How to increase your rating in online chess

Hi, today I will show you how you can increase your rating in online chess platforms like chess.com/lichess/chess24 (or any other online platform), let’s dive into this.

First, I’ll show you how, I gained almost 900 points on chess.com in just a year. (September 2020 -2021)

You can check my id Anantpanwar99 for more stats.

You can also do the same, you have already taken the first step which is the willingness (as you are here), these are some genuine ways to increase your rating -:

  1. Tactics

You must have heard that chess is 99% tactics, although this is an exaggerated statement it highlights the importance of tactics in chess, especially if your rating is less than 1500. Believe me, you can increase your rating by 100-200 points just by practicing tactics.

(1). How to solve tactics.

Now, there is a lot of discussion about “What’s the best way to solve tactics?”.

All the super coaches like GM RB Ramesh and Jacob Aagard have a piece of common advice which is to set up the tactics on a board and think without moving the pieces, when you do all the calculations in your head it also improves your Visualization skills. It’s also practical because you are going to play with boards on OTB (over the board) tournaments for FIDE ratings (it’s more fun playing over the board).

Now, you must have a question – It’s time-consuming, to set up a board again & again for every tactic, what’s about doing tactics on online platforms like lichess?

The answer to your question is – Yes, it is time-consuming but solving tactics by using a physical board with the proper method is worth it in the long term. Now, in this internet age using online tools is very common and resourceful, it’s perfectly okay to solve tactics online just some advice – “Don’t throw random moves and guesses, try to calculate the lines, improving calculation is our aim whether we do with using an actual board or with our silicone friends. It’s all about being truthful to ourselves, whichever method we use.”

(2). Resources for tactics.

While you can rely on a hybrid of both online and offline tactics training, you can also try some tactic books which have human picked problems categorized with different themes and difficulties i.e., Susan Polgar’s – Tactics for champions or Yasser Sierwan’s – chess brilliancy, Jhon Nunn’s – Learn chess tactics is a good one for intermediate players.

They can give you a well-structured plan and explain tactical motifs as well in comparison to computer-made tactics which can be from any random theme (plus point) but not as efficient as them in pattern recognition, although for my online friends lichess and chess.com both offer custom puzzle section where you can select the themes on your own to practice and master them. (Chesstempo is often regarded as one of the best apps for tactics training).

one of my fav. tactical book on motifs
  • Learn Basic endgames.

Learning basic endgames are necessary for the improvement of a player irrespective of their choices to study them or not. For example – you will lose most of your pawn endings if you don’t know the concept of opposition in hand or calculating a pawn race will confuse your brain in an endgame with time trouble without the square rule.

More than that have you ever noticed a thing about top players that they don’t lose quite often the secret is – firstly, their evaluation of the position is very precise, they know when to defend and then they took it into an endgame where winning chances are very low , such Rook- pawn endings are very famous for that where having one less pawn is not a big issue and game can be easily drawn.

Apart, from that, all the World chess champions have one thing in common which is their endgame strength (Do you remember the Magnus vs Nepo Game 6 in the 2020 World chess championship) some of them are exceptionally well in endgames like Capablanca, Magnus Carlsen while others are also better than their peers in their times.


TOI- refers his endgame play as ROBOTICS.

“In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame.” –Jose Rouse Capablanca ( 3rd world chess champion).

Endgames are also very useful in training calculation as there are fewer pieces on the board, visualization becomes better, and one can use endgames to train to calculate longer lines as well.

Some books on endgames – Silman’s complete endgame manual, it has chapters based on your level from basic to expert level all in one , it’s one of the classic of this era.

100 endgames you must know by Jesus de la Villa is the competitor of the above book as the name suggest it contains 100 chapters on endgames which includes the basic and some advance one’s too.

  • Improve your Middlegame (positional understanding).

Middlegame broadly have two components – Tactics and strategy. As, we have already discussed about the tactics part. In this section, we will talk about some strategy / positional understanding.

Now, you’ve developed your pieces and heading towards middlegame, but don’t know what to do next?

Here is the answer for you –: You don’t have to do something extraordinary like the Avengers, just follow the fundamental concepts/advice of the game.


  1. Improving the positioning of your own pieces is one of the most important principles of chess.
  2. Coordinating your pieces towards a plan. (Tip-: improving the worst-placed piece)
  3. Preventing the opponent’s threats/strongest ideas (Tip -: using prophylactic moves)
  4. Create weakness in opponent’s camps while try to eliminate yours.

     

SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES —

  1. Other things being equal, the side that controls more space on the board has an advantage.
  2. Control of the centre is generally considered important because tactical battles often take place around the central squares, from where pieces can access most of the board. Centre control allows more movement and more possibility for attack and defence.
  3. In the endgame, passed pawns, unhindered by enemy pawns from promotion, are strong, especially if advanced or protected by another pawn.
  4. Since knights can easily be chased away by pawn moves, it is often advantageous for knights to be placed in holes in the enemy position as outposts—squares where they cannot be attacked by pawns. Such a knight on the fifth rank is a strong asset.
  5. A fianchettoed bishop, e.g. at g2 after pawn g2–g3, can provide a strong defence for the castled king on g1 and often exert pressure on the long diagonal h1–a8. After a fianchetto, giving up the bishop can weaken the holes in the pawn chain; doing so in front of the castled king may thus affect its safety.

In an open position with action on both sides of the board, the bishop tends to be stronger because of its long range. This is especially true in the endgame; if passed pawns race on opposite sides of the board, the player with a bishop usually has better winning chances than a player with a knight.


6.In middlegames and endgames with a passed pawn, Tarrasch’s rule states that rooks, both friend and foe of the pawn, are usually strongest behind the pawn rather than in front of it.

7. Although powerful, the queen is also easily harassed. Thus, it is generally wise to wait to develop the queen until after the knights and bishops have been developed to prevent the queen from being attacked by minor pieces and losing tempo.

8. During the middle game, the king is often best protected in a corner behind its pawns. Such a position for either of the players is often achieved by castling by that player. If the rooks and queen leave the first rank (commonly called that player’s back rank), however, an enemy rook or queen can checkmate the king by invading the first rank, commonly called a back-rank checkmate. Moving one of the pawns in front of the king (making a luft) can allow it an escape square but may weaken the king’s overall safety otherwise. One must therefore wisely balance between these trade-offs.

The king can become a strong piece in the endgame. With reduced material, a quick checkmate becomes less of a concern, and moving the king towards the centre of the board gives it more opportunities to make threats and actively influence play. This is one of the most important concepts in endgames often games are decided by king activity, even many intermediate players know this concept but do not apply. Hence, it’s more important to apply what we learn (bcz we are not an encyclopaedia, we are the artists and our art is chess).

Although there’s a lot to learn in chess, this is enough for a beginner to master and increase their ratings, share your thoughts in comment section . If you like it let me know, I will write another article on the same topic or on something else depending on your feedbacks. It also motivates me to write some content , research for chess .

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6 thoughts on “How to increase your rating in online chess”

  1. Awesome explanation! and I think it covers basics but best advices we all need to know.
    Hoping these useful blogs in future also!

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