I am rated 1200 in USCF but I can't seem to get better any tips?


I am rated 1200 in USCF but I can't seem to get better any tips?




Thanks @kaukasar

seattle59 wrote:



You probably need to analyze some of your games and identify your weaknesses.  Try to be brutally honest with yourself.  Then work on the weaknesses.  Everyone at that level should focus on tactics and a basic understanding of the opening principles and simple endgames.

1. Work on tactics.

2 Work on Tactics some more

3 Learn Basic Endgames for your strength

4 Learn the basic opening principles and stick with them

5 Adopt openings and learn the basic moves of where the pieces go by looking at games played by good players - don't study books.  Stick with the same opening...you get better at it by learning from your mistakes.

PawnstormPossie wrote:

1200 seems like a very even number.

How many games have you played?

Have you analyzed any of them?

I have played about 100 or so tournament games and I analyze all of them.


Do you guys think buying a membership will improve playing with more tactics and videos


You can probably get plenty of that for free in a couple of puzzle books, apps, or on youtube.


In between G30 D5 and G120 D5


Do you analyze with an engine or on your own? It's important to look at everything you can come up with from your own mind first and only then switch on an engine to see what you may have missed. As already mentioned, tactics are very important. Basic endgames like king and pawn and rook endgames will help as well but don't be afraid to dive even deeper into endgames! They may seem boring but it's the essence of chess. Analyze and annotate some old master games - anything from the time of Morphy up until around Botvinnik. These games are much easier to understand at lower levels. Same as before, analyze on your own before using an engine. With tactics, endgame study and looking at your own games, you should see improvement relatively quickly. It doesn't hurt to look at the openings you play either. Be sure to understand the common goals and plans - play through master games of your favorite openings to get a good idea of these. Most importantly, take your time when studying and don't move on until you thoroughly understand the idea at hand. If you do this amd don't improve, I'd be very surprised


"... for those that want to be as good as they can be, they'll have to work hard.
Play opponents who are better than you … . Learn basic endgames. Create a simple opening repertoire (understanding the moves are far more important than memorizing them). Study tactics. And pick up tons of patterns. That’s the drumbeat of success. ..." - IM Jeremy Silman (December 27, 2018)

"... In order to maximize the benefits of [theory and practice], these two should be approached in a balanced manner. ... Play as many slow games (60 5 or preferably slower) as possible, ... The other side of improvement is theory. ... This can be reading books, taking lessons, watching videos, doing problems on software, etc. ..." - NM Dan Heisman (2002)
"... If it’s instruction, you look for an author that addresses players at your level (buying something that’s too advanced won’t help you at all). This means that a classic book that is revered by many people might not be useful for you. ..." - IM Jeremy Silman (2015)
Here are some reading possibilities that I often mention:
Simple Attacking Plans by Fred Wilson (2012)
Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev (1957)
The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by Irving Chernev (1965)
Winning Chess by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld (1948)
Back to Basics: Tactics by Dan Heisman (2007)
Discovering Chess Openings by GM John Emms (2006)
Openings for Amateurs by Pete Tamburro (2014)
Chess Endgames for Kids by Karsten Müller (2015)
A Guide to Chess Improvement by Dan Heisman (2010)
Studying Chess Made Easy by Andrew Soltis (2009)
Seirawan stuff:


"... Sure, fast games are fine for practicing openings (not the most important part of the game for most players) and possibly developing decent board vision and tactical 'shots', but the kind of thinking it takes to plan, evaluate, play long endgames, and find deep combinations is just not possible in quick chess. … for serious improvement ... consistently play many slow games to practice good thinking habits. ... I know that a large percentage of my readers almost exclusively play on the internet - after all, you are reading this on the internet, right!? But there is a strong case for at least augmenting internet play with some OTB play, whether in a club or, better yet, a tournament. ... I would guess that players who have never played OTB usually gain 50-100 points of playing strength just from competing in their first long weekend tournament, assuming they play five or more rounds of very slow chess. ... Don't have two day? Try a one-day quad (a round-robin among four similarly rated players). … about 100 slow games a year is a reasonable foundation for ongoing improvement. ... Can't make 100? Then try for 60. If you only play three or fewer tournaments a year and do not play slow chess regularly at a club (or on-line, where G/90 and slower play is relatively rare), then do not be surprised that you are not really improving. ..." - NM Dan Heisman (2002)



I use an engine and also do usually talk to my opponents afterwards and I do play for fun thanks for the help