How to achive 1200 Elo at

How to achive 1200 Elo at

Apr 15, 2014, 9:11 AM |

How to achive 1200 Elo points at


If you can’t control the game, you will lose it.



This article was written for amateur players who wants to improve their chess skills and achive 1200 Elo points at I will discuss the major issues that are important to grow as the chess player. For players below 1200 Elo (novices) are characteristic many blunders, lack of theoretical knowledge and lack of experience, last one depends on the number of games one played. Nobody plays positional chess at this level, everyone tries to attack as soon as they can. You have to change your attitude towards the chess and read more about theory of chess. In this article you will read practical tips that will help you to improve your chess and achieve 1200 Elo (Class D, Category 4).  



Let’s agree that your Elo rank defines your current level of development in chess. If you are reading this article most probably your are below 1200 Elo, right? So let’s admit that you can’t win against player who have 1300 Elo or higher. Try to play with such a player and somewhere in the middle of the game you will stuck, why this happened? Beacause you don’t have plan. You are used to play with the beginners who are making mistakes and you are winning easily, but this opponent who has Elo more than 1300 is not making mistakes and you cant find weakness from where you can attack.

For players below 1200 ELO is characteristic lots of blunders. Here are most common mistakes of beginners: neglect the safety of your king, premature aggression, not thinking about your oponent’s threats, not seeing whole board.




Chess is the strategy game, that has an Opening, Middle Game and End Game. All of them are very important. From this three we can learn openings and end games, but nobody can foresee what will happen in middle game, so that real skills of the player are shown in the middle game. Chess is mental game and therefore you need a good concentration to stay alert from opening untill the endgame. Three elements of chess are space, time and force. They constantly change after each move. But pawn structure is enduring. Below I will discuss how to play in different parts of the game.



Opening is the initial 10-20 moves that creates platform for the middle game. There are popular openings that you have to learn. Most popular openings are: Sicilian Defense, King’s Indian Defense, French Defense, Queen’s Gambit and etc. It is important to prepare opening for both white and black pieces.

There are three main goals in opening: Control the center, develop pieces and king safety (castling). Now let’s discuss all parts of the opening. The First one is control of the center. Central squares are: E4, E5, D4, D5. So our major aim is to control central squares in order to start second stage of opening called Castling.

Second stage is to castle and create chain of the rooks, so that they are able to defend each other. Also you can decide on which side to castle. If you see that your opponent developed his pieces better on the right side of the board then you castle on the left side and vice versa.

Development means to take out minor peaces, at first knight then bishops because knights are less mobile than bishops. Experienced players generally prefer to delay developing the queen, and instead they are developing minor pieces in the opening. Also main principle of the development is to never move same piece twice in the opening stage. Development ends when you remove queen from starting rank in order to connect rooks.

Once you will finish with this three stage you are ready to start attacking actions. Because without winning center, without king’s safety and without developed pieces you simply can not attack your opponent.


Middle Game

Middle Game is part of the game where we show our intelligence and creativity. In this phase player have to show combinational game.

Second very important thing is to learn how to use elementary tactics: pins, forks, skewer, decoy, discovered attack, sacrifice, undermining. Also our aim is to distort the pawn structure of the opponent: isolate, double or make holes in opponents pawns.


End Game

In most games endgame starts right after queens are exchanged. Pawns are playing vital role in endgame. Especially ''passed pawns''. The major task in endgame is mainly pawn promotion. King becomes strong peace in endgame.



To summarize above mentioned information I will write main tipps:

  1. Win the Center
  2. Develop Minor Pieces (Don’t hurry with Attack)
  3. Castle
  4. Block your opponents moves
  5. Look at the board carefully and from where is better to attack
  6. Start pushing you opponent
  7. Win the material with tactics
  8. Use the material advantage and exchange everything, first of all queens.
  9. Move king towards the center in the endgame
  10. Promote pown
  11. Chackmate opponent


Try to follow this advices and you will definitely achive 1200 ELO and even more. Good Luck!