An unexamined life is not worth living.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strategy for Gaining Rating on Internet Chess Club

Internet Chess is mostly for entertainment, but most players today play more games online than over the board. So it is something we need to treat rather seriously if we want to improve from online games. Well, I am not a very good blitz player, and I am not in very good chess shape, but I noticed recently that I played quite a few blitz games on ICC without losing or drawing any. In fact my winning streak lasted so many games that there is not a single loss or draw in my ICC history, which spans 20 last games. Bobby Fischer’s winning streak in 1971 was 19 straight wins, but I had a couple of aborted games here, so his streak probably is still more significant. In the process my Blitz rating went up from 2052 to 2192.


Not to over-celebrate, I wanted to make a few observations to explain how this could possibly happen:

  1. I had lower rated opponents than myself in all of those games. This is not too helpful for gaining rating, but surely helps to make the streak longer
  2. I only played 1-2 game each day. I tend to lose focus/motivation if I play many blitz games at once.
  3. I used a convenient mouse, which helped with concentration
  4. I played these games not at my home, but rather at a place where I have very few external distractions
  5. I was lucky in a couple of those games
  6. I played my regular openings with both colours
  7. I played most of those games with the same time control
  8. I did not surf the web or listen to music while playing, minimizing self-induced distractions
  9. I did not play in tournaments during these 3 months, so again, I got used to the time controls
  10. I started to particularly care about the outcome once I set the goal for 20 games without a loss

Now that I got this blog entry out of my system, I can go and lose a game with a clear consciousness!

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