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I'm currently a 1600 chess player. I have managed to increase my rating this year by 200 points. I have trouble winning against Class A chess players. I have really good and close games, yet I still lose. What can I do this year to improve and become stronger. I have read chess books like Amateur's Mind and Silman's Complete Endgame book. These books have helped me increase my rating by 200 points. What other books or training do you recommend?

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    1) Tactics tactics tactics. and 2) get an instructor rated at least 400 points above you. – Tony Ennis Sep 10 '15 at 3:23
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    I would also council patience. I remember Yasser Seirawan writing that he would study for a year and a half without gaining a point and then one day wake up 150 points stronger than the day before. – Diisciiple Sep 14 '15 at 17:34
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    Easy. Beat all other class B players. – SmallChess Oct 13 '15 at 6:49
  • Learn to play blindfold chess maybe ;) – user10228 May 8 '16 at 14:18
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I recommend simply playing rapid games, or longer, and a post mortem analysis with computers and self analysis. Playing games against stronger players is desired if possible. I recommend starting to learn some opening theory and form a good repertoire. Whatever your opponents play, you should have a response that you enjoy. You say that you are good at playing closed games. I would rub against your wound here and advice you to play open games. Open games also helps on your tactics, which everyone will tell you is important.

  • I think he said close as in near. But the advice about playing open games is still invaluable. – Mike Jones May 9 '16 at 4:44
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I had a very similar problem actually: I picked up (from 1635) 135 points in one tournament and after that tournament I had a hard time playing at that level. Here was how I maintained that rating-

1) start focusing your attention to openings and which is most COMFORTABLE for you to play. This will help suit your style best and allow you to play better games (in many cases)

2) Study tactics; the less stupid mistakes the better

3) Analyse all mistakes in the games that you lose, and look for patterns. If a specific idea is what is ruining your games, focus on that EXACT concept.

That is the strategy for maintaining my rating after that 'fantastic' tournament.

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You have "really good and close games, and yet you still lose." These are the games to focus on.

Get a "better" player, at least "A," probably expert or master to comment on your close games, point out where you went wrong and lost, and point out missed opportunities that you may have had to win. Turning a bunch of "close games" from losses to wins will probably do more for you rating than anything else.

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There are plenty of people who will help you if you allow them to view you games. This is easiest on lichess, especially since they have a free computer analysis. After finding your weaknesses, you will be able to improve the fastest.

The best general book is Alekhine's Best Games. Alekhine is(was) one of the best players, and his annotations explain plenty in everyday nglish.

Some GM said that experts think the most, as masters rely more on intuition than calculating variations. So this plateau should be the hardest to overcome. Good Luck.

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