Originally posted by gorookyourself
Chess ratings go up and down when you play fast and play a lot of games.
Maybe the structures from the French defense suit your style of play more.
I'm sure you'll lose some rating points when you play against more 1600's
instead of your usual 1400-1500 opponents.
My experience has been that, on the site, below 2000 a few hundred points either way doesn't mean all that much, unless both players have played a BUNCH of games.
When you start on the site with a p1200, you often have to play lower players just to get started, so often there will be a 1500 player with 20 games under his belt, but he plays much stronger than that, and simply hasn't played enough games to raise his rating enough.
The rating formula also accounts for variations in ratings, so you rating should not fluctuate much based on who you play. You lose more playing higher players, but you lose fewer rating points when you lose to the higher player, and you gain more points when you win.
A great example is my friend Niculae and I (we met and play on the site). He's about 1400 and I'm about 1800 (+/-). We've played 74 games so far, and I've won 68 and he's won 6.
From a ratings formula perspective, I get a point or two if I win, and he gets something like 32 points if he wins. Given that, I am probably a net loser in rating points when we play- I have lots to lose and little to gain.
The real trick is that we don't care about ratings. He is a creative and almost manic attacker, and I consider our games good defensive practice- and the few times he has shellacked me have been classics. We play for fun, never time each other out if we see a skull (even though we play a 1/0 time control), and as long as he sends me another game, I'll happily play.
I have a newer friend (Ellis Burke from down under), and he was 1500-something until he played me. He's whacked me for some 120 points in the last three weeks, and now he's over 1600- I joke that the new "hill" in his profile rating graph is where my chess corpse is buried!
I think it's valuable to use your rating as a guidepost for yourself (it's not perfect, but it's worth watching), but take all other ratings with a grain of salt, as you may be surprised.