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  1. 25 Apr '17 18:23
    I am an average chess player and would like to move from my current 1100 to 1900 in two years. I started playing chess when I was about 30 years old. I am now 50.Now I have only two questions:
    1. Is it possibe that I can reach 1900 score?
    2. If yes, what can I do to reach that score? I am near 1000 completed game, and I am just losing more games and winning less .

    Thanks

    Tshotsho
  2. Subscriber venda
    Dave
    25 Apr '17 19:36
    Originally posted by Tshotsho Khalapa
    I am an average chess player and would like to move from my current 1100 to 1900 in two years. I started playing chess when I was about 30 years old. I am now 50.Now I have only two questions:
    1. Is it possibe that I can reach 1900 score?
    2. If yes, what can I do to reach that score? I am near 1000 completed game, and I am just losing more games and winning less .

    Thanks

    Tshotsho
    The more you play the more you will learn how to spot the traps, cut out your own mistakes and you should improve.
    Over time you will find your natural ability level I've been on here for 7 years and usually live in the mid 1500's so I think 1900 is probably a bit ambitious.
    Before I make a move I go through a few basic steps and I find it helps although I still miss things:-
    1.Check all checks -can your opponent put you in check with his next move? If so there could be a pin or skewer involved resulting in material loss.
    2.Have I any pieces hanging ?- i.e unprotected pieces or pieces with more attackers than defenders.
    3.Try to work out why your opponent has made the move he has made. Players rarely make a move with no reason behind it.Some of the time you will be wrong in your assumptions but it's good practice.
    A lot of people on here recommend books to study.I can never be bothered which is possibly why I'm mid 1500 !!
  3. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    25 Apr '17 19:39
    Originally posted by Tshotsho Khalapa
    I am an average chess player and would like to move from my current 1100 to 1900 in two years. I started playing chess when I was about 30 years old. I am now 50.Now I have only two questions:
    1. Is it possibe that I can reach 1900 score?
    2. If yes, what can I do to reach that score? I am near 1000 completed game, and I am just losing more games and winning less .

    Thanks

    Tshotsho
    1. Possible, but not likely.
    2. Play fewer games and think longer on moves and play people somewhat better than you. Quality over quantity.
    3. Go over your lost games and identify and learn from mistakes.
    4. Do tactics training at any of the many sites online that offer it.
  4. 26 Apr '17 04:53
    Thanks a lot Dave. I think in two years I will be counted among the 1500. I will ensure that I put in practice your tips.

    Tshotsho
  5. 26 Apr '17 05:00
    Thanks a lot sir. You really gave me hope. I see your points but I thought playing 12 games is not too many games. Or I should maybe play only 2 against stronger players? With regards to ' Possible but not likely' I am quite excited and will work towards that possibility.

    Thanks.

    Tshotsho
  6. 26 Apr '17 05:02
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    1. Possible, but not likely.
    2. Play fewer games and think longer on moves and play people somewhat better than you. Quality over quantity.
    3. Go over your lost games and identify and learn from mistakes.
    4. Do tactics training at any of the many sites online that offer it.
    Thanks a lot sir. You really gave me hope. I see your points but I thought playing 12 games is not too many games. Or I should maybe play only 2 against stronger players? With regards to ' Possible but not likely' I am quite excited and will work towards that possibility.

    Thanks.

    Tshotsho
  7. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    26 Apr '17 08:08
    Possible, with hard work, coaching, and some good books.

    Find yourself an opponent, either correspondence or OTB, who is willing to play a lot and analyse games together.

