Finally got my chess game above 1500

I started playing chess on in 2017, late summer. Before that Id played maybe a hundred games in total in my life and all except 3 over 20 years ago so, basically I had no experience at all. In the meantime Ive played a few thousand 5 minute games and have gloriously risen, at last, to the 1500 mark which is the halfway point. Im now better than 52 percent of lichess players. Meaning I no longer completely, rigorously, suck.

Here’s one recent game which got me a nice mate. Through this you can access my account and watch my failures and my occasional proper chess.

And maybe make an account or share your account if you have it and challenge me.

my history with chess has been long and complicated…

basically I have been playing since I was 6 and my dad taught me
to play…and yet, I have gone years without playing and then for
no apparent reason, I find myself returning to the game…

I have done some serious study of chess
and then I walk away for years…I am right now am in the midst of
a chess renewal…I am playing games on the computer and
watching the great courses about chess… and this will last for
some period… I hope… unless, as usual, I suddenly walk away from
it…I have dozens of books on chess openings, pawns, tactical,
positional… and yet, I admit I still suck at chess… even after all
these years…once I even played in a tournament and was crushed,
losing all 5 games badly…

I really can’t explain my rather weird love/hate relationship with chess…


I still obviously suck tremendously.
But its pleasant to be around 1500 as the terrain is no longer a complete chaos of utter failure against utter failure.
At least, from my own perspective of course.

I just won a game undeserved, the guy had me mate in two but somehow didn’t go for it. Thankfully as I really hate that stupid type of mate. You need to really be asleep to let it happen.

I was also taught by my dad, I think I may have been around the same age, or maybe a year or two older. But I never pursued it, never got into learning openings, the one exercise I remember ever doing is to have the knight hit each square and each square only once.

I still haven’t studied any openings beyond two moves. But I do understand the concept of acquiring the centre. I currently mostly use the Sicilian and the Queens Gambit.

Ezily beat a 1600+ playa

My commentary is simple

gotta say, I’m not a fan of blitz chess… I like to take my time
and find my move…I don’t seem to learn much from such fast chess
playing…the only value I can see is practicing various openings to
see which one I might like…


Or, if your game is checkers:

My philosophy about it is, I make as many mistakes as I can. I used to play a lot while high on weed. People find that unrespectable but it gets me into a lot of particular situations form which I have, on the whole, learned a lot.

My puzzle rating is over 2000, because I can take as much time as I want solving them. I have the seriousness to play on a decent level but simply lacked the situational experience to trust myself with serious, longer games.

It’ll be a bliss to play them eventually.

But so far Im training my situational experience and my instincts, which is really a powerful thing to train.
Ive also started playing bullet (1 minute) games and got up to 1500 before I sank back to 14 something. Of course thats really only instinct and situationalism, not beautiful chess.

I find checkers extraordinarily difficult.

My great-uncle was a contender though.

And, there’s also Go.

Ive been watching a lot of Carlsen’s banter blitz videos, well all of them, some repeatedly, Ill post them here.
I learned so very much from watching this ultimate master. One thing I learned is that you can benefit greatly from confusing your opponent by playing unorthodox openings.
A lot of players will only be oriented on orthodox openings and not be prepared to think afresh. Of course this only works when you know what you’re doing so I basically have only one unorthodoxy yet that Ive worked out.








They say Magnus is the Mozart of chess, as in people just don’t know how he is calculating things so fast. People don’t follow his decision making even in post hoc analysis.
Kasparov, who conceded a draw against a 13 year old Carlsen, later on said of him that he is like a combination of Fischer and Karpov, both intuitive attacking genius and just ultra solid.



An aside of sorts…

Whether you Google chess, checkers, backgammon, scrabble or Go, the overwhelming preponderance of the top ranked players are men.

I’m assuming that women are not barred from the tournaments these days…so the explanation must lie somewhere between genes and memes.

