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  1. 09 Nov '15 10:00 / 1 edit
    Maybe someone can shed some light on this. I chap I once vaguely knew was rated at one point something like 59 ECF in his early thirties (he took up chess quite late) which equals about FIDE 1150 ish.

    This player played at this standard for around 3/4 years, losing games to players around 75 - 115 ECF winning the odd game as you would expect. So someone around 70 ECF in chess terms is generally regarded as a very weak player, nothing wrong with that.

    Here's the interesting bit - this player 6 years on is now over 150 ECF (1850+ FIDE) beating 140, 150, 160 players!!! This is not a junior this is an adult that took up chess late. Now if you lose to people rated around 70/100 ECF for years - 1year maybe, but that basically says to me you are with all the will in the world probably not much better than that standard - even if the guy had natural talent it would have come out before that. (I should add my ECF is around 170 so I know well what a 60/70ECF player standard is)

    Here's the final part.. I played this guy on FIDE Online Arena in blitz game which I lost. I probably should have drawn the game but ended up losing, and the manner in which I lost and the style of play was very strange - it wasn't really a strong computer which is obvious to spot,just very weird almost like a weak wacky computer on a shallow move depth looking back at it now.. I'm not sure... so this caused me to look up his profile, then the amazing ECF OTB game history which led to the first part of this story.. what conclusion can one draw..?
  2. Subscriber thaughbaer
    Duckfinder General
    09 Nov '15 10:33
    Originally posted by plopzilla
    .. what conclusion can one draw..?
    None.. unless I see his shoes.
  3. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    09 Nov '15 10:34
    Maybe he's had some coaching and read a few good books on strategy.
  4. 09 Nov '15 11:22
    no one improves 400 elo at that age with a background of being a weak player surely?
  5. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    09 Nov '15 11:47
    Originally posted by plopzilla
    no one improves 400 elo at that age with a background of being a weak player surely?
    Your own ecf has gone from 96 in 2006 to 163 in the latest list which is some orders of magnitude better without being suspicious. I don't think you can assume someone doesn't have it in them even if it takes a while to come out, especially at the stage when there is most to learn. If he goes on to be a GM it would be an incredible story maybe?
  6. 09 Nov '15 14:12
    I know a player who joined the Edinburgh club when he was approx. 68.
    He knew how the pieces moved and that was that all.
    In the old days they would have called him a Rooks odd player.

    On his second or third night he asked for a book and I recall teaching
    him descriptive notation so he could read 'The Most Instructive Games'
    by Chernev. I know because I was then the club librarian..

    He had that book for 4-6 months and read it. (apparently it's not enough
    to own a chess book - you have to read it.) As far as I know that was
    the only chess book he ever had read.

    He was up at the club most nights playing friendlies against everyone and
    a few years later he won one of the club's minor tournaments and won a
    postal tournament. He played league chess league winning a good number
    of games. Once when stuck for a player he played for the first team simply
    because he was at the club at the time and we did not want to default a board.

    He drew!.

    I recall that one because that night I lost and much merriment was made at my
    expense that they were dropping me to make room for this lad.

    I cannot recall his grade when he passed away but in his later years
    you had to be careful when playing him and treat him with respect.

    It can be done.
  7. 09 Nov '15 14:12
    My train of thought is along the lines of what Ragwort says. It isn't unlikely that this guy actually had some potential all along, but was just making beginners mistakes and lacked experience. If he continued playing and put in some study, there would be room for quite some improvement.

    I can't comment quantitatively on the rise in ECF grade, because I have no feeling whatsoever with chess grades. The only one I know is RHP rating, but that would be a bad predictor for OTB chess.
  8. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    09 Nov '15 14:46
    Low rated players generally lose without realising why they lost. This is often very easy to rectify once you actually start to investigate why you lose. I went from a 1000-1200 player to a 15-1700 in a matter of a couple of months by reading one book. 1800 is not a magically amazing rating at all, it is probably the minimum one should expect from anyone who has done a even a little bit of reading.
  9. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    10 Nov '15 00:54
    Originally posted by plopzilla
    Maybe someone can shed some light on this. I chap I once vaguely knew was rated at one point something like 59 ECF in his early thirties (he took up chess quite late) which equals about FIDE 1150 ish.

