What is your future peak rating?

Let us ignore the fantasy that you abandon your job, leave your wife and go on the road with Artur Yusupov and Boris Avrukh perfecting your chess, and just assume that life will continue as you are planning it.

What do you think is the highest rating you can reach? Please be honest.


Last week’s poll showed a clear majority to the optimists:

Poll-best chess

27 thoughts on “What is your future peak rating?”

  1. This was easy for me. My current ELO is 2398. I think I will be able raise my ELO with 2 points to 2400. Not that ambitous :). I honestly think that my ELO will never be above 2500.

  2. My current rating is a little under 2200. Since in the previous poll I voted for ‘best chess is ahead of me’, I think I should be able to raise my rating above 2200. But I don’t think it will ever be above 2300.

  3. I am off-topic, but I just noticed who will be playing White on the top 3 boards of today’s Round 5 of the Politiken Cup: Tiger Hillarp Persson, Sabino Brunello, Lars Schandorff.

    With Mihail Marin and Jacob also playing White, half a point behind. Gawain Jones is Black, a further half point back. QC authors everywhere…

  4. my elo is 2298 and my objectif this year is to be a master fide !
    I’m 35 years old and I think it was possible to be IM with hard-work!
    Just do it!!!

  5. my objectif this year is to be a master fide ! (actualy 2298)
    I’m 35 years old and I think it was possible to be IM with hard-work!
    Just do it!!!

  6. Currently mid-1900s, will be disappointed if I never make 2100. My gut feeling is that moving beyond that level probably requires a level of preparation I don’t have the time for at the moment, and most likely never will.

  7. I had enough 2300+ performances to think I should be able to get there.
    The main problem is playing that many Elo rated tournaments.

  8. My current rating is around 2150. I wouldn’t be surprised if I never reach 2200.
    I’m at a point where if I want to improve, I need to do some serious work for a prolonged period of time. And I’m not going to do that.

    If I were highly motivated to improve, I think getting close to 2300 would be attainable.

    Even in Aagaard’s dream scenario, I don’t think I would ever get to grandmaster level.

  9. My trick to improve from 2100 to 2250 was to start correspondence chess (ICCF). There you HAVE TO work constantly on openings main lines (very interesting), get to learn the middlegame structures you play and to understand the endings in real. Very good practice on strategical thinking – just don’t take carried away by the engine suggestions, but use your own head. What you DON’T learn is to calculate tactics, because computers do it on your behalf.

  10. My dream is now crossing 2400, but beeing 41 this will be very difficult, but I have some nice books, maybe it will work….

  11. Yeah…I´m around the 1900-2000 mark constantly. Learnt the rules when I was a kid and played a few games here and there. Now passed the 40-year limit and a club membership since about 20 years back. Yet I always think its possible to become a GM. All you gotta do (or I) is change priorities, fix the obstacles in the way, give up on a few other interests, sacrifice some time with friends and family and spend more time on the right positions (for me), preferably with a teacher and a “going-on-tournament-budget”… After I get healthier and so on. After the serious study begins Im there in, what, 5-6 or maybe 7 years. No problem 😉

    Aha… Thats why its such a good idea to become good at a young age. “Nothing” in the way and more than half the work (approximately) is already done before life starts interfering so to speak.
    So what – If I want it bad enough then I AM there in a few years. I certainly think its interesting and fun enough! Lets see what happens…

  12. @ Jacob: I don’t want to be rude…but I think it’s a stupid question. In my opinion, everybody with time (for hard work) and money on their side can become a GM (between 2500 – 2600). Chess is “science” and science can be learned (like the openings, pawnstructures and endgame rules). Authors like John Nunn and Axel Smith will agree with me. Of course, it’s the talent that will push a player above the 2600.

