The Progression of a Player...


For the 1700+ players, what was it that brought you up from 1500? Was it specifically opening or middle game study? Did you use different study techniques? I'm interested in what changes in a player when one rises from average to good. Let us noobs hear some testimonies.


I can't say my attention in my blitz games is very consistent, so some games may look absurd. I do need to study middle game planning. Any recommendations bookwise?


Every time I read a book it has helped.  Maybe not immediately in practical results, but it plants the seeds for improvement at least.

Chatting with stronger players about little things they notice or how they think about a position sometimes helps a lot if you're willing to listen.

Taking 4-5 months off with no speed chess seems to have helped too.


Raw tactics training and a few general books took me to 1500 USCF and a brief plateau.  The next improvement came with concentrated middlegame work: understanding how to devise and enact a plan gave me a way to win beyond just waiting for my opponent to make a tactical error.


I improved most by playing serious OTB games against slightly stronger opponents, and going over the games with them afterwards.


Thank you. Keep the responses coming. I play at a club and otb daily. I do not, however, review each game. I will try to do more in that regard.


In all brutal honesty ... those who are stuck in any ratings plateau NEED external help (another person => Strong player or coach) to get them out of it.  Worked wonders for me.

An external influence will also help overcome your own personality blocks such as

  •  Defeatist attiude.
  • Laziness / handwaving rather than rolling up your sleeves and doing actual problem-solving.
  • Procrastination. 

I just played a lot of games. Obiously, you have to know the dangers of openings, but in the middle game its where you show your abilities.I  am self-made chess player without reading books, and i havent played chess when i was young. So, its all about playing and knowing certain positions, get well in openings, have sharp mind and potential for strategies in middle game, and for ending its all about logic. For first 3-4 years i couldnt get over 1200, then slowly i made it to 1500, but then it gets interested. Now i finally made it to 1900 with different wins over 2000 players. So, here is where i have to make another step with books and hard preparation in different games. Just play and you`ll get what you want if you have capacity for greater numbers. And, yeah, i play very fast. You have to develop a certain style. I always play agressive chess, initiative is very important in many cases. And at the end, i play with players +200 and only -50. Cheers.