I'm an adult and I've been playing for a bit over 2 years on chess.com. My rating started at around 800. By playing thousands of blitz games and doing a little post-game analysis/opening review, I was able to get to 1400 in Nov. 2019. However, I struggled to push much farther this year. However, this month I started solving puzzles - maybe 20 per day or so - and gained about 200 rating points. It's crazy.

Are there any other levers like this one that a beginner should know about?

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1 Answer 1


The easiest way to improve at almost any stage is hiring a good coach (not one that plays well, but one that caoches well, which is often cheaper)

While tactics should be the main focus of your training at this point, there are other types of exercises you can do. "Systematic Chess Training" by Sergiu Samarian is a great book that combines different types of exercises, but it's probably a bit too hard for you right now. "Modern Chess Planning" by Efstratios Grivas could be a more adequate alternative. There's also a couple of books by Jacobo Caselas "Entrena tu juego estratégico", but I'm not sure if there's an English translation available.

Grivas's book contains 75 games where you must choose a plan at a critical stage of each of them. The game continues with a detailed analysis. The other books I mentioned are essentially strategy teaching manuals that contain a lot of exercises.

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