My current rating is 1200 and I had stopped chess for some time due to school exam pressure.

What steps should I take to increase my rating? I do tactics from chess.com everyday.

Please suggest some books which would help me in tactics, endgames, middlegame.

  • 1
    You will not improve if you don't play actual games and by ONLY studying theory and tactics. I don't know a single person that ever got better by pure deduction of chess theory. It has to be a mix of playing actual games and training. Feb 16 '16 at 22:36
  • Yes I do play online although oI feel playing with someone much better than you always helps. I love doing tactics also along with those mate isn 3 mate in 4 puzzles.One loses a few games then starts adjusting to the way the opponent thinks. Currently I have no one like that around me . Please suggest some books @InfiniteFlashChess which you think are the best for a 1200 elo rated player.
    – geek101
    Feb 17 '16 at 10:56
  • Maybe videos would be good for you since you have hardly any time. Videos are essentially just books just visualized. Watch blitz games by someone. Maybe Chessnetwork or some other youtubers will be able help you there. Blitz games will help you pick up ideas from stronger players. I can verify that this may help you because it increased my rating by 400 points. I am not sure if it will work for you though. Feb 18 '16 at 17:29

I would recommend continuing doing tactics everyday, although at your rating doing tactics that aren't time sensitive would be better. I'd recommend doing the standard tactics on the free site chesstempo.com for unlimited tactics that won't dock you points for taking too long. Also 303 tricky tactics is a nice puzzle book collection of problems that should be right around your level.

As for the best books to increase your rating I'd say The Amateurs Mind and Silman's Complete Endgame Course are both books perfect for helping a club level player like yourself improve quite a bit.

I'd also advise finding a favorite youtube IM/GM to follow. Chess 24, the st Louis chess club, and chess.com all have youtube accounts and put out videos that will benefit you and aren't pure book study. There are also masters who put up videos for their blitz games like cubematter, kingscrusher, chessnetwork, among others that are good to follow. You can get a sense of the kind of moves they play and look for just through seeing enough of their blitz games.

Lastly if you want to talk to a community of chess players give twitch.TV's chess section a look through. You can watch chess streamers and live chat with a decent number of viewers.


Since you use chess.com, you can also try out their very good chess mentor. They are adapted for different rating levels.

I also found mr. Silman's books (like "The Amateur's Mind" for example) to be invaluable. And of course study the classics.


If you have a bias to certain openings, I might get books about those openings. This will help you get better at selected openings but it won't necessarily help your general chess skill.

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