    This player played at this standard for around 3/4 years, losing games to players around 75 - 115 ECF winning the odd game as you would expect. So someon ...[text shortened]... ECF OTB game history which led to the first part of this story.. what conclusion can one draw..?
    This is an OTB rating? I know it's not impossible to cheat OTB, but it's pretty hard, so if he has an OTB rating then I think it's genuine. He's probably just got a very trappy style and tries to make messy positions to confuse his opponents.
  10. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    10 Nov '15 10:33
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    This is an OTB rating? I know it's not impossible to cheat OTB, but it's pretty hard, so if he has an OTB rating then I think it's genuine. He's probably just got a very trappy style and tries to make messy positions to confuse his opponents.
    Maybe he's channeling Emanuel Lasker.
  11. Standard member Schlecter
    The King of Board
    11 Nov '15 12:19
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    Low rated players generally lose without realising why they lost. This is often very easy to rectify once you actually start to investigate why you lose. I went from a 1000-1200 player to a 15-1700 in a matter of a couple of months by reading one book. 1800 is not a magically amazing rating at all, it is probably the minimum one should expect from anyone who has done a even a little bit of reading.
    Which one is that book?, I need it.......... 2 years in rhp and still a beginner... I can't improve!!
  12. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    11 Nov '15 13:48 / 2 edits
    It was Chernev's Logical chess move by move. It's really just a game collection, but he goes through some of the main openings explaining what the general strategy is. From an absolute beginners view point (as i was then) it was really excellent. It is somewhat dated perhaps, all of the games are classical so we're talking 1900-1930ish, but that actually helps when you are starting out imo. Studying Kings indian defence games when you are 1200 is just totally pointless. Learn the basics first (when a pin is strong, when it isn't so strong, for example). This book forms a good foundation from which to start thinking about how you should approach certain positions. It is one of the few books i've read cover to cover. Definitely worth a look. Also i found Max Euwe to be a really good author, i read a book of his on the middle game which was really good but i forget the title..
  13. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    12 Nov '15 21:32
    Originally posted by Schlecter
    Which one is that book?, I need it.......... 2 years in rhp and still a beginner... I can't improve!!
    I found Edward's Lasker's "Chess Strategy" very helpful. After that, I recommend Herman Grooten's "Chess Strategy for Club Players".
  14. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    20 Nov '15 13:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    It was Chernev's Logical chess move by move. It's really just a game collection, but he goes through some of the main openings explaining what the general strategy is. From an absolute beginners view point (as i was then) it was really excellent. It is somewhat dated perhaps, all of the games are classical so we're talking 1900-1930ish, but that actually ...[text shortened]... uthor, i read a book of his on the middle game which was really good but i forget the title..
    That was a book I also studied, middle game, vol 1, Static Features and vol 2 dynamic positions, the only problem was it was in descriptive notation and I think I would have gotten through those books in half the time if they were in algebraic.

    http://www.amazon.com/Middlegame-Book-Static-Features-Algebraic/dp/1880673959/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448024854&sr=1-1&keywords=max+euwe

    I see the 1994 edition has been upgraded to algebraic. I wish I had seen that version back in 73 when I was in Thailand and had a lot of time on my hands. I did go through both books but it took something like a year. My duty time was 12 hours a day and totally alone in an electronics shack so I did have a lot of time.

    As for the dude who went up as far as he did, I doubt very seriously he was cheating. He just applied himself and ran himself up by his bootstraps, no need for engine help at that level.

    If he had been cheating somehow, my guess is he would have shot up a lot higher than he did. I think he just applied himself to the task and reached what he would have reached if he had started playing at 10 or so.
  15. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    25 Nov '15 14:48
    I played my first rated tournament at age 35, earning a USCF rating of 1250. At age 50, I was over 1800 and hit 1982 at age 52. Then old age set in. My peak rating at age 55 was 1902 and my low was in the 1840s.

    I own a lot of chess books, but have only read a handful cover-to-cover. Chernev's Logical Chess: Move by Move is one. Another is Lev Alburt, Chess Training Pocket Book. I read a lot of pieces of chess books in my teenage years, starting with Chernev, The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess.