How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Chess?

Getting good at chess does not take into account the number of years spent playing the game. One could spend 5 or 10 years playing chess and never get good at the game.

By good, we mean 2000 rating points or higher which seems to be the general concensus. To get a ‘good’ chess rating such as 2000 elo, one needs to understand the basic fundamentals and principles of chess. This includes: king safety, principle of activity, principle of attack, imbalances, principle of the least active piece, and the list goes on.

A good player is one who has a sound positional understanding of chess and is tactically aware. These types of players are able to reach a higher chess rating in a shorter space of time compared to those who have not fully mastered the fundamentals of the game.

How long does it take to get good at chess?

So to answer your question, “How long does it take to get good at chess?” A player who learns the fundamental principles of chess from the very start of their chess journey can get good at chess in under 4 years. Those who lack knowledge of basic chess principles will take a longer time to get good at the game. 

Here are some tips that can help you get good at chess in a short space of time:

1. Solve Tactical Puzzles

The majority of chess games are decided by tactics. Tactics are always present in the game of chess. Being aware of tactical ideas in the position often leads to victory. The player who is more tactically aware makes fewer blunders as they are able to visualize the position in its entirety.

Solving puzzles help to develop your calculation abilities and visualization skills. You can solve puzzles online or from hard copy puzzle books. The more difficult the puzzle is the better. You’ll start to train your mind how think over the chess board and that will lead to your overall improvement at chess.

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2. Play Stronger Opponents

Playing stronger opponents that are like 400 elo points ahead of you will shorten the time it takes to get good at chess. If all your games are against weaker opponents, then it will take longer for you to get good at chess as you won’t improve by much.

You learn so much from playing against a stronger opponent because he forces you to level up. You start to learn concepts and strategies you never once knew after playing against a strong opponent. It doesn’t matter if you lose all your games, what’s important is analyzing your games and learning from your mistakes. This leads us to our next point…

3. Learn From Your Mistakes

After every chess match you play, you should analyze the game and learn where you went wrong. This includes both the games you win and lose. Some players think that because they win a game, they don’t need to analyze after. But this is a huge mistake that hinder your progress in chess. In fact, many of the games that we think we played well are full of mistakes and blunders that we can learn from.

A player who goes back over all his games after a match will learn from his mistakes, thereby shortening the time it takes to get good at chess. A player who fails to analyze his games will keep making the same mistakes over and over, thus taking longer for them to get good at chess.

4. Read Chess Books

There are literally thousands of chess resources you can learn from. These resources come in the form of chess books both physically and digitally. There are different types of chess books ranging from opening books, middle game books, endgame books to strategic and positional chess books.

To get good at chess in just a few years or even months, you need to acquaint yourself with knowledge of the different chess openings, strategies, principles and tactical elements in chess. These can be found by reading chess books or even watching youtube videos online.

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How Many Hours Of Chess Per Day?

If you’re thinking about creating a chess training program, then you may want to know how many hours you should train for the day. The number of hours of chess per day depends on your schedule, and the goal you hope to achieve.

If you are a regular 9 to 5 worker, in college or high school, then dedicating 2 hours out of your day towards training and learning chess is enough time if you are looking to achieve a elo rating of 2000 points or higher.

This training program can include: Reading different types of chess books, practicing tactical exercises, analyze your games and the games of world champions and even physical training.

Yes, physical training is important for your chess development as you need proper blood circulation to the head when concentrating over the board. All the top grandmasters incorporate some level of physical activity in their training program.

How Good Can You Get At Chess In A Year?

Getting good at chess in a year will greatly depend on your work ethics, determination and focus. Of course, you will need to play in several chess tournaments if you are looking to achieve a specific chess rating such as going from 1200 elo to 1800 elo.

This is very possible to achieve in under a year, given that you’re playing against stronger opponents and have dedicated the time and sweat in learning the different aspects of chess, from the basic principles, middlegame strategies, chess openings to the strategic and tactical elements in chess.

The more tournaments you partake in is the greater your chance of improving your rating in under a year. I’ve seen many students go from 1500 to 2000 elo points in under a year by simply mastering the basic fundamentals of chess. Indeed, fundamental principles of chess can take you a long way not just for beginners but for intermediate and advanced players as well.

How Long To Become A Chess Grandmaster?

Becoming a grandmaster at chess is not an easy feat to achieve. There are only a few grandmasters in the world, and that number is under 2,000 from the date of this article. There are just under 1400 active chess grandmasters.

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If you are a focused individual, with a clear objective of becoming a GM at chess, and doesn’t have other daily chores to do, you can most probably become a GM in 8-12 years.

However, there are multiple aspects that needs to be taken care of, so that a player can become a grandmaster:

1. Love for the game: I know Grandmasters who have spent their whole life for chess, and I also know of Grandmasters who quit chess in their peak, because they didn’t like the game that much.

2. Natural talent: This plays a huge role. The more talent you possess as a chess player, the more liekly for you to become a GM.

3. The resources: I am mainly talking about monetary resources, as it’s a must to travel around the world, and play in quality tournaments, so that you get a chance to face quality opposition, and get the required rating and norms to become a GM.

Having a coach, also takes up lot of resources, and you rarely see someone become a GM without having a coach his whole life!

4. Time: It’s about how much free time you have to spend on chess every day. If you have a day job, and are pursuing your quest to become a GM, it’s going to be really hard, but if you are a school kid, you are going to have comparatively more time to spend on chess than the average Joe, who has a job.

5. Luck: People always say there isn’t such a thing as luck, but trust me you need luck to some extent to become GM. I know of people who have like 10 norms, but were not able to touch the required rating to achieve the title, or people who missed out a norm, just because they couldn’t meet the foreign player requirement.

Putting all these aspects together, you can achieve the grandmaster title especially if you are committed and determined to succeed.

Final Thoughts

Getting good at chess in a short space of time will depend on your level of dedication and commitment to the game. You can get good at chess in under 4 years by learning the basic principles of chess, solving tactics, analyzing games from the masters, and familiarizing yourself with positional and tactical elements of the game.