Road to Grandmaster

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:24 am

It will be interesting to see what this player can achieve and how far he can improve. I won't be placing a bet on him getting to GM level, but I do wish him all the best and this is certainly one way to get publicity and some help along the way!

The story did get me thinking, though. I wonder if it would be possible for a junior to achieve GM strength play in "secret" (e.g. by playing anonymously on the internet), and then set up a history of low grades for a few years, and then start playing to their true strength, achieve the GM title, and clean up at the bookies along the way! My guess is that taking this approach would be detrimental and the player would fail to achieve as much as they could have done if they had taken a normal approach to playing, but maybe not. It would certainly be an, er, interesting 'business model' (funding in year 5 = collect winnings from bookies).

The general issue of 'late starters' and 'late improvers' and 'slow and steady improvers' is something that would be amenable to analysis of grading lists. If the data were available in a suitable format, it would be possible to do graphs like that in the Chessbase article, showing change in rating by age. One problem is that people in the same age group will be of different ages (think how people in the same year at school can be almost a year apart in age), so that will distort things somewhat.

Given that the exact date of birth of many players is not known, even the titled ones, can anyone suggest a way to present data from the rating lists that would usefully show how the rating varied by age? Would the simplest approach be to use the year of birth and not worry about the exact date of birth, given that we often only have the year and not the date? What I'm thinking is that it should be possible to do graphs like the one in the Chessbase article for all British titled players, and see the rate of grading changes (which is not always the same as playing strength, but approximates it). You would also mark on the graphs the point at which they became IMs and GMs.

Would take a while to get the data for that for FIDE ratings, but for BCF/ECF grading it is probably possible to get the data for a wider range of players and hence compare the rate of development of IM/GMs with the players that leveled off at a lower level of playing strength. I'm sure this has been done in some way before, but maybe not for large numbers of players?

Warren Kingston

Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Warren Kingston » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:05 pm

Road to Grandmaster:

1. Get mentally and physically fit.
2. Dont drink alcohol or smoke
3. Get plenty of sleep each night
4. Join a top class club with very high graded players
5. Play as many tournaments as possible
6. Buy Fritz or something similiar
7. Pay for tuition.
8. Study the old master games
9. Play online (lots)
10. If all else fails, and you dont have a consciene, cheat.*

*Not that I condone cheating.

Michael Jones
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Michael Jones » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:11 pm

It would also be interesting to see from the same graphs how many of those who improve extremely rapidly as juniors (200 ECF by the age of 15, say) do make it to IM/GM level, against how many level off or lose interest and give up completely.

Incidentally, significant numbers of those who set out to climb Himalayan peaks die in the attempt. I hope that part of the metaphor doesn't extend to chess!

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Greg Breed
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Greg Breed » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:17 pm

Maybe if "Grandmaster" had been replaced with "FIDE Master" it would be much more acheivable and the bookies may not have known the difference? Even that would be a 100-1 bet though for the next 5 years anyway...

Good Luck anyway :)
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Harrow Captain (Middlesex League)

matt_ward
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by matt_ward » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:10 pm

I think this is somewhat good for chess, though what this guy is doing I mean since when has there been so much publicity in chess!

It is great to see such attention and I for one would love to see the guy make his goal, I wish him every success, But I hope he studies in moderation and don't let his girlfriend and that down, by becoming addicted to chess and not making the level to earn a living at it.

Matt.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Arshad Ali » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:55 pm

Greg Breed wrote:Maybe if "Grandmaster" had been replaced with "FIDE Master" it would be much more acheivable and the bookies may not have known the difference? Even that would be a 100-1 bet though for the next 5 years anyway...
I think FIDE 2200 is achievable for an average chessplayer who trains systematically over several years. But the chasm between 2200 and 2500 is immense: the 300-point rating difference has a meaning different to that between, say, 1500 and 1800.

The good thing these days (as compared to thirty years ago) is that there is a plethora of excellent training material around. The books of Mark Dvoretsky, for example. Publishers like Quality Chess, who specialise in material for the higher rated player. Excellent software (ChessBase, Rybka, tactics DVDs, GM lectures). And so it is easier for a player to actualise himself to the extent his native ability makes possible.

