The point of all this chess study and practice is to get stronger, and I do have a goal — to achieve and maintain an online rating of at least 2600 within the next three years. That is going to be extremely difficult, but I do not believe it is impossible.
I should probably take this opportunity to explain my situation in more detail, so readers have a better idea of where I’m coming from in all of this. I haven’t played in an over-the-board chess tournament in over 10 years. I am a full-time pastor, which means I work on Sunday, and most tournaments within reasonable driving distance of where I live take place partially on Sunday, so that counts me out. Therefore, the only way I have to play chess is online chess servers.When I decided to take chess seriously (or, at least, as seriously as I am able to in my current situation), I also decided to choose one of many online chess servers to serve as an official ELO rating as a measure of my playing strength, assuming an online rating inflation of 300 points over a traditional over-the-board FIDE rating. For example, consider my goal: to reach a classical or rapid rating of 2600 within 3 years. Assuming a 300 point online rating inflation over a traditional rating, 2600 online should translate (all else being equal) to approximately 2300 FIDE. Therefore, if I can attain an online rating of 2600, then I believe I can safely estimate that I am playing at approximately 2300 FIDE, which is FIDE Master strength.
Many stronger and titled players will argue that it is impossible for me to reach such a level of play at my age. They will insist that i should have begun studying chess seriously at a very early age and that anyone who has not become a grandmaster by the age of, say, 13 should quit chess and do something else entirely.
I believe such statements are incredibly irresponsible of those stronger players who make them. Through my own dedication to the study and practice of chess, I intend to prove my point by attaining my rating goal. I also intend to share my chess study and progress here on #journeyChess and I sincerely hope you, fellow improving player, will join me in this work, so we can help each other along the way.