Rated Chess Never too Early to Start

The earlier a students starts down the path of earning a chess rating the better.  A few years ago a friend of Playing ACES CHESS and near Master (2000+) level player conducted a simple survey of participants at a past USCF K-12 Winter’s National Chess Tournament. The graph demonstrates the number of games compared to the ratings of four of the highest ranked players in attendance.

From the above, each student started working on their ratings early and played a lot of rated tournament chess while still doing cool things with their families and being successful in their academic, sports and other interests.  Check this out –

Example Player #1 – For this HS Senior with rating of 2390 they:

  • played in 626 rated tournament events completing 3130 rated chess games
  • player played ~ 6 rated / games a week ( e.g. 5.2 events/month)
  • given a starting (baseline) rating of 500 (w/ a 157 pt change/year) this player began playing rated chess in K grade taking ~ 12 years to reach this goal by 12th grade.

Can you calculate at what grades the Players #2, #3 and #4 started playing rated chess in order achieve their rating by 12th grade?  Here is a hint:

  • Player #2 – 2396 rating (est. avg. 268 pt change/year), started rated play in 4th grade
  • Player #3 – 2405 rating (est. avg. 275 pt change/year), started rated play in 5th grade
  • Player #4 – 2465 rating,(est. avg. 435 pt change/year), started rated play in 7th grade

Can you tell which player was more efficient in achieving their rating?  What do you think impacts that efficiency?

Again, not every student will want to pursue a chess rating, but parents and the community should know the level of commitment it takes to achieve this.   That is why Playing ACE CHESS is working to engage individuals and businesses on our community to be aware of these talented deserving K-12 chess players to help they defray various cost in order to attend rated chess events for these more serious players.