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What is the difference in mindset or technique that really makes the difference between an expert and a master? I am trying to decide whether or not to start playing again and try to make that leap.

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lol, I can't make it to "A". – Tony Ennis Jan 13 '13 at 18:04

To become a master from expert, I think having a mentor is the most important factor. I know personaly a chess player who got elo rating from 2000 to 2300 with a well-known mentor from Switzerland.

Moreover, I think knowing theory and playing against very good players (2400+) can really help.

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I once wrote a blog post about becoming a master; several themes seemed crucial:

  • Playing regularly in tournaments
  • Doing it while you are young
  • Keeping in mind that the effort required per 100 points of ELO increases the higher you go. That applies "across the board" - endgames, openings, etc.
  • Having a "mentor" (not the same as "coach")

If you have not played for while though, you might first want to make sure you are still as good as you were before stopping.

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Link to the blog post ? Also, I'm not sure how this applies more to 2000 → 2400 than to 1400 → 1800… – Nikana Reklawyks Jan 14 '13 at 0:03

I would definitely invest in a chess teacher, it will be worth your while, If you are poor this doesn't work, sorry.

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