Size does matter (When it comes to Elo!)

Sherwood, Russell  Thursday, February 23, 2017

’ve been asked by a number of players, especially newcomers to Correspondence Chess as to how they can get their ratings higher quickly.

Going beyond the obvious “Win all your games quickly” sarcastic response there are a number of ideas to consider which can accelerate you development.

Let’s assume you dont hve a FIDE rating then the only options available to you are:

To accelerate you development you want to be winning or drawing against the highest rated players possible – as , in simple terms, the ratings of your opponents pegs your rating.

  • National Events

    • Here you need to examine what’s on offer – you may be able to play in a National Championships – check the previous years events to look for average ratings but beware there may be a 2nd Tier for newcomers.

  • Extra National Events

    • These are events such as the British Championships – look at these in the same light as National Events

  • International Team Events

    • Although eligible you will almost certainly not be in the frame as you will need to have an established rating to be selected.

  • Invitationals

    • The same story as Team Events – you are unlikely to be selected

  • World Promotional Events – Open Class (and Aspirer)

    • The events generally will slow your development as the average rating will be around 1800 (or even less in an Aspirer)

  • Zonal Events

    • Event such as the European Webserver Champs – same story as the World Promotional Events


So not a lot of date but there are two types of event which do offer us hope

  • International Opens

    • These events come in two flavours – Accelerated and Non Accelerated. The Acceleration is a description of what happens to the highest rated players – do they have to play in all rounds or get a bye? We are interested in the events where they have to play in the first round. An example of this is the WebChess Opens – in the 7th edition the average rating in the first round was slightly under 2100 – a good target area for the aspiring player to target.

  • Champions League

    • Here we have the best option for gaining rating points. The downside is that you need a team of 4 but on the plus side the average ratings per board range from 2150 up to 2300+.


So if you want to accelerate your rating development then you need access to higher rated opposition and the best way to achieve this is to keep a eye out for the Champions League and Non Accelerated International Opens.



Updated Thursday, February 23, 2017 by Russell Sherwood

Welsh Correspondence Chess FederationBritish Correspondence Chess AssociationClergy Correspondence Chess ClubSchemingMind Internet Correspondence Chess ClubSocial Correspondence Chess AssociationNational Correspondence Chess ClubWelsh Chess UnionInternational Correspondence Chess Association