I'm a hobby chess player with a rating of about 2050 FIDE. I would like to get to 2300 in the long run, but I don't have too much time on my hands, since I'm a busy university student and I also have other interests. What I'm looking for is some kind of training plan that I can follow and that will eventually pay off. That comes with a few questions, of course. 1. What should I train? 2. How much should I train each week? Each week, I have about 4-5 hours available for chess training. My current idea is that I spend most of that on tactics, and some of it on reading chess books on strategy. What do you think?

  • 2
    I've found these related posts to be helpful: for a bare minimum work routine, on how to approach tactics problems and specifically for endgames (which you should definitely study hard if you want to cross that rating barrier) you may find these recommendations useful (bottom section of the answer), and all the related links therein. Good luck!
    – user929304
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 9:48
  • closed as primarily opinion-based, has some useful answers: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/23064/…
    – Herb
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 20:05
  • What is wrong with opinion-based questions? Every possible humanly conceivable question is opinion-based!
    – David
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 7:25
  • I think the fastest way to improve (especially if you're pressed for time) is to get a good coach. But obviously that doesn't substitute for putting in your own work or doing what you can to maximize the coaching.
    – ktm5124
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


Once you've reached a skill level like that one you have, it really depends on what you current flaws are!

The first step should be a deep analysis of your games (I mean a real self-made analysis, not checking what Stockfish thinks of each position) Try to find the reasons why you lose the games you lose.

But, in general, for a 200+ rating point increase, you will have to work to some extent on all aspects of your game, with tactics and strategy (static and dynamic) being most important, but I'd also have a look at fundamental endgame theory as wel as build a solid opening repertoire.

Also, is it a possibility to hire a coach?

Good luck!


4-5 hours a week:

Go over GM games nightly as if you are playing. They need to be well annotated -- preferably by one of the players.

Do puzzles when you have a minute here or there.

Book recommendations:

  • Symslovs 125 Selected Games
  • Karpov's 100 Best Games
  • The Test of Time by Kasparov
  • Fire on Board by Shirov and my favorite
  • Life and Games of Tal by Tal

for puzzles pick up 1001 winning chess combinations by Reinfeld.

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