Can't progress


I am stuck in the low 1600's. Any suggestions? How can I break through?




I have played 184 games and have reached my level. I noticed you have played 86 which is plenty enough to have reached your level.

You can try all the usual stuff: tuition, taking more time,  reading books, watching videos ect,or you can rest content. I'm seventy so tend to rest content in most things.  Don't let chess take you over.


What are your most common errors?  What type of thing causes you to lose?


Look over's Study Plans. They offer a pretty good way to navigate through all the features of the site and improve your game. They will eventually be part of the Learn drop down menu but for now, the only way I know of to get to them is scrolling thru the Webmaster's recent activity.

Good luck.

Thank you. I hadn't seen Study Plans

Your Tactics Trainer rating is only in the mid 1200's, so tactics would seem to be an obvious place to start.  Unless of course, you just recently had a 4 or 500 point meltdown.  The study plans certainly might help (click "read", click "articles", click " help") since they are drawn up by a titled working professional.  If you haven't gone through all the beginning tactics courses on Chess Mentor and gotten them up to 100% through review, then that too is a good place to focus.  I'm sure your plateau is temporary, although a number of previous posts have mentioned how just before they made an improvement, their rating actualy went down for awhile.  Hang in there.


Try & get a couple of Jeremy silmans books. His Endgame book is very good, amongst others! You will get better you was unlucky in our games Peggy. Try to look at all your oponents reply moves before you make your move.

Jay797 wrote:

 Try to look at all your oponents reply moves before you make your move.

Good point.

Jay797 wrote:

Try & get a couple of Jeremy silmans books. His Endgame book is very good....

I highly recommend this one -- it's probably responsible for my biggest single course of improvement at this game.  Understanding how to convert winning endgames will give you the knowledge and confidence to know when you can simplify down to them from an imbalanced middle game.




If you want to increase your rating, just play better. Knowing opening theory is extremely crucial as well as experiences in the middle game and endgame.

chrisr2212 wrote:

Understanding endgames is really critical. I've seen some very good advice on this site about Dvoretsky's endgame manual. I've seen some of Jeremy Silman's work and the advice given in the posts above is quite good.

My own experience about endgames is as follows....

In my early games, I realised that knowing how to play endgames well was the difference between winning, drawing or losing many games that seemed equal or were only slightly imbalanced. So I studied endgame theory and noticed that I was winning games more easily by simplifying from middlegames that looked equal but I knew I was going into favourable endgames, but my opponents thought they were simplifying to a draw. I do like John Nunn's endgame books too! He makes endgames look very colourful and has a book about tactical endgames that I liked a lot.

I would suggest Mueller and Lamprecht's "Fundamental Chess Endings" as a slightly easier (but no less comprehensive) endgame treatise than Dvoretsky's. They also have a whole book on King + Pawn endgames which


You obviously are too focused on rating points.

I am having trouble castling. When I move my king over the rook will not move. HELP!!!
chrisr2212 wrote: Was that where your King was in check ? No you can't castle when in check. Also you're bustin in on someone else's thread.
Thanks for responding to my post. No my king was not in check. This has happened before do you think it's a technical problem?

One thing that helped me, dunno if you'll find it useful:

When you pick a move be sure you like it no matter how the opponent responds.  I guess often enough I would assume a re-capture or defensive move, etc.  Or in other words maybe, when you put a piece on a square, you should really believe it belongs there.  Maybe your opponent will ignore your move, do you still think it's useful?

Don't know how strong 1600 turn-based exactly is.  Maybe after you finally make your decision on a move, stop for one last blunder check.  Put it in a analysis board and try to either punish your intended move directly (e.g. with tactics) or make it look stupid/useless (counter attack in different area).

fetchingimage wrote:

I am stuck in the low 1600's. Any suggestions? How can I break through?

 Replace the 6 with an 8 on your rating


Seriously... Work on reducing the mistakes that you make..whether that be positional/strategic or tactical..


And don't worry about rating...Worry about improving the strength of your play...then the rating will come

chrisr2212 wrote: I checked your current game (against filthysanchez). There was a bishop on h5 checking your King on e8 and you moved Kf8. I was asking if you tried to castle there. Otherwise, I never came across the problem. (We cannot castle when in check, across a check, into a check or if either the rook or the King have moved before)