Leaps in playing ability

What do you guys think are the most essential motifs you have discovered/learnt that have led to large improvements in your general ability/rating? For example not leaving pieces en prise being a significant cause for improvement.

Only people who have actually taken these leaps are qualified to answer. I can’t seem to make my next leap. For 2 years I remain at my present strength. Let me know the answer @arsenalfanrichi if you ever find it out. It seems like our strengths are similar.

This is precisely why I ask. It is fascinating the different routes players take on their Chess Journey :) Same to you

I have the answer you are looking for! But you may not like it.
When I was 1100 USCF, I wanted really bad to beat the kids at my local chess club. They were around 1400-1500 and maybe 10-15 years old. I was 20.
The first thing I think you need is competition. It's hard to improve if you have nothing to compete against. I spent hours a day researching positions and studying games. learning openings and playing. when I mean hours I mean hours. This was my life for 3-6 months. I went to the club every Friday and played until you closed begging each of the stronger players to play me and to help. (Which they wern't really to interested.) I set up a list of players to beat in order from weakest to strongest After 6 months I beat all of the weaker players and started beating the 1700s Then I went to another tournament and beat a 1200,1400,1700,1923 my rating went from 1100 to 1436, then 3 months later i went to another tournament and went to 1600. After that I decided to add a coach to my routine and I gained 150 points in a year. I am now 1780. So to answer your question. The secret formula is to study none stop for months and dedicate yourself to this.

@back2basics What a great answer! I agree. However, which hours that you spent had the biggest impact? Just competition?

I have no idea but when I looked online it seems knowledge of board patterns (1) is important. On top of that one should be able to visualize (2) the board.

If these 2 things are specifically trained might they help us improve faster?

Passion. Straight and simple. You need to love the game and the feeling of victory to get ahead in this game. I was shit in 2013, stopped playing for a few years and came back in 2016, filled with boredom and a lust for competition, and since then I've been "skyrocketing" to where I am now. I'm still shit, but less grainier. (lol!) But others might give you more qualified answers.

Competition for sure. Each time the kids beat me and laughed because I was old and they were winning made me so mad. If I did not have so many obstacles to overcome I would not have progressed so fast in a year and a half.
More important was that each mile stone I set was reachable. For example the first person on my list was a 1300. Next was a 1400, then there was a 1420ish player but he was around my age and they said he studied a lot. So I made sure to make each step hard but not impossible. and last on my like was a russian lawyer named konstantine. He was 1700 but he played chess in college and he beat even the 1900s he was no joke. but I had to beat all the other people first. I should note the stronger player was a guy who was 2188 and I never beat him and he stopped showing up. So there are still challenges for me.

OTB chess is great and no one can disagree at the numerous advantages.
But there are a few downsides.First money. OTB tournaments cost money and a good amount. Lets say you want to gain 400 points. well you better get rich quick if you only doing OTB. Whats more important is the time control you play and what you do after the tournament. For example after Each game (at the club) i would review them and analyze them at home (I didn't know how to get an engine so I did it on my own) And I came up with some crazy ideas but more importantly I understood the positions better then poping on stock fish and see Nxf8 wins. darn... I missed it. Instead I would find out where things went wrong and why. If your on a budget set goals and overcome each one. This is just as efficient as OTB even better if your follow up is good. @hicetnunc