How To Improve for >2000


Hey everybody. In the past my improvement has been quite rapid. For the past year however, I have been stuck at around 2000 USCF and haven't been able to push past that. I've tried everything from studying an extreme amount of tactics to establishing a quality opening repetoire. Does anyone have advice about how I could Improve? Thanks. Smile


I'm only 1700 but playing lots of standard games on this website and lots of OTB games will help you.


1. Annotate your games.

2. Play more standard time controls, less bullet

3. Improve your memory (get more sleep, practice memorising long lists of things, play memory games, etc)

4. Don't attack if it doesn't work.


Try coaching, especially since you're young


Thanks for the suggestions everyone, these are all definitely things I should work on.


I'm only about 1850 USCF, but I do think that guessing through lots of master games could help.  It is what I do every day.  Maybe you could guess through Alekhine's best game collection or Bronstein's Zurich 1953 book, for example.


Oh yes, and How Karpov Wins by Edmar Mednis is an EXTREMELY GOOD BOOK!  I believe that it helped me gain 200 points, from the 1600s to the 1800s in two consecutive tournaments.  I should probably reread it at some point.  Hope this helps. Smile


The same thing happened to me, I was stuck between 2050-2100, but all of a sudden you will have one great tournament that will boost your confidence, and your rating will start moving again.


What about Karpov's Best Games by the man himself?  I think the two books go hand in hand. 


I'm still looking for a way to improve so I'm doing a lot of endgame and defensive drills.  Lots of players want to win in the middlegame, so patiently weathering their initiative into a favorable endgame or a counterattack is a good skill.  Or for another definition of defense (opposite of technique instead of attack here as instead of converting an advantage you're trying to neutralize the opponent's advantage) draw hard to draw drawn positions. 

If you're truly lost then set up traps then resign after the opponent gets through them. Dizziness due to success is the appropriate chapter in Kotov's Think Like a Grandmaster where Kotov shows how he was swindled in a winning position into a losing one! 


 A great book that I'm going to start in a couple of months (I have it on the shelf but have scheduled Averbakh's Advanced Tactics, Soltis' New Art of Defence in Chess, and Smyslov's Endgame Virtuoso first, with some problems from Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics before each session) is Gufeld's Exploiting Small Advantages.  Will it help?  I hope so, all are highly acclaimed. 


Read "Mastery" by George Leonard.

It's not about chess but about mastering any complex skill. In Leonard's case it was a martial art, aikido, which he began late in life -- 47 years-old.

Leonard didn't become an aikido master overnight, but with steady perseverance he eventually became a fifth-degree black belt and co-founder of an aikido school.

"Mastery" is all about the slow and steady accumulation of skill which shows up as long plateaus punctuated by abrupt breakthroughs. His advice: "Love the plateau" and keep working.

Congrats on your remarkable progress so far!


USE chess base... All my coaches do, just ask your parents about it they could set it up... Hope it works!


Get out of your comfort zone.


Just came across this thread.  Nice job on improving.  Looks like you figured it out.  happy.png


little late arent we?

mockingbird998  I recommend you to join Chessmood. This is a very good place for improvement, I've started to grow up with them already 3 months. Here you can find an opening repertoire prepared by grandmasters, solve daily puzzles, even call to grandmasters and get your studying plan. There are many good articles, I want also to share one of them Hope you will like it! happy.png 



mess a diaper mockingbird998



wonderful words of advice that I didnt understand @wondefulzach40


anyone who is not potty trained mess a diaper



I dont remember asking either


Now would @jposthuma share some advice on how he got to FM? Thanks!