Ratings Under 1,000. There are No Davids or Goliaths!!


It is always good for a laugh to hear players and parents talking about how good a 1,000 player is.  “Your next opponent is rated 968, be careful.”  or I’ll hear a player say, ” Her rating was really high, just over 1,000!).  ” I’ll do the best I can their rating is much higher than mine.”.  SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on parents and players alike for knowing so little about the rating system!  If you pay a coach and your player still thinks a 1,000 rating means anything, that’s even worse!!  Chess player egos are the most imagination driven egos in all of sports because the players, parents, and the coaches don’t make sure that everyone understands the rating system.  I explain the rating system pretty early on to my private students, and within a tournament or 2 to all the others!  If you don’t get to work at helping everyone understand the rating system, you are hurting your player’s growth.  Over or under 1,000, they should not be playing blind!

knife to a gun fight

Until you fully understand the ratings system, let’s talk about what to do when the pairings come up.  1) Look up the opponent’s history at USChess!  The “General” page will give their rating and category.  2.) Look at their, ” Tournament History” to see how many events they have played in and the highest their rating has been.  3.) Go back to the “General” page and click on “Game Statistics” to see the strongest players they’ve played and the result. 4.) click on, “Record by Year” to see total games, and winning percentage. If you do this the moment the postings come out, you will not be late for the round.  Even if you are late, it’s worth a minute or 2 to gather this info so that your player get’s the correct perspective on their opponent!


This past weekend the VSCA held a tournament at Maggie Walker High School.  The player rated 908 finished with a perfect score of 4-0 and a new rating high of 1082.  I’ll bet that none of his opponent’s knew that this player’s rating had fallen from 1077 in July of 2018, that they’ve only played 44 tournament games and that their record against opponents rated 1,000 or higher was a dismal 1 point out of 8 tries!  If you look at all of your previous opponents that have a rating of 1,000 or lower, you will find that none of them have a positive record against players rated over 1,000!  The next player finishing with 3.5 watched their rating go from 887 to 968.  They’ve played 75 tournament games.  they have 1 point out of 5 tries.  The player that took 3rd with 3.5 points, watched their rating go from 687 to 964!!  They’ve played 51 games, seen a player over 1,000 only twice and lost both times.  One player at the tournament who’s rating was 948 at the beginning of the tournament has played 131 tournament games met players over 1,000 only 9 times and has a score of 3.5 against those opponent’s.

tru-alien-vs-predaator-exclusive-063   The part that makes things confusing is the k factor, (http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12201/221/).  The K Factor tells what the maximum number of points a player can get for a win!  For players under 1,000 the K factor is 52 or more points.  For players at my rating high of 1943 the K factor is 27.5 points!  What that means is even if I had scored 3.5 points against players that were rated 235, 198, 259, and 302 above my rating, my new rating would be just 2058.  I would have picked up just 115 points, not the 277 that the 687 player got for the same numerical results.

The next time you get paired with someone who’s rating is 1,000 or less just remember, you are supposed to respect your opponent, not put faith in them!!  The 964 of today may have been 687 of just 4 games ago!  Learn the rating system, play intelligently, and know something about every opponent you play!


6 yr old coach dominates in k-3 of the Hopewell Classic

anagha wins

RCI’s newest coach, 6 yr old Anagha Sinkar took 1st place in the puzzle solving round and finished with a perfect score of 4-0 to win the k-3 in this event.  Anagha will be attending our, “Secrets to Long Combinations” camp the 26th-28.  Anagha has had a great year maintaining a 55% win percentage through 14 events, knocking off a 1203 player in Spotsylvania, coming in 46th for girls under 7 in the US, and being appointed as the new coach for Lucille Brown Middle School!  Her next appearance will be at the Maggie Walker k-3 tournament in January! laiyla

Laiyla Joseph,(left) of Lucille brown ponders her move while earning a ribbon performance in her 1st tournament!  Laiyla’s maturity and will to win make her a strong potential coach as well.  Laiyla hopes to improve on her rating this Saturday at our monthly tournament.  Keep up the good work!

