Author Archives: becomingachessmaster

About becomingachessmaster

I am a 46-year old chess player with a goal to be as good a chess player as I can possibly be. I hope you find some value from following my experiences.

Estimating your Elo rating

If you play regular, long time control, rated, over the board (OTB) chess games, you will have a fair idea of your rating, or playing strength. I play around 50 OTB games a year, so  I can place some worth … Continue reading

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Lesson 3: Beware a draw offer from a stronger player

Back to Lesson 2 When I play a much stronger player, my thought process is sometimes affected. On the one hand I feel I have the freedom to play aggressively and more instinctively, because a loss would not be unexpected. … Continue reading

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Lesson 2: When ahead, don’t overthink

Back to Lesson 1 This is not a ‘sexy’ lesson with a big wow-moment, but it is the sort of subtle thing which is often overlooked. My opponent, rated 1150, made life difficult for himself out of the opening, having … Continue reading

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Lesson 1: On (almost) every move, consider ALL Checks, Captures and Threats

This position arose in one of my recent games. White is better here to the tune of about +6, partly because of the knight on the great c6-outpost, the pressure on the backward c-pawn and the superior dark squared bishop. My … Continue reading

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The beauty of pattern recognition in chess

Focussing on patterns in chess is a good idea. Depending on who you listen to, the number of patterns a chess player knows could be the difference between being mediocre and good, or between being a master and a grandmaster. This … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

“Men of genius themselves were great only by bringing all their power to bear on the point on which they decided to show their full measure.” – Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life, as quoted in Deep Work p.35. Cal Newport is an … Continue reading

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Latest ECF Ratings

The ECF has finally published the 2016 year-end ratings. For those who don’t know, unlike the USCF or FIDE, who update ratings very regularly, the ECF updates official ratings only every six months. I am very glad to report that … Continue reading

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