How to improve from 1500rating (1 hour a day)


Hey guys,

I'd like to ask people with higher rating(1800+) - what should I do to improve in chess? My rating is about 1500 and I'd like to devote about max 1 hour every day. I realized that playing bullet 2+1 (and blitz 5+2) games doesn't help me that much... 

What should I study, what books should I buy, etc?

And another question - When do you think I can get to 1800 in with that pace of studying?

Thank you!


I'm no expert, but you seem to imply that if you study long enough that you will naturally elevate to an 1800 rating. I dont believe this is necessarily the case, indeed if you do not have the natural ability there is a chance you will never reach 1800. Therefore your question about how long would it take can't be answered here.


1800 is a rating anybody can achieve. Play a lot of serious games, analyze your games very critically.

If you want to devote 1 hour per day, try 15-minute/20-minute games and try to really concentrate during the game. (This really isn't ideal though, if you really want to improve you should join a chess club or play a tournament OTB) Then use the remaining 20-30 minutes to analyze, either by yourself or with your opponent. Don't use engines until you feel like you've totally torn the position apart and still aren't certain.

Indeed, how long it takes is a question that can't be answered here. But to give you an idea, I started playing chess about 3 years ago, my August 2011 KNSB (Dutch Chess Federation) rating was 1440, and my August 2012 rating was 1768. So gaining 300 points in a year is possible. However, I did spend more than 1 hour per day on chess in that year. 


Oh and play CC.


Mmm,..."anybody can achieve"...not sure i agree with a statement that says anyone can get into the top 4% of players if the effort is applied. The rest is good advice though.


Ditto on the above comment that you really have to analyze (pretend computer engines never existed for about an hour) your games.

You also need to start developing an uncompromising discipline at calculating forcing variations all the time ... not just when you see a "white to move and win" tactic in a puzzle/problem.

This laziness or fear of  calculating forces many people (me included) to indulge at two behaviors that conveniently side-step it:

- Playing too much bullet/blitz (hey, no long calculations needed, it's wham-bam!)
- Studying openings ALL the time when my rating does clearly warrant it.

So don't be me/that guy.  Embrace calculation! :)


 Analyzing your games will be helpful. This allows you to know your strengths and weaknesses and there, you can know where you need to improve at.

 Next is don't play impulsive moves. Because this does not help of, only move a piece which you know has a reason, and complete your plan in the game.

If you have more questions and if you need more tips, just send me a friend request and we can have a talk on it.


Remember that the middlegame is where most games are lost or won. The opening is only meant to get you to a playable middlegame, and if you can't play the middlegame, even great endgame skills will usually only salvage a draw from a loss, if that.