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Leaps in playing ability

By OTB chess, I didn't mean exclusively going to tournaments (although I think it helps a lot), but basically playing in a real-life environement (which includes club play) rather than online, because the level of dedication is much higher and the emotional involvment ensures better learning, not to mention extra motivation and free lessons from other OTB club players which can save a lot of time.

I think it's difficult (not impossible but...) to become a good player by playing exlusively online.

Chess is a game of many studies and dedication, but above all fun. Enjoy this magnificent game well.

Those are some great answers @back2basics I have been trying to play as many OTB tournaments as I can afford, and it seems to have helped me to adopt new ideas and thinking about favourable endgames etc. Playing in a Club environment has been useful for me up to this point as everyone is "categorized" by approximate strength, so I know who to aim for next.

I am still unsure as to what aspects to be studying, however. I have spent some time trying to understand how to develop positions with the Bishop pair, which seems to have helped, but there are many aspects I need to develop further and it is difficult to know where to start!

I agree about the emotional investment @hicetnunc That is something which cannot be replicated online imo

@SuperMarioWord Something it is easy to forget at times! I have been guilty of this, good advice

Study the endgames. Trust me. Pawn structures is also a must. If you consistently play the same openings then study the pawn structures that arise from those games. And make sure to study the endgames that can also come from the games. I would avoid studying magnus Carlson or any of the top 10 players. Games from the 30s-2000 should suffice if you must study a super GM.
I would try to focus on IM’s or fresh GMs. They are more likely to play in a way that is easier for us mortals to digest. And they can blunder more frequently which allows us to see the positions for what they are.
For example if your studying a game and the engine says whites better by .8 but white is consistently blundering then we can assume the position is actually easier for Black to play who case if the engine says white has an advantage we are not computers.

But the endgames are the best. I studied the slalom defense for white because there are a lot of games that are endgames by move 20 and the pawn structures were almost always identical. This means I can seriously consume the ideas in the positions which king and pawn endings are won. How to draw. Vet.
If you know your endings you can look at a position and say. “ if I trade all of the minor pieces I win this endgame. My queenside is faster and my king can stop his pawns” good luck.

Last thing the point of the middle game for me is to transfer it to an endgame. It’s like a bridge for me. I cross it slowly and once I know I can safely make it across I make that final step. (Which is trading into the pawn endgame. And make sure you know the basic endgame techniques. I have won way to many games on lichess that were drawn or that I should have lost but my opponents didn’t know how to get opposition or how to triangulate. Study 5-10 tactic problems a day if you do this I promise you will see a huge jump in your play by 6 months. It’s scary. Looking at your rating you should be 2000-2100 in 6 months on here ez.

Blitz makes the good better and the bad worse.

(sry, wrong thread, but a copy fits here as well ;) )

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