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What does it take to get to a solid 1800 level?

  • #21

    If you play enough games and aren't 1800 that means you don't play like an 1800 player and should ask yourself why.  Thinking process has a lot to do with it, and Heisman's The Improving Chess Thinker is a great book.  Look at the positions, write down your thoughts such as positional assessment, evaluation, and variations.  Then decide on a final move and write it down.  Compare your protocols to the classes later on (do not read ahead and spend at least 10 minutes on each position!)

    If you don't do a positional assessment, evaluate, and sporadically calculate superficial lines then I have bad news for you...

  • #22

    Im not sure but just a few days ago I broke into Class A!!!! (1835 hisghest so far) so this question would be helpful to me as well.

  • #23

    I think that exercises importance is also helpful even at the GM level, where games are often decided by a pawn...

  • #24

    Did you say you don't have an OTB rating yet? There is a book called Rapid Chess Improvement that I'm reading right now--it claims to add near 200-400 points in a year. It certainly makes sense, and I'm excited to try the revolutionary techniques presented (it is much different from a regular chess book). But if you already have a set OTB rating, I don't think you'll go up that much in a year, even if your playing strength is at 1800. After my provincial rating stopped, the most my rating has changed at once is 50 points--and I got 1 draw in the whole tournament, going in as one of the highest in my section by a large margin. So you would probably have to play around 6 tournaments, winning almost all of your games against 1900's, to jump that high in a year. But if you have a provincial rating (less than 25 total games), your rating can change several hundred points per win.

  • #25

    Thanks a lot. This is a great forum (most of the time) when you get intelligent reponses almost instantly, this can be very helpful.

    Well done chessmaster, good stuff.

    I don't know Scorpion, I have  heard of the book thanks, but to write of players like that seems harsh. Thought process is evolution. I am teaching my daughters chess at the moment, it is a case of 'the horse, also a knight, moves two and then one, or one and then two' or 'those are pawns, they move one forward or two on their first go if they want.' This is a trival initial thought process but even GMs started that way. (I'm not saying my kids are Polgars, just that the thought process evolves and is not static. If I am thinking wrong then I will change my thinking! Indeed that is what i am working on.)

    9th. No, I'm not part of a chess club yet, but I have my eyes on one and will be joining shortly. My chess coach (2200) has looked at my games and thinking and thinks I am 1500. My ratings on here are close to that too, so I think 1450-1500 is about right, best guess. I will look into that book thanks.

  • #26

    I just got older. I was at a solid 1900 level and got worse.

  • #27

    Then you would likely play at that range.  It is best to improve where we are weakest.  Correct, thought processes can change, which is the entire point of the book.  Heisman noted that masters and above get written about in improvement books, but left out amateur thought processes.  He gives improvement recommendations at the end of the chapter. 

    You mentioned an excellent idea earlier, which is studying master games.  I'm currently on studying Botvinnik, but am putting that on hold because I'm holding an opposite colored bishop week for myself (I didn't do too well on the opposite colored bishop practical part in the GM's Positional Understanding by Smirnov =( ) where I look at games where one side one. 

  • #28
    Benedictine wrote:

    For standard chess and blitz?

    In terms of things like:

    Opening knowledge, tactical and stategic understanding, end game play etc.

    I know that tactics should be the predominant study pre-1800 level, but also, are there any recommendations for defenses to d4 and e4 that the 'intermediate beginner' (I'm somewhere between 1300-1500) can quickly run with without having to get bogged down in complex opening jungles like the sicillian? I think I prefer semi-open positions.


    If u have many games at your level it would be a  hard 300 points.

  • #29
    Conflagration_Planet wrote:

    A far stronger interest than I have, in chess.

    Learned english from Yoda, you have.

  • #30
    rooperi wrote:

    And always keep in mind:

    1200's think 1500's are solid, 2100's think 1800's suck.

    Solid is a relative term :)

    Very true.

  • #31

    Benedictine, I sent a request to join your group.

    1800 is a several-year goal for me. Chess is my #3 hobby (or so), I don't have the time or care to study chess intensively, I just want to make a relaxed progress. But I think it's a good goal to have anyways.

    If I'm 1400 now, 4 years would be 100 points a year. For me, that's plenty to work on Tongue Out and a good pace. I guess I don't understand all the obsession with moving up the ratings as fast as humanly possible, unless you really want to be a professional chess player? I don't know. I try not to worry too much about my rating. In most cases of learning something new, it's all about putting the right amount of pressure on yourself -- you push yourself to get better, but, too much pressure is a road of frustration, and easily leads to quitting. Of course, this has exceptions. Like Bobby Fischer, and many other good (obsessed) top level chess players. (I'm not referring to when Bobby quit, although that could go toward my point, but I'm referring to his obsessed development in chess.) --But again, is that what you're aiming for?


    I think getting to 1800 is a matter of:
    -tactics (the backbone of chess, kind of like you have to be able to form a good sentence before you write a novel. for me this includes knowing the basic mating patterns down SOLID).
    -general strategic concepts (for example, basic development rules in the opening, basic end game concepts, basic board and piece evaluation)

    -good thought process for every move (for example, CCT = checks, captures, threats)

    -strong will to fight and win every game, and be consistent

    -learn from mistakes, including general review of your games. computer analysis or stronger player notating/reviewing your games

  • #32

    For 1800 OTB, you need to be reasonably familiar with the middlegames arising from your usual openings (ie. you need to know the basic middlegame plans and ideas). This usually comes with experience / analyzing.

    This is on top of tactics of course.

    You may also want to have a look at my 'skills by level' draft.

  • #33
    GreenField85 wrote:

    "I know that tactics should be the predominant study pre-1800 level"

    I've been told this, and studying master games. I wouldn't even really worry too much about memorizing lines until you hit your 1800 goal. Try to meet any opponent threats two moves ahead, and you should be on your way.

    I disagree...its not about memorizing lines BCZ any deviation...will throw a wrench into the mix....Solid opening play(Best Moves) will aid you in the middle game which helps set up your endgame...Tactics!!!!

    I read somewhere ...it takes over 1500 games  to become an expert in that particular line and only have roughly 600 combined Live/turn based games...

    bottom line : don't get discouraged, work harder than the next person and surround yourself with motivated individuals....!!!



  • #34

    You may also want to have a look at my 'skills by level' draft.

    Wow, that looks brilliant, I'll have a look at that later.

    If u have many games at your level it would be a hard 300 points.

    OK< thanks for the honest reply.

    I looked at a few of your recent games. Tactics is still your #1 problem. Practicing tactics is not just about training yourself to find good moves, it's also about training yourself to recognize when you're leaving yourself vulnerable to tactics from your opponent. Continue to practice tactics until you can maintain a solid position for the entire game, then it will be time to start learning about strategy.

    Thanks for that. Some of my latest games are silly bullet games (no offence for anyone who loves bullet games) played for fun (and usually after 11pm), but still I totally agree with you and think this is a great point.  Many, many tactics are from the point of view of the attacker, whereas this is good, I would like them from the opposite POV as well, moreso.

    I sent you a PM checkevrthing.


  • #35
  • #36

    Ok, the ratings are not som holy power, dont't think to much abut it. Just practis in chess! Fx I use chess.com to train me for real tournaments. I have like 1500 elo, but 1900 in tactics here on chess.com. And I'm always getting better! Study tactics, study games, openings and endigs, practis online and then play over the bord. Thats how I do it. If you do that you will be better in chess! And the ratings get higher. Probably much higher then 1800 :)


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