Friday, 7 November 2008

How many games do you need?

A while ago I took part in a survey by Robert Howard of the University of New South Wales concerning chess strength and factors such as age, study etc
The survey has been completed and early results can be found here. For those disinclined to click the link there were a couple of interesting results.
The survey sample consisted of 581 players of which 103 were titled (mainly FM's btw). In terms of age the group average learned chess at 8 ( masters at 6) and began to play rated chess at 14 (masters at 12). Possibly the most interesting number in the survey is 390. This is the average number of FIDE rated games played by players reaching the GM title (ie from the first FIDE rated game until earning the GM title). The survey noted that most players never even reach that number in their entire careers.
At this stage I fall into that category (I've played less than 100) but it does give me renewed hope. If my quality does not improve, there is always quantity to fall back on!

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