    Get two or three solid books on strategy and learn them by heart. There are dozens, not all of them equally good. I would recommend "Chess Strategy" by Ed. Lasker. Others to follow.
  8. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    26 Apr '17 09:39
    I think it is possible to improve very significantly but you have to play slowly enough to engage with your games and be willing to work through your games after they finish. At all levels chess games (and rating points) are lost because players do not fully appreciate possibilities available to their opponent in time to effectively counter them. At the novice level this looks like "Damn, I've just lost my knight". So you go back through the game and notice that your opponent has just spent the last few moves cutting off escape squares or moving pieces to threaten it or whatever. Realizations like this are the bedrock of learning what has been going on in your game that you can look out for next time. As progression is made you may find that you choose to avoid exchanges that lead to certain pawn set ups you have had trouble defending in endgames for example. You will play "the what happens if" game and start to uncover things in the positions. Personally I wouldn't get too hung up on books. A basic chess primer should give a brief summary of "positional advantages" and rules of thumb such as having control of open files, pawn weaknesses and so on with which you can acquaint yourself in a couple of afternoons. It may take the rest of your life to develop the vision to bring these things properly under your control in your games. To improve you have to do all this thinking consciously so rushing moves and games will not help you. In correspondence (turn based) chess it is best to do as much of your post game analysis as you can before you move rather than after. I don't think you can be told how to play chess well. You kind of have to find out for yourself...
  9. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    26 Apr '17 11:55
    Originally posted by Ragwort
    I think it is possible to improve very significantly but you have to play slowly enough to engage with your games and be willing to work through your games after they finish. At all levels chess games (and rating points) are lost because players do not fully appreciate possibilities available to their opponent in time to effectively counter them. At the novi ...[text shortened]... don't think you can be told how to play chess well. You kind of have to find out for yourself...
    I agree with all that Ragwort says there. It's really about two things, ultimately:

    1. learning the basic positional advantages (bishop pair, control of the centre, control of files/ranks, good knight vs bad bishop, temporary weaknesses (such as lack of development), permanent weaknesses (isolated pawns, backward pawns, etc.). And so on. There is a list of them in , for example, Hermann Grooten's book, "Chess Strategy for the Club Player." Soviet players were simply drilled to go through a mental check list of these items.

    2. seeing what moves are playable; by which I mean not the the totality of all possible moves, but rather learning to prune the number of moves down to a shortlist of moves which satisfy the criteria from item 1. and then analyse those moves effectively. You can't play a move which you haven't seen. Many players look at too few moves, try to calculate one or two potential moves too deeply and get lost in silly variations. Many players see a move only post mortem, if it is pointed out to them, and wonder why they did not see it in time to play it.
  10. 26 Apr '17 15:57
    To get better....

    Improve board vision.

    Find better things to consider.
  11. 26 Apr '17 17:19
    Originally posted by Tshotsho Khalapa
    I am an average chess player and would like to move from my current 1100 to 1900 in two years. I started playing chess when I was about 30 years old. I am now 50.Now I have only two questions:
    1. Is it possibe that I can reach 1900 score?
    2. If yes, what can I do to reach that score? I am near 1000 completed game, and I am just losing more games and winning less .

    Thanks

    Tshotsho
    Check out

    PlutoOrange
  12. Subscriber LittleDonkey
    Little Donkey
    26 Apr '17 22:12
    Originally posted by Tshotsho Khalapa
    I am an average chess player and would like to move from my current 1100 to 1900 in two years. I started playing chess when I was about 30 years old. I am now 50.Now I have only two questions:
    1. Is it possibe that I can reach 1900 score?
    2. If yes, what can I do to reach that score? I am near 1000 completed game, and I am just losing more games and winning less .

    Thanks

    Tshotsho
    1. Yes
    2. Looking at your games you seem to have a gung ho approach, valiantly charging in going for the kill. This is good on a number of levels, you have fun, you have interesting games, you get some spectacular wins. Then there is the downside, you leave yourself undefended, you sacrifice all your pieces until you have none left and solid players will just steamroller you. To improve join a club that does themed gambit openings. It combines your natural flair with tournaments that concentrate on one opening. Use the community explorer, it will lead you through paths that can show you where you and your opponents are going wrong and right! Finally read the blogs here, they are highly informative, very amusing and show mating patterns and pitfalls.
  13. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    27 Apr '17 00:33
    One other thing that popped into my head just now: having been an 1100 player for so long, there are doubtless bad habits that require un-learning. Be on the lookout for them as you go over your lost games, learning from mistakes.
  14. 27 Apr '17 01:40
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    One other thing that popped into my head just now: having been an 1100 player for so long, there are doubtless bad habits that require un-learning. Be on the lookout for them as you go over your lost games, learning from mistakes.
    Difficult to see mistakes you don't understand.
  15. 27 Apr '17 01:50
    Castle early, castle often.

    Keep castling until you know why you shouldn't.