I am in top 10% of classical players. Does it mean I am good?
puzzle rating with unlimited time to solve them doesnt mean anything.
i got up to 2340 puzzle rating once still im struggling to get over 1400 blitz rating.
#21 1200 is upper 10%? Had no idea. Then what is 2000?
And “good” is a relative term. Good compared to whom? :P
I am very bad compared to @Kusokosla . In blitz and bullet he is better than 95% of players. My equipment and brain are too slow. In classical time control I am somehow better than 90% of players. It means most players have not reached 2000. But, compared to 3000, @Kusokosla is weak and is very unlikely to ever win any blitz or bullet trophies or shields.
just choose some sound opening, look for ideal squares for each piece, the habitual pawnbreaks, more common tactics and more common strategies about 50 games well analysed.
after you can play against a engine all ideias you think you can understand. For example, I'm studying how play against modern benoni. I have a TODO-list after initial moves: something like 'plan e5 push, use b4 push like a alternative, avoid black ocupation on e5, plan black bishop exchange, and so...'. Now, I can try that things against a engine, looking for initiative, if the engine play clever moves and I get worst dont survivor from middlegame, I should understand where I'm getting lost and why! You can ask for some strong player or you can use the engine ideas against itself to see how the engine play with white against that plan...
After 30 days playing the same opening against engine (using takeback, you are not playing, you are making a dynamic\active analysis!) I think you are prepared to play against any player.
Howrever, the main ideas you need learn from some strong players (in books or talk with they). The good news is main ideas are simple and short, in general that is just a TODO-list and a few advices, not too much complex... Complex is the calculation process, you need put in the board that ideas without lost your queen ou get checkmated lol!
for example, look for this Giri comments:
"(...) Here I did not remember the exact moves of my analysis, but it's always fun to calculate when you know you're on the right track ..."
That is, these analysis sessions against the engine will give you ideas and insights and if in the game you forget the moves you will have to calculate again, but the most important you already have, that is the certainty that going in that direction is the best way to deal with that particular position.
Obviously this will be bad if it is not a classic match or if your computing power is mediocre.
Getting a drawn position is one thing, but note that higher rated players may want to grind on even in drawn positions. They are hoping that eventually you will make a mistake and they can capitalize on that. They are highly likely to refuse a draw in an equal position, provided they have enough time on the clock.
The only way to ensure that higher rated players agree with a draw is to outplay them and have an advantage. (But in that case you would be the one not wanting a draw!)
Alternatively, always keep an eye out for perpetual checks and tactics leading to perpetual check. Even if you sacrifice many pieces, once you reach a perpetual check it is a draw. Once in a while, the 2000 player may accidentally miss such a tactical combo and allow you to perpetual check.