Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I'm not Suppose to Excel at Chess

I’m 42- with kids- without tournament experiences and without any plans of future tournament (Club) experiences. ….

If I asked online, whether I could become Good At chess- at my age- with my experiences… I might get a Few optimistic posts (mainly from people that hope to do what I’m trying to do), but the response would be a guarded.

If I asked further if there was any chance I could get to be as good at chess as a 1600 ELO chess player in Standard Time control.  I might get a Maybe.   If I asked if I could get to an 1800- I might get a “its possible”.  Lastly, If I asked – If I could get to be a 2000 or higher, perhaps the truth would come out.

“look, you don’t understand, people online they are not playing their best- this is just half tries & blitz games.  If you want to get to an expert or better- you almost certainly HALF to play in OTB chess tournaments.  That’s the place to prove your strength.”

Any Las Vegas odds man would bet against me!

Of course I haven’t actually asked this- but I don’t have to.  Lots of people have asked about whether they can become a master.   The ‘regular’ posters, usually assume the OP is young.  And they have encouraging but guarded answers.   Some good thoughts come out of threads like this- but the normal answers are worn out.

MOST people Quit Before they Have a good try… and most Adults don’t make enough effort- to really qualify As a good Try.

This is of course discouraging. But in a way it paints a true picture of what kind of mountain I’m trying to climb.   It also puts the question to “What AM I trying to achieve anyway”?  

Frankly Said, I would like to Excel at chess, and (just as frankly) This means USCF expert. 2000+.   The Fact that I am not trying to improve my USCF rating  misses the point.  “I will Find a way” is the important thought.

First I want to Really Improve in chess- In ALL time controls here at  and Later I will find a way to get to USCF tournaments. 

MOTIVATION.   Its been lagging recently.  I don’t mean to be stuck on the big effort to get to 1200 blitz- but now that is done, for some reason I find myself a little Lazy.   A few other things have become a distraction.

YET 1200 Blitz is NOT where I want to stop.  In fact, I don’t want to stop, at all!  but I find myself drawn more into forum than more legitamite training efforts.  I feel a little slow, tired and fatigued.  Some more days than ever.

In Short, NOW is the Time to show determination.  Now is a time to draw resources from within.  And Now Is the Time to remind myself of how big and exciting the broader goal really is.  I have to start showing more time spent on tactic puzzles, game review, and careful readings from some of my chess book.

“The only universal approach to winning is diligence.”

I apologize if I’ve made this particular blog somewhat unreadable.  I remind myself, that my own personal ramblings aren’t great literature.
(On, we usually suffer the patzer’s to write because there comments are brief.)

Instead, a blog is a way of documenting your thoughts, and I need more motivation.


  1. Chess-ability is: Knowledge, Skills and Abilitys. Knowledge can be improved all over your live. Abilitys to some extend too but the Skills are critical.
    Very important skills are the tactical vision ( = ~ rating at chesstempo, blitz&easy or rating at the Chess Tactics Server ) and calculation ( = ~ rating at chesstempo, mixed, hard ).
    If you want to get a elo of 2000+ you need to be able to get a "related" rating at these tactics servers too. Of course, if you learned your openings a few tenthousand lines deep, became strategical grandmaster by learning from Karpov as tutor for several years, play endgames like Capablanca... then maybe a much lower performance in tactical vision and calculation can do it too.. ;)
    But quite often an adult ( like me ./ ) will experience a problem to improve here "a lot"..

    So i suggest you concentrate to get 1) a Chess Tactics Server rating of say 1500, 2) a Chesstempo blitz rating of 1700 and 3) a chesstempo mixed rating of 1700 .

    If you can get much higher then the goal to become expert should be "easy" to reach
    If you can get at least close to these ratings at these servers you may??? get Expert by learning a lot!!! about the other things in chess

    But if you stay " a lot below" these ratings... i dont see any chances

  2. It is time to get back into tactics. yes.

    Last night I spent all night coughing and hacking... so that is , at least, partial explanation on why I've been unmotivated and losing.

    but I wanted to remind myself that success, defined by that rating performance, is NOT expected. so .... commitment must be uncommon and sustained. in short, even in the midst of a cold - there's no time to shelf chess. There's so MUCH more for me to learn and work on.

    regarding the tactics, I've been fond of books like reinfeld 1001. yet your strong recommendation is to be tactic train online. Why? is there an advantage to puzzling tactics online?? [curious]

  3. If you want to do a training in tactic other resources might be as good or even better than chesstempo or the chess-tactics-server. There are tactic books to get a better understanding of tactics and there are good interactiv training tools like ct-art to learn systematically tactics. A very good website to learn tactics is They offer pattern training, calculation training, board vision training asf..

    But if you want to >>monitor<< your progress in tactics then you need a good rating system with timed puzzles and that is only possible with the tactics trainer at , and

  4. The tactical skill is difficult to improve for an older player ( after reaching the point of deminishing return ) .. so it makes more sense to improve in knowledge if you want to get better in chess. But your tactical skill will be a limiting factor. You may bypass this weakness to some extend by playing positional and closed openings and learn the needs of such positions very well
    Sad that there are no positional chess servers :/