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The Obsession with ratings

November 6, 2019

Ratings are the measures used in chess to measure peoples performance against each other. 


The calculation is a complex process but at the end the day the whole idea is to measure the strength of individuals one against the other.


For some ratings are a source of motivation, but we have found in training the obsession with ratings as a great obstacle in progress. Its become so bad that people are often so afraid of losing online ratings. This is quite  a sad picture and usually results in kids being afraid of playing and not taking part in tournaments and competitions.


In extreme case you get players who sign up for a tournament and after two or three losses pull out hoping to not lose points , a pattern organizers have picked up on and have implemented extreme measures to combat.


We call this phenomena Holding on. Now what we saw is that when people are Holding on, they don't improve, think about it. You have to know where you are not playing well to improve, but if you never play and lose, how do you identify the problem areas. Its so simple.


You have to learn to use this to your advantage. In the academy we set milestones in ratings.


1. For beginner its crossing 1000. Which means you can apply basic principles.

2. The next one is crossing 1300. Which means you can basically play a game of chess and apply principles including the foundations of positional play. 

3. Crossing 1500, meaning now you can mix basic principles with positional play plus we have a basic opening repertoire and we are now looking into structures and we are teaching you how to work alone. 

4. Crossing 1800, you can do all of the above and we start digging deep into planning and positional play and we are going over how you work alone everyday.

5. Crossing 2000, you can do all of the above and can work alone and we are assigning you research type work plus asking you to teach and analyse with kids below for a fuller understanding. 


Stop holding on to ratings, improve them. Find out what you can improve about your chess through playing.






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