Material to learn for a 1400


I am now 1400ish and reading The Middle Game in Chess by Rueben Fine. The book has been helpful, but I really have not seen any major improvement. Should I continue and finish the book or should I move on to something else? If you know of any materials,  suggestions are welcome.


 The finest material I know of that covers all parts of the game and does so in a consistent, systematic manner are the books by Yusupov. I will warn you, they take quite a bit of dedication however. It takes 4 hours or more to go through a chapter as intended. There are 24 chapters per book, and nine books. They are excellent.


That said, there are many many excellent books out there. For example, I have been going through "The Amateurs Mind" by Jeremy Silman as well and that has been helpful. Silman also has an Endgame book that is excellent and well thought of.

The most important things are consistency and focus. I‘d recommend doing tactics and playing a couple of games a week and analyzing those with an engine. Don‘t expect to see result in your rating immediately

As I understand it, the official order is Build-1, Boost-1, Evolution-1, Exam-1, Build-2, Boost-2, etc.
"Fundamentals first, then Beyond the Basics and finally Mastery. Follow the colours!" - Yusupov




Thank you @kinaspongey for the book recommendations for the links to the book previews. I will definitely look into them. @madratter7 could you recommend which one of the books would be the most helpful?


I found that going through annotated games the best way to improve, and it combined with tactics review got me from 1400 to 1800 online in about two years.  Indeed, the answer to almost any chess improvement question can usually be boiled down to, "Study more master games."

A classic that I've only recently read myself, and I wish I found it sooner, is Reti' "Masters of the Chessboard."  He speaks primarily in words, not variations, so you get a good sense of how to think in different positions; that is, if you reach a similar position, you'll know the general thought process, rather than trying to remember a long variation.  Reti's also a great writer, and the kindle edition on Amazon is inexpensive.  Going through this or a similar book (any games collection will do, particularly of an older master) will help prepare you to tackle Yusupov's books.


Masters of the Chessboard by Richard Reti


Are you expecting to read the book and turn into a whiz just like that?