For the last few months, I have been reading "How To Reassess Your Chess (I expected at least this book to work), "Simple Chess," "The Art Of Attack," some ending book, "Modern Chess Strategy," etc. I was not practicing at all, and now I have started to play against the Fritz computer, which has a rating of 1450. I am losing most of the time in the opening and blundering in the middlegame sometimes. I have not read any opening books as I have heard that only after a 2000 rating you should memorize openings (I know the basic setups). I just don't understand. People say doing lots of puzzle increases tactical awareness and reduces blunders. But I am still making mistakes with 2-3 move blunders. What did I do wrong? I have only played about 120 chess games sp far.

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    The "wisdom" that you should start studying openings at 2000 is one of the worst out there. What they mean is you should not study 35 moves of Marshall Attack theory at low level because you probably will not get it. You still should study the core ideas of the opening, what threats you make and what threats your opponent makes, what middle games come about from the opening. Knowing the opening (not necessarily memorizing) will make you blunder less in the opening and you will know what the middlegames are about and you might blunder less.
    – B.Swan
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 13:43
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    "I have started to play against the Fritz computer." This indicates to me that you have not been playing for some time. If I take a break from playing, even if I solve puzzle during this time, I come back rusty and make more blunders that usual. Perhaps you are having the same issue.
    – Akavall
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 15:38
  • Yeah,i have not played in months!
    – bretlee
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 15:50
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    I'd try luck against humans online rather than a computer (you'll improve more by playing a wide range of different opponents). Anyway it sounds to me like you are losing based on tactics rather than opening or anything else. Keep working on those puzzles
    – David
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 7:26
  • Computer play is not at all like human play, even a weakened computer. The profile of its weaknesses will be drastically different than a human player of the same rating. It may drift with utter meaninglessness and just wait for you to blunder, which it will catch every time. Humans do not do this.
    – BaseZen
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 20:22

3 Answers 3


Perhaps so called theoretical knowledge has no real use.

You should ask why your rating/ability has not been improving.

At only 120 games you are a total beginner. I presume you meant online games. If those were actual OTB tournament games then you need to switch to checkers.

You need to play less and study more effectively. Just playing games will not help you very much and is a very slow way to improve.

You MUST learn two openings COLD no matter your rating. One for white and one for black.

You will need to do effective tactics training. Most online trainers are not done to help you learn efficiently. There are some, not a lot, books that are better.

You need to study GM tournament games. Play over every game by every player. You will get a feel for what good moves are and which are not so good.

Best if you do not play all the games then at least play all the games for W/B that used your preferred opening. None of them did? Maybe you need to pick a better opening.

Learn endgames! If you get that far you will be surprised how many high rated players are clueless about what to do. If you know them then you will beat a lot of players with lower ratings if you get to the endgame. Did I mention to learn openings and play GM games to get a feel for good moves?

After that you need to move to strategy and positional play so you will keep improving. Tactics will help you beat the slash and burn attack at all cost kiddies, but playing good players who do not do that will require positional understanding.

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    "then you need to switch to checkers" This may be perceived as elitist...perhaps a rephrase is in order? Commented May 14, 2021 at 14:42

The other answers are focusing on openings but that's not at all the reason why you're stuck at your level. You've pretty much asked your own question: you keep making blunders. No matter how deep your strategical knowledge is, you won't get anything from it if you hang a piece, no matter how badly you'd been dominating your opponent before.

I'd suggest you to stop caring about more nouanced strategic ideas and pay attention to just the "interactions" between pieces. When you're finally able to keep track of who is attacking/defending whom and calculate the consequences of some forced moves (checks, captures, threats...), go back to the more abstract stuff.


The easy solution is to learn a system - i.e., London System; King's Indian Defence; etc. Look through a few setups and weigh the pros and cons. Then, pick 2 - one for the d-pawn opening and one for the e-pawn opening. Play around 50 games with this system to get the hang of it. I'll leave you to work the rest out.

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    This is not at all a solution to the problem that's being discussed
    – David
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 15:30

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