I am around my 30s and my ELO is 1350. I have attended many national tournaments, but I have very few international tournament experiences, one of which did not go very well.

I love my job, but I also enjoy playing chess very much. Specifically, I love the atmosphere of the tournaments. Since I am not a citizen of the country I currently live in, I am not able to attend most of the national tournaments, and that leaves me with some international tournaments to attend with my online FIDE ID.

I am not looking to be a professional chess player, but I just want to be a challenge for mid-level players, whose ELOs are around 1500s.

Given the fact that attending an international tournament costs one time and money, my question is:

Am I being a stargazer (or simply put, a fool) by attending international tournaments, or can I somehow improve my game to compete with players around the world?

Please note that I am not looking for something that is obviously out of my reach, such as having a full-time job and standing at top 5% in an international tournament.

  • 1
    @BrianTowers the question that you refer to is clearly asking Am I too old to start chess? and mentions online rating only. That is a completely different question than mine.
    – padawan
    May 25, 2018 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


I am older than you and my ELO going up every year - sometimes very slow - sometimes very fast - no matter who play chess live longer as scientists as the best runners :)

I am sure you will not learn chess by playing tournaments - you can learn chess by training - you will improve skills faster if you train more self and analyze more games. You will finally play better tournaments.

Playing games is slow method of training better is puzzles, learning ending games, openings, middle games, watching and reading master games analysis, analysis of skill weakness and errors.

Looking games of other players is also good - you can study much more position than playing. You can train little playing long chess games - or fast to learn openings.

To improve skills replace playing with training. Trainers can improve you skill too but if you train self (everyday).

It will improve you skills in five years I think - who knows you can become 2000 ELO player if you have enough passion and self training skills :)

You should think like Magnus Carlsen when was 12 years - check where is your limits - tournaments is only exams of your skills - tournaments should played regular too to see own weakness.

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