Suggestions on learning chess tactics. (Stuck in 800 range)


I don't play every day and perhaps that is part of the issue regarding practice. I recently have tried my hand at Vienna for white (not much success) or French for black (I do better with this opening) Lately I feel like I've been lapsing in my judgement, critical thinking, and just coming up with a good strategy during middle games. I try not to leave hanging pieces but of course make blunders. I finally got into the 861 range which was good for me and then it was like the floodgates opened. I began losing games left and right.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Should I be spending more time analyzing my games? At times I watch chess videos/tutorials but considering each game is vastly different regarding openings and middle games, soaking it in doesn't mean I'll enact it or be able to. I try to face the computer but feel like the computer makes weird moves at times that others wouldn't. 


I would practice using puzzles. They're all about tactics. But definitely analyze every game and find the weaknesses in your openings, middle and end game. 


I found lichess website from a different post and am currently doing a few puzzles as we speak! Definitely great practice and thanks for the tip too.



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After quickly check a couple of your games, the main issues I see are more positional/strategic.

For example in this game you start by making 7 consecutive pawn moves. It isn't until move 8 that you develop your first minor piece. If you look at the structure on move 8.

What do you think of this position? Do you like your options with your dark squared Bishop? Do you like you options with the light squared Bishop? How do you feel about the Knight on g8, where do you want him to go? How about your King, where do you see you King going?  My suggestion: Work on opening principles

The second issue is taking enough time for each move. You are playing long games and that's already excellent! You have time to consider your options and calculate the outcome. You might even come up with a plan.  Don't forget to use the time you have! You should never get checkmated with more than 20 minutes on the clock. 

Two examples

In this position it is not easy to find a good move. Don't just play a move after 3 seconds.

What you play in positions like this determines if you win or lose, it's a very high stakes position, especially with white threatening Xxe7+.  Because you play too fast, the positions goes from around +2 or +3 to mate in two in just 20 seconds.

The other game I checked was this one.  This game your development is a lot better in the opening. Two move stood out this game. The first one is in this position.

You played Qf4. I don't really know why. I assume you wanted to trade Queens, but forgot he doesn't have to.  Opponent played Nxd4+ which was devastating to your position. But even Qe6+ would be annoying to deal with. It feels like you didn't know what to do so you played Qf4. I'll admit, this position is not super easy to play. This could be an interesting position to check again and go over all your options. 

The next position, after 13. Nxd4+ is where you lose the game.

Almost very square you go, your opponent can put your King in check, so check carefully. You have 24 minutes on the clock. Don't be afraid to use 5 minutes on a position like this.

Overall, I didn't see many mistakes. You're playing well as long as you pay attention to the positions you are creating. GL!


Thanks for going through each game and explaining it as such. That definitely makes sense regarding time (moving too quickly) as well as positional tactics or rather blunders made without much thought. I'll definitely check out some more opening theory and take my time doing so. Looking at my queen move in that last game...Yikes. Truly. It can take one mistake in a game to start unraveling but I think as you said I need to contemplate more. Look at openings, look at getting minor pieces out but paying attention to what's protected and a possible attack path.

It is common after a huge rating jump to lose a bunch of games right after. I experience a similar situation often if I go up in rating, but usually after the drop back I am a higher rating than I was.