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  1. 17 Jan '08 16:59
    I have been slowly starting to play and enjoy this game more and want to get better. I know an opening or two and a defense or two but nothing beyond a few moves. I have limited knowledge of strategy and tactics. My rating improvement is based on playing mostly against those with lower ratings. Am I at a level where my play can benefit from beginning to study openings and some of the things better players do to improve their games? Or do I need to work on more basic things first?
  2. 17 Jan '08 17:36
    I'd say do tactics, tactics, tactics. It's good to understand a few basic opening principles, but not worth the effort to study openings if you're below 1500. This seems as a good site after a little glance - If you're feeling good, then this site allows you to solve timed problems - - pretty much like game situations. Or get a book on tactics. About openings and endings start worrying when you reach at least 1500-1600.

    I hope that helps.
  3. 17 Jan '08 18:55 / 1 edit
    Don't neglect tactics. But if you focus on them exclusively then don't expect any miracles either. You may become a fine tactician but without a knowledge of the other elements you'll have a hard time ever creating the kinds of positions they arise in (as they don't simply appear magically out of thin air); this is especially true if your knowledge of the opening is so poor that you have to expend your energy trying to hold together a terrible position.

    Study all the elements if you really hope to improve. I'm not going to elaborate any further on this because I've done so countless times already in many of the dozens of threads that exist on this subject. You might want to put some energy digging around this forum a bit and reading through some of the hundreds of posts that have already been created on this subject.
  4. 17 Jan '08 19:05
    tactics, learn how to conduct a kingside attack, a few of the 'romantic openings' and study the games of paul morphy.
  5. 18 Jan '08 00:04
    Thanks Kb, the numbers help give me an idea of what to work on and thanks to everyone else too.