If you want to improve at chess, RCI has the coaching skills and resources to help you make progress fast!!!  We are a full time Tournament Chess, Professional Development, and Entrepreneurial Training Company.  We train individuals and groups of any age and skill level up 1700.  Rates vary depending on your goals, strength, maturity, and length of commitment.  Call us today and share what you want your chess future to be like in 2019.  I’m sure we can help or get you headed in the right direction! 804-426-6058.

Secrets of Longer Combinations Camp! Dec 26th-28th

The most important part of a chess players skill is visualization and evaluating future positions.  Everyone can see 3 maybe 4 moves ahead.  How do you train yourself to recognize and execute longer combinations?  This will be the subject of our 3 day camp!  We have proof that you don’t need to see 10 moves ahead to be doing 10 move combinations on a regular basis.  Masters and Grandmasters use special tactical and strategic thinking methods to break down combinations and at this camp, we will share them with you.  This camp is a must for anyone that has or is considering playing in tournaments.  Play great combinations at the board instead of finding them during analysis.  We just need 3 days!!

longer combinations

This is a position from the Callaham variation of the Philidor Defense!  This game Scott/Callaham, Rhein Main Open, 1986 went 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f4 Bg7 5. Nf3 0-0 6. Bd3 a5!? (Novelty) 7. 0-0 Na6 8. a3 c5 9. d5 Nc7 10. Be3?! Ng4 11. Bd2 b5!  Even when a move is 100% correct, seeing long combinations at the board may be required. 12. Nb5? c4! 13. Nc7 (13. Bc4? loses a piece to Nb5 14. Bb5 Qb6 and 15…Qb5!)  Qc7 14. Be2 Bb2 (In the game I played 14… Qc5 15. Kh1 Nf2 16. Rf2 Qf2 17. c3 Rb8 18. Rb1 f5!-+)  15. Rb1 c3!  16. Kh1 Ba3 17. h3 cd 18. hg Bg4 19. Qd2 Bb4 -+.  In all of these variations, seeing more than 3 or 4 moves ahead was required.  This and many other types of more than 4 or 5 move combinations will be covered.

latest school 83

This is from a correspondence game I played with 7 days per person to reply.  How would you decide between; 1. Bh6, 1. h4, 1. Rfe1, 1. Qg4, and 1. Nf5.  Come to the camp and find out!!

RCI chess camps are exactly that, chess camps.  We are not a babysitting service.  No basketball, football, running, jogging, crafts, other games, bug house or chess variants!  Our goal is to instruct the student on how to recognize, master, and play longer combinations!!  Our itinerary is as follows;

26th, Breakfast 730- 830 am, warm up 830-9am, instruction 9am til 1030, snack 1030-1045, instruction 1045-1230, Lunch 1230-115, Instruction 115-245, snack 245-3pm, instruction 3pm til 430, free play and review until parent arrival or 6pm.

27th,Breakfast 730- 830 am, warm up 830-9am, instruction 9am til 1030, snack 1030-1045, instruction 1045-1230, Lunch 1230-115, Instruction 115-245, snack 245-3pm, instruction 3pm til 430, free play and review until parent arrival or 6pm.

28th, Breakfast 730- 830 am, warm up 830-9am, instruction 9am til 1030, snack 1030-1045, instruction 1045-1230, Lunch 1230-115, Instruction 115-245, snack 245-3pm.  Review, free play, book selection,  and answering questions from 3pm until parent arrival or 6pm.

Breakfast, snacks, and lunch are included.  We serve no nuts and no pork!  Each camper receives an RCI custom camp guide, meals, snacks, 1 free book, and 1 free tournament entry.

That’s 27 hours of instruction, meals, snacks, an RCI custom camp guide, 1 free chess book, and 1 free tournament entry for just $299.00.  Check or Cash only.  No refunds.  Ask about the family and student discount!  Call Mike Callaham for details and registration.  804-426-6058.