what my rating actually proves to be. The irritating thing from my perspective is that in my mind I currently have THREE ratings, and I have no idea which is more or less accurate than the other!
I am curious on three fronts. First, does the same thing happen to other players (in that their CM/TT/TBC ratings are so far apart) ? Second, which is the more accurate measurement of true chess ability (out of the three)? Third, what are the pros and cons of each of the three methods in terms of providing an accurate rating for a player such as myself?
All comments welcome!
AlwaysLearning> First, does the same thing happen to other players (in that their CM/TT/TBC ratings are so far apart)?
Yes. All my ratings, here and elsewhere, are different.
AlwaysLearning> Second, which is the more accurate measurement of true chess ability (out of the three)?
No rating measures your ability--they measure your performance. But your 'Long' time control Live chess rating is probably closest to your FIDE rating.
i personally would think that the TBC ratings would be the more significant one.. For CM, it only shows your ability of strategy, and in TT, it shows your ability of tactics.. and in your case, it seems that you're not so good in your tactics, but has relatively good strategies.. and other aspects ot the game (other than those 2) seems to be quite good since your overall/TBC rating is quite good.. and in the Live Chess, it only shows your ability at playing games with a limited amount of time.. to most of us, that's not too important, but if you're aiming to be a professional player, you should practice that aspect of your chess also as professional tournaments are time-limited, similar to Live Chess..
btw, all my ratings in those aspects are far apart also.. i believe only Grandmasters (who master all aspects of the game) who have similar ratings at all aspects (TBC, CM, TT or Live Chess).. but even they might have different ratings in different aspects..
Live chess is the most in tune with OTB ratings, and so, the most important.
@ likesforests - thanks for your comments - agree that performance is a better word than ability... and good to know that this isnt just happening to me! Makes me feel more human!
@ cena_warrior - thanks for your comments as well, am also glad you are similarly afflicted. I enjoyed your point about strategy versus tactics, though is there really a difference between the two? Tactics help you acheive your strategic plans don't they?
@ Kupov - I dont play live chess, as rarely do I have spare hours to devote to it... but appreciate this would be the more accurate. I was trying to determine the difference in accuracy between TBC/TT and CM only...
I have to agree with everyone else here. Don't worry about blitz games, you'll probably do excellent in long games (25-60 minutes). That has to be the most accurate rating (in comparison to let's say FIDE)
As for your other ratings, CM and TT tend to vary quite a bit from your actual rating no matter who you ask, and the online chess ratings are a bit high compared to live chess.
If your struggling with the Tactics Trainer I'll give you a tip-- take your time before every move. Don't worry about taking 30 seconds to solve a problem; it's better than taking 5 seconds and solving it incorrectly. The average time on some of the very hard problems is even 3 minutes! That should boost it up a little.
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