K: to make a rather biased observation… women seem to be about people,
men seem to be about things… the women in my life and I grew up with
three sisters and I have a wife and daughter, the women seem to be about
making some sort of human connection…whereas men, not so much…

women would rather talk to each other then watch a game or be involved
in some event whereas men seem to rather watch the event or involved themselves
in some abstract thing but not connect emotionally……

my wife and I approach watching tv or movies with totally different
agenda’s… I want to see what happens and she wants to make
some connection to the events…

so she will talk during the tv show or movie and I want complete silence…

in movie theaters, I won’t even sit next to her because she talks during the
whole movie… I want to see the movie, she wants to discuss it…….

that is my biased, male understanding of the difference between men and


Wow. I had three sisters too. And I was once married and still have a daughter.

And your reaction above is generally my own as well. Given my own personal experiences down through the years.

But: Does the explanation for this lie more in the genes or in the memes?

Let’s face it, for folks like σάτυρος and some men here, it’s all about the biological imperatives embedded in gender embedded in testosterone and estrogen.

I played chess a lot myself once I picked it up in the Army. Back then of course the soldiers I interacted with were all men. But even when I went to college and beyond and played many, many games, I can only recall a few women that I was ever up against.

Gratz. I play on the same site as ‘jonkoca’ (cough 1750-1800 ish on a good day :smiley: ). Maybe we’ll be able to play each other some time. I play speed chess though. With 5 minute games. Hate the long ones lol.

The case of the Polgar sisters suggests that it’s mostly nurture. Their father set out to prove that genius could be trained deliberately, and so he made his daughters into chess prodigies. All three achieved FIDE ratings over 2500, one is an International Master, two are Grandmasters, and Judit got as high as #8 in the world. If deliberately trying to create a chess prodigy out of a girl can create the 8th best player in the world, it can’t be that women are generally unable to be great at chess.

Peter’s hypothesis that men value things/women value people is probably true, but I think that too is largely learned. Raising daughters, I am struck by how early and how aggressive the socialization is, and it pushes girls to value how they look over how they think. Perhaps an alternative way of expressing the things/people distinction is to say that men are valued for how they perceive, and women are valued for how they are perceived. Beginning that pressure at effectively zero could well push women away from chess. (I do think this is changing, but currently it’s still a kind of have-it-all princess/scientist girl power hybrid; it’s an additive fix that, in my opinion, doesn’t address a lot of the toxic superficiality we push onto women).

I play here as Wax. Currently 8k, down from a peak of 3-4k.

Very nice. Ive added you to people I follow so I can see when you’re online… Id like to try out my luck.

The three daughter case is compelling but its one case and the three girls share the same genes, namely of a father who is interested in chess, so it wouldn’t make for scientific case by itself…
In general, our attraction to an activity tells a lot about our capacity to perform at it, is my experience. I do well at what Im fascinated by, badly at what bores me.

Go - I registered to the site but damn it takes very long before there are any consequences. It is very different sort of thing, seems to require a very meditative state.

Ive been playing like a drunken idiot the past days, half of the time actually drunk, and yet Im still above 1500. I have no idea how that is possible given how hard I worked to get here. It seems players are a bit more mellow beyond this threshold.

There is probably a genetic component, and it’s true that both parents were well above average. Still, there are many couples of that level of intelligence, and very few who produce chess prodigies – and none who have raised a daughter who is better at chess than Judit Polgar. It is relevant to the question of whether sex differences in chess ability are innate or learned that focused learning was able to achieve something with a woman that only 7 men were able to out-do. That strongly suggests that the differences are not innate, but cultural.

This may be a confounding factor. By the eldest daughter’s account, it was her decision to make chess the focus of her life, which may suggest an early aptitude. Still, likely many other women have a similar aptitude that goes uncultivated due to social expectations and pressures.

It took me a long time to get into go, but once I did I couldn’t go back to chess. Go is so deep and elegant, it makes chess feel like tic-tac-toe. I still watch speed chess from time to time, but playing feels claustrophobic.

Maybe I should give go a shot. Chess does start to seem a bit like tetris after a while.

Is there an app or a site…? Like lichess…?