My initial rating came out to be 1166. At the time I played the games against the rated players, which gave me this rating, I did not know much about the rating system and would often agree to draw with lower rated players. But now I see that it will be really difficult to improve my rating even if I improve my play, as defeating higher rated players will not give me much of a push. Can I reset my rating and become unrated again? What can I do?
It depends on how much more rated those players are. But you should get lots of rating defeating a higher rated player.
Aside that, the only way to improve your rating is to become better at playing chess. You can't expect your rating to increase drastically after a few games. Just improve your tactics, learn good openings, tactics, practice with better players at a chess club (this way they can help you and teach you which is useful).
Eventually you'll have an easier time defeating higher rated players and your rating will increase.
Good luck with it, just a question, you're playing online? I'd really recommend going to a chess club.
I think you are too obsessed with ratings in general. Try to not think about your and your opponents' ratings and just focus on playing a good game.
Ratings only get important:
- if you want to get a title such as IM, GM
- if you want to be invited to some (usually high level) tournaments
- for prestige, e.g. if you want to teach chess for money
In any case you are very far from these and the only effect your rating currently has is that it affects pairings in (some) swiss tournaments. But if you play much above your rating, winning the first few rounds you would soon be paired to stronger opponents anyway.
A rating of 1166 is rather low and if you do improve your chess you will automatically also improve your rating. For example if you play at a level around 1800 you should be able to gain around 50 rating points in a tournament. (this rating gain will slow down as you get closer to 1800, unless you increase your playing strength further).
Can I reset my rating and become unrated again?
In the USCF, no. Even if you stop paying your dues and become inactive, you still keep your rating.
In FIDE, it is possible to lose your rating. The minimum rating is 1000, and if you go below this, you become unrated and can get a new rating. However, it is unethical to purposely lose games to lower your rating. It also may take longer than you think; the fastest way to lose rating points is to lose to someone rated below you, but any player significantly weaker than you would be unrated, and losing to an unrated player does nothing to lower your rating. It would likely take multiple tournaments, plus another tournament to get a new rating. And what happens if the tournament where you get a new rating is a poor one? Are you going to throw a bunch more games and do it again?
There's no need to lose your rating. Just improve the one you have.
defeating higher rated players will not give me much of a push.
In FIDE, the "K" value which determines how fast your rating changes is high for your first 30 games, or if you have not reached your 18th birthday (if your rating is below 2300). If you are within either of those, your rating will still change relatively quickly; a single win against an opponent rated the same as you would get you 20 points, and a win against some rated higher would get you more.
In the USCF, your rating will also change more quickly if you have few games played. Even if you've played too many games for this to apply, it also changes more quickly for low rated players. Also, in the USCF you get "bonus" rating points if your performance at a tournament is significantly better than what your rating would predict.
Let's take an example to see how this would work for you. Let's say that you have 15 games already played, your current rating is 1166, and that in your next tournament you face 4 players each rated 1300. In FIDE you would gain about 69 points if you went 3/4 against that opposition, or about 109 points if you went 4/4. In the USCF, you would gain about 138 points for going 3/4, or about 233 points for going 4/4.
So, even if you are currently underrated, your rating will quickly get to a proper level if you just play in a few more tournaments.
There are two possibilities:
- Your rating is more-or-less accurate or too high.
- Your rating is vastly too low.
If we are in situation 1, then your solution is to play more chess and thereby get better at chess, which will get you into situation 2.
If we are in situation 2, then you will win far more games than your rating would suggest, so your rating will increase rapidly until the problem solves itself.
In either case, the solution is the same - play more chess.