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gibo 142 ( +1 | -1 )
How to get out of a plateau I first went in an adult tournament (with time limits of 1hour or more) when i was 14 I was rated 1196 which was a year ago and this has been my best tournament to date, even though i have been playing in adult tournaments every 3 weeks since then for a year now. At that tournament i had a australian chess federation performance rating of 1895 (or there abouts), but i got very lucky three wins were just because of horrible blunders my opponents made in time trouble when they had won positions. At that tournament i had no idea what i was doing in the openings or general strategies have how to play after there. Now my australian chess federation rating is 1574 to put this into perspective thats equal to about 1800 fide. Anyway for about the last 7 months or so i have gone in tournaments and performed between 1500-1600 and seemed to of reached a plateau. Its difficult to see other junior improve while i haven't really.
I am reading more books my interest is still high and i recently got a coach (i've had for about 3 months now), my openings have improved but are still not perfect. I have plenty of software and am able to regularly look up openings but i still haven't seemed to improve. Should i just be patient? Its getting quite frustrating. Will i just improve with experience? Suggestions anyone?
spurtus 105 ( +1 | -1 )
Try endgame study.

Endgame technique apparently can have the most instant turn around on your rating.

OK your endgame technique might already be pretty good, but there is always new stuff to practice and study. Its a vast topic that few master.

Another thing to say for endgame study, the more confident you are with endgame, the more confident your whole game can be, you could even consider risky middlegame traps, if they dont come off at least you have better than average chance in the endgame even if down on material.

Finally, a good way to practise endgame, is to simply randomise some pieces on a board and play your computer at its highest level. See what result you can achieve and then match your computer versus itself, and see what you probably should have done. A computer with a good 'tablebase' is best to play, since it will perform the ending perfectly up to with about up to a maximum of 5 pieces on the board.

peppe_l 144 ( +1 | -1 )
Just my two cents... (Please note - I am not a strong player and I havent really studied chess for years...and even then I pretty much played trough some master games and thats it :-)))

It sounds like you are spending lots of time for openings...?

As far as I know studying tactics, endgames and playing trough (annotated) master games is the key to improvement at amateur level. At least here in Finland we have many 1800 (about 1800 FIDE?) players who have no clue what theory says after move 3, but they are 1800+ because they know more important areas of chess (tactics, endgames) well enough.

Heck, even our two young grandmasters used to play stuff like 1.a3 and whoop FMs and IMs in tactics and endgames (not to forget positional play).

Ok I am no more than a patzer but so far I have _never_ heard of a player who gives honing openings a rest and 1) studies tactics 2) studies endgames 3) plays trough (annotated) master games BUT asks why he isnt improving...

Personally I am a patzer mainly because my tactical skills are poor and I am too lazy to study a good puzzle book :-)

So, if I - eternal beginner - can give a suggestion, try spending 3 months only for tactics books, endgame books and good game collection books. Forget openings completely! After 3 months, play in a tournament to test have you improved?

Yours sincerely

wreimann 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Try Nimzowitsch's books on middle and Shereshevsky's books on endgame, they are very good for players your level. Second it sounds to me that u are more buzy with yourself and your counterpart and rating and.... during the game. You won 3 lost games because your opponents couldnt stand the heat. Compare your own attitude through that games to the way u worry now and u'll experience another (little) boost.
wreimann 69 ( +1 | -1 )
myself, i first experienced a difficult time when i tried to use the extractions from Nimzowitsch's books, but then after a while when they get into your blood, they really push your understanding of chess to another level. At the beginning its hard to grab, but when u stay focussed, you start understanding his way of playing which is very succesfull specially against todays "whippersnappers" who only like to attack and have big opening knowledge. He makes u think deeply from the first moves, which is not "en vogue" today, but still and again very succesfull. Lateron Lasker's games are without a price for your OWN chess thinking
gibo 7 ( +1 | -1 )
hi thanks for the comments i think i might get a good tactics book.
gibo 26 ( +1 | -1 )
i think it is good to practise openings as previously i had no idea what i was doing in them and would always come out worse in postions very difficult to turn around. I'm currently reading "My system" which should help. Thanks for all comments.