Disclaimer, The Ugly Truth and How it was done!
First a disclaimer. The world is full of very good chess players that are titled and spend a lot of time helping others improve in chess. I'm not titled, have never been and most likely will never be (working upwards though). I'm not pretending to be good chess coach or trainer. I'm sharing my journey to show a lot of players that you can improve and at the same time show what I did (right or wrong) to improve.
Setting up the stage for what's to come. I played a lot when I was young. From about when I was 12 up to more or less my 18th birthday I played in the local chess club in my hometown.
It was a small club we did not have anyone over 1800+ most of the time. All playing for fun. The few players that rose above the 1800+ mark were young and in all cases moved to bigger cities at an age when they was around 18-1900.
I reached a bit over 1700 in over the board chess (and probably 1500+ in rapid/blitz) and these numbers came from local playing only. My rating was probably inflated by 100-150 points due to playing the same people (lower rankings) and wining over and over again.
I now know that my general understanding of chess was very low and that my level came mostly from just not making to big blunders against people making a lot more blunders. Endgames=terrible. Strategy = uninterested. My handling of openings was dabbling in a bunch of opening deping of the day of the week and the weather.
I then went on with my life and chess was forgotten more or less for over 35 years with just some spontaneous game with my kids.
Until some 4-5 years ago when I started playing again as science starting recommending chess to keep your mind sharp when, hrmm, one gets "a bit older".
I purchased komodo from chessbase and started to play (loose) repeatedly in all possible ways. I also found my way to chess.com and all the amazing streams of chess games and competitions and found chess becoming increasingly fun again!
Finally I started trying my luck at playing 5minutes blitz and rose from whatever elo chess.com gives you when you start out, up to a bit over 1500. I then sank down into the 1400+ again and things did not look good.
This is where my tale of getting better will start and with my next post I'll share what I have done and how I did it to actually in a controlled manner improve in chess in less than a year!