If you’re in that 1000–1200 rating range, and you’re trying to quickly add that next set of hundred points, what’s the easiest way to do it? Tactics? Openings? Positional play? All wrong. If you’re in this rating range, you really just need to get out there and play some games. I’d even say tournament play is more important than practice.
- Opponents in this 1000-1200 range, while may seem tough, will make mistakes. Part of being 1400 is just identifying tactical opportunities. Your opponents aren’t Grandmasters, so apply the tactics you’ve learned and the points will come naturally.
- Playing rated play is the best way to identify misunderstandings in your game. For a 1200 rated player, its not expected that you make the best move every move, but that you understand how to follow the basic principles and get respectable positions. Playing in many tournaments will not only test your principals constantly, but it will make your calculation process more efficient, which is critical for your development.
- By reviewing your games, you will identify openings that you need to study. Studying and understanding practical openings is much more important than memorizing loads of theory.
When you’re planning your chess calendar this fall, just remember that the brain is like a muscle. The more you play chess, the more accustomed you will be with each event. Play many rated games and you will improve!