Rick Andreoli Montreal – What Are The Differences Between A Chess Genius and An Amateur?

The brilliant Rick Andreoli Montreal was a friend of my fathers and I can remember when I was growing up that they would be often stuck to the chess board. My father would often be cursing and that is because, as I later learned, Rick was an incredibly high level player. In fact Rick was kind enough to give me a few lessons when I was growing up and whilst I can play well, I am nowhere near the level of this guy, he really is brilliant. If you look at a player who s playing at around the 2,000 mark, they are nowhere near those at the top level of chess, who are more towards the 3,200 – 3,500 mark. So what is the key differences between these levels?

Planning Moves 

When it gets to this level of chess we see the IQ level of each player really come to the fore, and that is because of the enormous amount of computations they have to do before their next move. The whole idea of chess is to outsmart your opponent and in order to do that you have to be able to think 10 or 15 moves ahead, each of those moves has hundreds or thousands of possibilities. This is what complicates the situation even more, those calculations also have to factor in signatures traits that  the other player has. This is the key difference at this level, the ability to plot so far ahead that your opponent doesn’t know what is coming. 

Going With The Feeling 

Recently chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen was doing an interview on a chess channel and they gave him some chess problems to solve, whilst he did get the majority of them right, he did seem to struggle his way through a little. Commenting on this, he spoke about how he just knows the way things are, rather than having the rules and the structure which so many of us do. Again this is not only what makes player like him better than the rest of us, but better than those at that mid-mid-range level like Rick, who still follow some level of the fundamentals. 


It is not just the natural ability that they possess at that high level but the work that they are prepared to put in. These players are on the chess board day and in and day out, they play online and they are constantly playing in tournaments and in private battles. This is very much the difference between those levels and you will often find that those at the top are sponsored to play chess which means that a pesky thing like work will not get in the way of their passion and their love for the game. 

These are the main differences between brilliant players like Rick, and those at the very highest level of the game of chess, intelligence, hard work, and instinct.