people reccomend endgame study starting out, but not sure its doable without first learning tactics. when mildly profficient with tactics learn about middle game strategy. once youve learned enough basics in those areas to be around intermediate level,(maybe even before then.) im now a strong advocate(along with some strong players.) of studying master games by covering up the winning moves and pretending its you playing, play the move you would make, then compare with the move played before reading the annotation, if any, and play the move uncovered and repeat till the game is finished. there are variations of this methought(writing down your annalysys, or not playing your own move but just playing through them slowly.) but i like this one for its convenience, and i like how with annotated games its like having a former world champion comment on your play. jeremy silman and c.j.s. purdy(first world correspondence chess champion.) reccomend studying master games as a failproof way to improve. other things for improving are annotating and anylysing your own games, trying to get rid of mistakes in your play(or causes of them.). especially useull in this regard is haveing a chess coach who will go over the annotations with you and help you learn from mistakes in judgement etc. a tom rowan site i was given a link to had articles on these methods i think.