Friday, January 17, 2014


2013 was an interesting year.

End 1871
Peak 1962

I started with a nice rating gain in January that got me to 1962.  2000 seemed tantalizingly close.

But things turned out otherwise!

I was around 1950 by the US Open in August.  Since then, despite the fact that I have lost only one game to a player rated below me, my rating has plummeted to 1878!

Paying too much attention to rating is a fruitless endeavor.

One's emphasis should be on being a better player. But that is easier said than done.  Improving a rating class as an adult is not a easy task at all.


  1. My rating at this exact moment is probably the same as yours. The main difference is that you maintained a 1900+ rating virtually all year, and I was there only once, so you have to give yourself some credit. Also, you played in some quick time-control tournaments even though I think that is maybe not your thing - it is not my thing, either. Can't look at a rating in isolation, you are right. Reaching 2000 and staying at 2000 are also different things as I can think of at least one player who reached 2000 in 2013 and then dropped back down to 1834.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Actually the fastest time control I played was G/90 + 30i. Except for when I re-entered the Chicago Open and played 2 games at G/45?? Lost 5 in a row there! I played 98 games in 2003. The results are here

  3. "Paying too much attention to rating is a fruitless endeavor. One's emphasis should be on being a better player."
    Congratulations for finally coming to this conclusion!
    "But that is easier said than done." - Yes, but though it's not easy nevertheless it's simple: Study!

  4. BRUZ nice to hear from you after a long break.

    How have you been?

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  6. The rating is going up and down by statistical "noise"; you can see that from 2005 to 2011. Now the noise seems to be at a higher level; no reason for any concern. I just wonder: What did change 2010-2011 ?

  7. Improving a rating class as an adult is not a easy task at all.

    In some ways I strongly agree with you, but in others I strongly disagree.

    What I mean is this...

    I came back to chess about three years ago after an absence of 19 years. In that time I have gained around 300 points, going from 1500 to 1800. Granted, one thing that can be said about that is that since I had the long break I didn't have all those years of bad habits to it's not like I was mired at 1500 for 20 years then suddenly made a breakthrough...

    So in some ways it's been rather easy for me to go from Class C to Class A.'s what I have really learned...

    When it comes to improving at chess, the main thing to use a formula called PDCA, which stands for Plan, Do, Check, Adjust.

    Here's how I apply it:

    Plan - I formulate a study plan.

    Do - I implement it

    Check - I analyze recent tournament games to see if my study has paid off'

    Adjust - I change what is needed

    A real world example of that is that my coach told me to start working on tactics for at least an hour a day, so I rolled that into my plan (P). I then worked on tactics for an hour a day (D). After a few weeks I looked at some recent games (C). In doing so I saw some specific tactical themes I was still missing and so I adjusted my studying to incorporated more of those problems (A).

    In reading your blog for the past couple of years it seems like you sometimes get stuck in a rut. I think that you can make Expert if you can identify the main areas in which you need to improve and work on them! Don't psych yourself out by telling yourself that it's hard as an adult.