If your chess rating is between 800 and 900 and you want to improve, you’re in the right spot.
A rating of 800 means you’re still learning how to play well. You might be okay when you play with friends, but you won’t do well in local chess contests, not even the ones for beginners. Sometimes, you might win a game or two in the later rounds, but that’s usually it.
But don’t worry, if you want to do better, you don’t have to do something really big. You also don’t have to do all the boring things that people usually do to get better at chess.
By doing a few simple things, you can start getting better than 800.
How To Improve Chess Rating From 800?
You need to play a lot of games and solve tactical puzzles. Basically you need to improve your board vision and try not to hang pieces doing blunders.
Most 800s lose games because of giving away pieces for free or not taking pieces that are up for grab for free. You need to build that board vision of not to hang pieces and punish the hanging pieces of the opponent.
Your current rating places you at a rather modest level. Instead of striving for a master’s rating at this stage you just need to improve your board vision, for which tactical puzzles and playing lots of chess games is enough.
There’s no need to delve into the complexities of in-depth analysis and studying openings at this early point.
Because they won’t be helpful, you’ll forget them. The only thing you need to improve right now is visualizing the board.
At higher levels, like 2000+, players need to do a lot of things to add an additional 100+ ELO to the rating. However, at your current level, such rigorous effort are not needed.
6 Tips For 800 Rated Chess Players:
Follow these 6 tips in every game and you’ll be a 1200-rated player in no time.
1. Be Brave
Don’t play too safely in chess. If you have a feeling that a move will work, play it. If it’s a bad move, you can avoid it in future games, but if it’s a good one, it will boost your confidence.
Just make sure that your moves are not too ambitious, that leaves your king vulnerable. Make sure that your king is safe, and go for the kill.
It is also important to know that a successful attack on the opponent’s king requires at least 2 of your pieces.
If his king is defended by a piece, you will need 3 of yours to attack the opponent king. That’s just the general philosophy of how attacks work in chess.
You can learn many such concepts by following the speed run of Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky.
In the video below you can start from the rating 750:
2. Move with a Plan
In chess, bad plans are better than no plans. Always move the pieces with some goal in your head.
Playing on the clock without any idea behind the moves will only lead to problems.
The thing that will help you a lot in planning good moves is knowing your openings, the more you know an opening, the better you will be ready for the middle-game tactics.
Yes, studying openings at your level is not recommended but you should know the very basic theme of what to do in an opening i.e. develop your minor pieces and don’t let the opponent control the center.
3. Solve Puzzles and Chess Tactics
Puzzles and tactics present excellent opportunities to gain material and ultimately win games.
These opportunities can arise at any stage of the game, whether it be the opening, middle game, or endgame.
Your opponent may make a blunder and lose a piece at any moment, and it’s crucial to be prepared to seize those chances.
In chess, there are 24 distinct types of tactics, and familiarizing yourself with their names can greatly enhance your ability to spot them during your games.
When it comes to puzzles, they are all constructed using the aforementioned 24 types of tactics.
By regularly solving these puzzles, you’ll make significant strides in surpassing the 800 chess rating threshold.
4. Focus On Development
A key principle to keep in mind during the opening phase is to aim for minimal piece movement. By focusing on moving each piece only once, you can establish a solid foundation for your game.
One recommended opening that facilitates easy piece development and central control is the Scotch game.
It is advisable to prioritize the development of all your pieces before considering any second moves, unless a significant tactical opportunity arises.
If you spot a chance to capture an opponent’s vulnerable piece or execute a checkmate against their king, it may be worth deviating from the general guideline of single-piece moves in order to seize the advantageous moment.
5. Castle Early
It’s far safer to have your king on a side of the board rather than in the center. Castle the king whenever the first chance you get, ideally within 5-10 moves.
6. Keep Your Pieces Protected
Always keep your pieces connected to each other. Don’t blunder them by putting them in the center or anywhere on the board where no other piece is guarding it.
If your piece can’t be protected, don’t just blunder it, try to grab an equal material with it or just move it backward somewhere safe.
Is 800 A Good Chess Rating?
If you are playing chess only with friends and family for fun then an 800 chess rating for sure is good, but if your ambition is to play in local tournaments and win more than a few games, you need to be at least at a 1500 level.
So for that case, 800 is a pretty bad chess rating!
Practice makes a person perfect. This phrase holds true even in chess. The more you play, the better your board vision will become.
The tips we have listed above are just a few, but they are sufficient for you to work on and progress to become a higher-rated player.
Once you reach the intermediate level of 1500 and above, you can then incorporate more strategies to become an even stronger player.
For now, the six tips discussed in this article are ample for you to begin with.
Best Chess Sets Under $50: One of the major benefits of on-the-board chess is the ability to improve your vision and the ability to deal with the complexity and emotions of yourself and the opponent, and for this reason, it is important to have a chessboard and pieces at home.
With a budget of $50, you can acquire a chess set that not only improves your overall understanding of the game but also familiarizes you with the fundamental notations used in the game.