How to get better at chess: Guide for 1800 Elo
For this level, I think the most important aspect is having the right mindset. Why? The world average rating is roughly 1200 Elo, so reaching 1800 Elo means a lot. You should keep on a growth mindset, and choose growth over negativity. Keep telling yourself “I can” and “I will” until you achieve your highest possible level.
Actually, all previous level guide articles will help, but here in the guide for 1800 Elo, we will focus on a bit higher level.
1. Tactics and combinations
We can’t avoid Tactics on any level of chess.
I am adding tactics to all levels of preparation. But preparing tactics for higher levels is a bit different. In reality, you should be able to find deep combinations and tactics where you need to give some time to calculate to find a move. Positions that make you think for 10-20 minutes to find the answer is good for now. If you write down all your calculations then it will be even better.
2. Positional understanding
As your level increases, your positional understanding should also grow. At first, you can go for two simple options: guess the moves and study the games of famous positional chess players. You can find them on the Internet. For example, Jose Capablanca, Anatoly Karpov, and Mikhail Botvinnik.
3. Good coach
You can improve on your own but it will take nearly double the hard work. Having a good coach is a real power-saver as it helps you analyze, train, improve, and prepare for games better.
4. Hard work
You should start playing for many hours per day. The ideas are different for each player, but generally, this level players should give 6 to 8 hrs. If it isn’t possible, then the only option left is to give as much time as you can. And one more important thing is to use your newly learned skill to remember it well.
You can divide your time between study and practice. You can watch paid/free content on the internet as much as possible. I also suggest reading books but without the board. At this level, players can do this I guess. It will improve your visualization skills.
5. Element of surprise
Add the element of surprise. Your opponent should not able to guess your moves, after all, surprise works psychologically. So, choose some surprising moves in your opening or middle game. The endgame is purely based on calculations but you may surprise the opponent in pre-endgame positions.
For example, in the Sicilian Najdorf variation, the Rc8 move is common but sometimes Kasparov played Rb8 surprisingly. Sometimes he avoided castling or even castled queenside.
6. Chess patterns
Study patterns as much as possible. Once you know the pattern, your calculation work gets saved as you recognize patterns. Strong players study thousands of patterns in their chess carrier also, and they keep updating it lifetime.
Develop prophylaxis thinking. Know what the opponent is planning to do and restrict his plans.
8. Collect Grandmaster Game
Collect knowledge-based grandmaster games. Games collection should teach you something. Like, collect some Grandmaster games with the same opening you play, or the same playing style of games, or some particular endings that you face.
9. Next level opening repertoire
Keep updating the opening repertoire with new ideas. One of the best ideas to check your opening preparation is to play a practice game with the grandmaster or any strong-titled player. You can pay them to play or some titled players play for free with others during streaming online.
Сheck if you can cross opening faze right and get a comfortable middle position against Grandmaster – then you are going good. Also, you can buy opening videos/text courses, and books and keep studying them.
Another key point, this can be game-changing for any sports player. You are going to need it. After all, Long hrs of preparation, as well as mental or physical stress you will take in tournaments – your body and mind should be ready for this.
It can be gym workouts, yoga, meditation, etc. You need to keep your body and mind in the best condition. Also, one needs a good diet for fitness. Make sure you are not lacking any vitamins, fluid levels, biochemical cell salts, or tissue salt. These things worked surprisingly in my experience. You can consult some experts from related fields.
11. Books suggestion
Written by, Artur Yusupov
1. Build up your Chess 1
2. Boost Your Chess 1
3. Chess Evolution 1
4. Revision and Exam 1
5. Build up your Chess 2
6. Boost your Chess 2
7. Chess Evolution 2
8. Build up your Chess 3
9. Boost Your Chess 3
10. Chess Evolution 3
Hence, for individuals searching on How to get better at chess, This guide for 1800 Elo must consider the various details mentioned above. Along with all these, one should always ensure to practice well in fact he should use planning in real games.