Dear Mr. Cranky Old Chessplayer 2: real chess improvement

Dear Mr. Cranky Old Chessplayer:

I started in USCF tournaments 34 years ago when I was 12. I lost 199 rating points over the last two years as I started an online shoe-polishing service, but I just sold to Microsoft and now I am filthy rich. Finally I will have time to devote to making it to my goal of 1800. I’m studying endgames and I’m already up to 1721. How do I get over the hump?

Norman in New Mexico


You’ll find 1000 chess blogs with 1000 rotten ideas about getting better. You wanna get better? Here’s the straight dope. 

One, toss out your entire ridiculous crappy opening repetoire.

Two, get a coach. Preferably somebody rated about 2200 because anybody higher will quickly give up on you as a no-talent schmuck. 2-hour sessions 3x/week @ $40/hour = about $1000 monthly burn rate.

Three, study every night until your eyes bleed.

Four, only play in open sections where you’ll be lucky to win one game out of ten. Class sections delude you into thinking you can play.

Five, order a couple crates of red bull, ginseng tablets, Adderall, anabolics and HGH. Mother Nature alone isn’t taking you to class A.

Will it work? No. But anything less isn’t really trying.



5 thoughts on “Dear Mr. Cranky Old Chessplayer 2: real chess improvement

  1. AWESOME MOVIE. Vastly underrated. Why just this weekend I was saying, he who can balance a tack hammer on his head will head off his enemies with balanced attack. (Yes I really was.)

    I didn’t want to be the one to break it to you (*cough*) but people have been murmurring about the whole Donnie/Mascot thing. Some apparent similarites in syntax and world view.

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