As I do every year at this time, I start to plan my targets for the coming year relating to different parts of my life. I tend to start with at target to reach for the end of the year then back it down.

I was thinking this year I would like to set an end of year target for my ECF online and OTB classical ratings as well as my Chess.com rapid rating.

I was wondering what do people think would be a good increase to aim for? I understand this can be very subjective and depends on so many variables like time to study, number of games played etc. I just want to get an idea of people thoughts and if anyone else sets goals like this and how they they go about picking their target.


2 Answers 2


This is absolutely a good idea! I think a lot of people in the chess community set goals like this around New Years.

There are a lot of variables. In my experience, I tend to reduce how much improvement I can make each year. For example, when I first started playing chess, going from 1200 to 1600 required the same amount of effort as going from 1600 to 1800. And then 1800 to 1900, and so on.

So the higher your ELO, the lower your expectations for improvement should be.

This is also a personal choice, but I prefer to stick with one ultimate target, rather than many. For example, I want my OTB classical chess ELO to improve by 100 points. Everything I do should be to attain this goal, even if that means improving my rapid so I can do better when time starts running out in a classical game. I wouldn't necessarily have a target for rapid, other than improve my rapid so I can attain my OTB classical chess target.

Hope that helps and good luck!


The most solid approach is probably based on your past history: what relative goals did you aim for in the past, and what did you actually reach, and possibly also what did you not reach and perhaps why.

Learning psychology (if that's the correct term) is pretty clear on the existence of performance plateaus: you seem to get stuck at a certain performance level, but at some time later 'jump' to a higher level. If you can spot such plateaus in your past performance, the frequency of them and rating change may give additional input to your planning.

In general, though, it's usually preferable to get an second opinion based on some degree of knowledge: do you have someone you play against frequently, and with whom you might discuss your playing with? Not knowing probably makes general suggestions difficult: perhaps a goal might be to improve that particular situation so that you have a better base for setting your 2023 goals next year?


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