    I have a fantastic job and a beautiful wife…let’s keep it that way:-D! So, with that in mind…I guess my peak rating could be near 2450, which is fine to me… At least I don’t have to worry about the time – control (as a Norwegian GM had to…;-))

  13. Oops, I misread the question. I understood that I WOULD go on the road with Yusupov and Avrukh, and leave my wife.

    If I resume playing chess I’ll peak at 2050.

  14. Shurlock Ventriloquist

    “@ Jacob: I don’t want to be rude…but I think it’s a stupid question. In my opinion, everybody with time (for hard work) and money on their side can become a GM (between 2500 – 2600)”


    Turn on your room light so the nurse can come and make sure your medications are correct.

  15. Currently knocking around the 1720 mark, and have fluctuated between 1700 and 1730 for about ten years. If I’m honest with myself, realistically I’ll never do 10 hours a week.
    I think that if I work hard with the little time I have, I might have a small chance of making 1850, but honestly I’d be surprised if I even made 1750.


  16. I think anyone has the “ability” to be a GM.

    But ability is only a small factor
    Time obviously is s factor but I think work ethic and desire/dedication is the most important.
    If I had all the time in the world I still wouldn’t be a GM as I would have the desire or work ethic.

    I also think that a trainer is a must, just as you cannot become an Olympic athlete without s coach. You need someone to help structure your time inside and motivate.

    For us regular guys this is a big ask as most of us have other priorities that come before chess. I don’t rely care about rating as long as you can still enjoy the game playing players if s similar strength, that’s the main thing.

  17. An Ordinary Chessplayer

    As for “everybody” or “anyone” being able to become a GM …. Back when I was a stupid teenager, my girlfriend’s sister tried to get me to wake up. One of her lessons was a visit to a group home to meet some adults with IQ in the single digits. (Estimated of course, because they could not take a test.) When a person cannot learn to tie their own shoelaces, nor even to stop drooling on themselves all the time, GM is out of the question. (Thanks for the various lessons, Anne B., I’m sad you are gone.) Okay that is one extreme, but the point is that cognitive ability is a continuous scale, and people roughly can be divided into (a) those who obviously have the required talents to be GM; (b) those who obviously do not have the talents; (c) those in between where we don’t know. I belong in group (c). “Anyone” who claims that “everybody” belongs in group (a) is just ignorant.

  18. Shurlock Ventriloquist

    Chess acumen is a very special set of abilities and skills must act in confluence with each other in order for an individual to have a shot a being a high level player. Most people DO NOT have all the required ingredients. In addition, the person must also do some work and have the drive.

    Chess acumen is one of the ‘savant skills,’ which are often found in people with neurodevelopment disorders, notably autism spectrum disorders, or brain injuries, but are less often found in people that do not suffer a neuro issue.

    It certainly is the case that people ‘on the spectrum’ are very well represented in chess, in greater numbers/percentage than the general population.

    The big three: memory, mathematics, spatial skills, all must be present for one to have even a crack at master strength, and fact is most human beings do not have ANY of these skill sets to the degree that being a Grandmaster requires.

    And this is why there really are so very very few people at level … because very few can do it.

    The idea that “anyone can do it” is marketing snake oil and little else.

    All that said, one need not have to be a gm or an aspiring one to live a great life of chess and to get from the game what it has to offer.

  19. The interesting question is unless there is serious issues with brain development at birth, could anyone become a GM. I believe they could

    The post above mentions memory, maths, special awareness. Are these a factor of nature or nature?

    I believe it is a combination of the two but how much is due to nature and how much nature, who knows?

    I was thinking that anyone could become a GM from birth.
    Poster #22 says those who have the required talents.
    Again are these talents something you are born with or something that is nurtured from a baby/child.

    Just to say someone who has the telnet is a little to simplistic!

  20. Might be an interesting topic for a poll …

    Which percentage of the general population could become a GM if trained from early childhood?

    I believe quite a significant percentage. Maybe not 50% but probably more than 25%.

    My reasoning is the difficulty to learn languages as an adult or even teenager, compared to the ease with which native speakers became very proficient. I think learning to play chess works very similarly.

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