Which allows me to segue once again to the one thing which cannot be circumvented: innate talent. One part of maturing and growing older is simply reconciling oneself to one's lack of true talent. At the age of 20 or 21 everything seems possible. Ten or twenty years later one has a better idea of one's limits. Jonathon Levitt wrote an insightful book -- "Genius in Chess" -- which looks at innate ability more carefully. I'll see if I can dig my copy out from my stacks to peruse it again.

matt_ward
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by matt_ward » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:45 pm

Arshad Ali, I totally agree.

:D :D :D :D

Arshad Ali
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Arshad Ali » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:43 pm

I also don't think he has a snowball's chance in hell. But to be constructive, how exactly should he train, what books should he use? Where exactly is he right now in terms of technique, repertoire, and knowledge of the game? Start maybe with Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual? What about for tactics and for analysis of variations? How about Jacobs' Analyse to Win?

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Joey Stewart » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:35 pm

I think I could get the title easily enough, if I were to play the tournaments in the right sort of country under the right sort of 'officials'
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Alexander Hardwick
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Alexander Hardwick » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:26 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:I think I could get the title easily enough, if I were to play the tournaments in the right sort of country under the right sort of 'officials'
And pay the right amount of entry money, you mean? :D Actually I did hear a rumour about someone buying themself an IM title...

More seriously...given my current age and grade, I can very well imagine myself reaching Mr Taylor's level, if I continue to improve. However, that's where the trouble begins: I can certainly not see myself reaching GM level. Even CM would be a very long shot for me.

Essentially, I don't think Mr Taylor can make it. But I'd like to give him my full support.

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Ben Purton
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Ben Purton » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:31 pm

Michael Jones wrote:It would also be interesting to see from the same graphs how many of those who improve extremely rapidly as juniors (200 ECF by the age of 15, say) do make it to IM/GM level, against how many level off or lose interest and give up completely.

Incidentally, significant numbers of those who set out to climb Himalayan peaks die in the attempt. I hope that part of the metaphor doesn't extend to chess!

I think if someone set me FM in 5 years @ 25/1 , id consider lumping alot on then just doing chess. Say 4-5 on or something.

but GM never going to happen, not naive enough to ever think that
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:47 pm

Ben Purton wrote: I think if someone set me FM in 5 years @ 25/1 , id consider lumping alot on then just doing chess. Say 4-5 on or something.
I think you've stumbled upon a new source of funding for the ECF. The Board gives odds of certain players to achieve certain titles.

If the player wins, then the ECF has a stronger player in return for its investment.
If the ECF wins, then the ECF gets money.

What can possibly go wrong? :lol:

ThomasThorpe
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by ThomasThorpe » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:56 pm

What age (with grade 152) do you think is reasonable to get to GM then?

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Joey Stewart » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:16 pm

If you were 152 at age 9-10 I would probably expect some sort of master title by the age of 18. If you were 152 at the age of 30 I would say never.

Many of the really high potential juniors even do not make the GM level - it is such a different world to anything else in the game.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Road to Grandmaster

Post by Arshad Ali » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:43 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:Many of the really high potential juniors even do not make the GM level - it is such a different world to anything else in the game.
Some of these juniors drop by the wayside because they and/or their parents realise professional chess is a losing proposition. The same effort and dedication applied elsewhere yield richer harvests.

If memory serves, Lorin D'Costa had a 138 rating as an 11-year-old. Today, about fourteen years later, he's close to the GM title. If a 12- or 13-year-old has a rating of 152 (after playing for six or seven years), I'd say he has the potential to eventually be a GM.

There are halfway houses like the FM and IM for those who don't quite have the ability or single-mindedness to make GM. Such titled players (unlike myself) need not hang their heads in shame when asked how good they are. And on good days, they can even beat a GM.

There are quite a few IMs who haven't managed to clear the last hurdle and make GM.

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