Road to Grandmaster


Road to Grandmaster

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William Taylor    (2010-09-23)
Road to Grandmaster

Hello FICGS friends,

On the 1st of September I started a chess website - - which documents my attempt to become a GM (otb). The first post and 'mission statement' can be read here:

Of course I realise the goal is extremely ambitious, but I'm going to give it a shot. :) I probably won't be playing much serious correspondence chess for a while, as I'll be focusing on OTB games, but I'll still be keeping a few games of one sort or another running here. Comments/suggestions about the site or the goal are welcome.


Daniel Parmet    (2010-09-23 07:53:09)
Road to Grandmaster

Good luck!

Don Groves    (2010-09-23 07:59:49)
Road to Grandmaster

Can we say we knew you when you were a Dark Knight?

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-09-23 11:03:26)
Road to Grandmaster

Very good idea! The site is nice and I'm surprised not being able to find a few other blogs like this one... and it will motivate you even more to reach the 2500 mark for sure! Please keep us aware :)

William Taylor    (2010-09-24 01:44:55)
Road to Grandmaster

Thanks for the encouragement, and I'll keep you updated. Don: if there are regular team tournaments I hope I will still be a Dark Knight if/when I make GM. ;)

Daniel Parmet    (2010-10-09 05:47:50)
Road to Grandmaster

so whats the time limit on this little bet you have going? They giving you 10 years? 15 years?

William Taylor    (2010-10-09 13:54:15)
Road to Grandmaster

There's no time limit.

Daniel Parmet    (2010-10-10 05:17:34)
Road to Grandmaster

Good luck! I am rooting for you. I believe age does not matter - maybe for professional or world champion it does - but not for the title! People get PhDs or become doctors in their nineties!

Daniel Parmet    (2010-10-12 01:40:51)
Road to Grandmaster

You know this little blog and chessbase article has sparked a debate on whether people believe in whether its possible for a 1900 21 yearold to ever make GM.

Despite the fact I've constantly said it is. I've been told i'm flat wrong again and again by every person i've talked to. But I don't understand why, Kasparov said Talent is all a matter of time and effort. I don't see why not. The reason kids excel at chess is because they have no responsibilities. They have PURE time and when a kid gets attached to something... their effort is also unwavering.

I have offered the answer that the problems with adults improving is mostly the fact they have too many demands on their time already (work, family, school, other hobbies) or lack proper motivation (getting too easily discouraged or not wanting to work on their weaknesses).

However, I've noticed the naysayers tend to fall into three camps. 1) The camp that says talent is genetic and you can't make up for it regardless of how much you work. 2) People that say 21 is too old, only kids can improve. These people irk me the most. I have only been playing chess for 2 years and I went from 1000 to 1900 in under a year because I spent alot of time on it. I see no reason why any other adult can't do the exact same. Granted 1000 to 1900 is not 1900 to 2500 + 3 norms... but the point remains the same: time and hardwork. I think here multiple studies about the 10,000 hours required to master an activity is relevant. 3) People that are flat out freaking jealous. They know they themselves won't make GM or maybe even IM so they decry anyone else that wants to try.

Anyways, curious what others peoples thoughts are?

Don Groves    (2010-10-12 09:35:00)
Road to Grandmaster

I'm not a naysayer but I do think it takes a certain inborn talent to excel at Chess, quite similar to Math in that respect. Both subjects require the ability to both analyze and generalize at a high level.

If a 21-year-old has those abilities and puts in the work, s/he could become a grandmaster. The biggest problem I see is that s/he is competing against a great many with equal skills who started a lot younger...

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-10-12 09:35:56)
Road to Grandmaster

IMHO point 1 is partly true and point 2 should be said "kids can improve more easily"... Anyway things have changed so much with computers & the value of norms, it is not easy to say if anybody can become a Granmaster nowadays but I bet on you :)

Rolf Staggat    (2010-10-12 16:09:10)
Road to Grandmaster

in the same time you need to become a GM you could learn ten languages perfectly or promote in different sciences. Its a waste of time. You do not live for a thousand years.
I organized some open-tournaments in earlier years. The older GMs taking part there all had only little money. If you are rich by birth, then just do it, otherwise better not.

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-10-12 20:03:41)
Road to Grandmaster

That would be a great debate: Why would you become a GM? Could be interesting to ask people who obtained the title more than 20 years ago.

Thibault de Vassal    (2010-10-20 12:40:03)
In Chessbase & forums

Hey, looks like I missed many things, William became a chess star already with his website! There was an article in Chessbase & numerous discussions in chess forums... (french)