Chess Vocabulary: Rating

By Ramya Inapuri, Wizard Coordinator & Instructor in MA

The word rating in chess refers to a 3–4-digit number that's associated with a player to represent their playing strength. The higher the number, the better the player… the lower the number, the weaker the player.

USCF ratings range from roughly 0 (however it's basically impossible to get this low - no one ever has) to 3000. Most scholastic beginners start around 400. Even if you were to lose all your games in your first few tournaments you would still usually have a rating of about 200.