I have been taking lessons from a coach since two months and I also played my first OTB tournament two months ago. Since then I have played around ten tournaments with an average of one or two tournament every weekend.

Even though I have learnt a lot from every single tournament by analyzing my games with the coach, and I myself know I am more knowledgeable and experienced now then when I played my first tournament my rating has just fluctuated between 1000 and 900 throughout.

My question is does the rating increases in jumps in general or is it like a steady increase where you increase rating points gradually playing every tournament? If its a steady increase, then I am sure I am not doing something right.

If I am 900 something after two months, is it a realistic goal to aim for 1500-1600 in the next 10 months, with coaching and playing 1-2 tournament per week?

  • 5
    You don't need a coach to be a 1600 player. You'll need to learn how not to blunder away your pieces. Improve your tactics.
    – SmallChess
    Jul 19 '17 at 5:00
  • With ambitious goals such as reaching 1600 in one year a coach will help tremendously ! Also I think if I didn't have a coach for the past two months, I don't think I would have learnt as much as I have now.
    – Saad
    Jul 19 '17 at 5:03
  • 2
    Reaching 1600 in one year is not ambitious at all... But ok, I get your point.
    – SmallChess
    Jul 19 '17 at 5:08
  • So 1600 in 1 year a pretty realistic goal ? I thought it was ambitious because I saw many players who reached 1600 in 2-3 years.
    – Saad
    Jul 19 '17 at 5:09
  • @Saad: but remember that chess is primarily a game of skill, not of knowledge. Most of the early work in improving your concentration so that you don't hang pieces anymore etc is your own, a coach giving more detailed advice won't help with that. Jul 19 '17 at 13:31

Rating increases usually occur in plateaus rather than linear. That's because as you get stronger and play stronger opponents, there's more to know. If you have native talent, e.g. are very adept at tactics, your early rating increases will be greater than those later on as you face stiffer competition. If you are motivated, have good training, apply what you've learned, play regularly and analyze your games, with a stronger player if possible or coach as you indicate you are doing, and also have some natural aptitude, it's not unrealistic to aim for a 1500 rating within a year. Does playing two tournaments per weekend give you enough time to analyze the games in depth? Too many games might be counterproductive if not.

  • Yes I go over my games with the coach twice a week! So I am taking two hour lessons per week and play two tournaments on weekends. On other days I just try to study the analyzed games by my coach by myself. I know its a lot of knowledge to absorb, but my ambitions are high. Do you think I should play over the analyzed game on the board again or just looking them at the computer enough? Even though i have learnt a lot of theory and ideas my main problem at this time is blundering pieces, and I am not sure how to improve on this
    – Saad
    Jul 20 '17 at 4:03
  • Learned opinion is that playing over your games on a 3-dimensional board is more desirable than on a 2-dimensional screen. That also more closely emulates real game conditions. Do both. Your strong motivation lets me think that your game load isn't excessive. Blundering pieces should be an easy problem to overcome, since it's so basic. Not rushing your moves and examining the board carefully before moving should help eliminate that. Frequent play with resulting greater familiarity of the board should also help. And don't let losses discourage you either, since you learn thereby.
    – CConero
    Jul 20 '17 at 12:35
  • My game load is around 6-10 tournament games per week. Is this many games good enough for improving? Is blundering pieces gonna go away with experience? i have lost so many games just because of blundering. Sometimes you just forget the whole board and only concentrate on a specific area, and then after your move you find out about an opponent piece attacking. Also sometimes you also get a move which is so tempting and obvious that you make it without thinking, and it turns out to be a blunder.
    – Saad
    Jul 20 '17 at 21:36
  • You said if i "have some natural aptitude" in your original answer. How do i know if i have it? I havent beaten any FM or IM yet, and i also blunder pieces a lot. How can someone know if they have a natural aptitude.
    – Saad
    Jul 20 '17 at 21:51
  • Tactics seem to come more naturally to some people.They see things more quickly than others.That doesn't mean you can't develop that skill by practice though.For example, they said of world champion Jose Capablanca that chess was his native tongue. He could always play well without studying.Only when he got to the top did he have to study. Frequent blunders would seem to indicate an absence of natural talent. But you can overcome that by slowing down, looking at everything before moving, and playing frequently.Your blunders should then diminish with time. I'm sure that will be the case.
    – CConero
    Jul 21 '17 at 22:13

Usually, in the beginning, the rating increase jumps quickly. Just not hanging pieces could be a multiple hundred point increase. As the rating increases, the rating increases become smaller. This is because there is a smaller amount to learn, and technique improvement brings little gains. Playing in this many tournaments doesn't really give you time to find and reduce your mistakes. A coach can find your errors, but you won't be able to correct them within a week. 1600 is a realistic goal, and you should be able to reach 1800 within 5 years.


Rating is definitely more of a steady increase thing but takes jumps initially. Please have a look at the FIDE Calculator. There is a K-Factor which determines it.

Please check the both as initial ratings as well as rating change calculator .


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