Improving my chess
Posted: 10 December 2015 01:28 AM  
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2015-06-30

I started playing chess late (at age 35) and have worked my way to around 1700 elo in the 15 minute pool on ICC over the past 15 years.  I am currently at an extended plateau in my development.  I have a few observations and questions for stronger players out there. 

1. How do you know you have reached the limit of your abilities in chess? (assuming everyone has a finite limit to what they can achieve.)  I am also assuming that as you progress higher in rating it becomes exponentially more difficult to progress, so for most working adults with families you become limited my the amount of time available to devote to the game.

2. I have noticed as I hover around 1700 elo that many of my lost games are to players of similar rating who play tactically flawless games (as analyzed by stockfish 6 or Houdini 4 pro, where the engines can offer no criticism of any of my opponents moves.  If 1800 elo players can play tactically perfect is it safe to say the best way to beat them is with strategy, not tactics?  Is that perhaps the key to progressing to the “next level”?  I know there are some people who cheat with computer assistance but it doesn’t matter to me since it still serves to improve my game.  I am a believer that you learn the most from the games you lose.

I am in a chess rutt.  Thanks for your input.  Perhaps I need an actual coach to improve.

Posted: 21 December 2015 05:06 AM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  392
Joined  2011-11-18

I am not stronger than you, and most probably much older smile
What I think is that, reached a given level - and 1700 in the pools indicates a good level of understanding of the game - you need a coach to progress. It’s the quicker and easier way to improve your game.
It is also useful to watch videos - and ICC provides its members with thousands of instructional videos - especially those on openings, but also Larry Christiansen’s tactic videos, or game analysis by Alex Yermolinsky, Joel Benjamin and Dan Heisman.

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