From 0 to 1600 ELO in Chess! [Ultimate Blueprint]
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Complete Guide to Reach 1600 ELO in Chess

Complete Guide to Reach 1600 ELO in Chess

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Are you ready to elevate your chess game and reach that coveted 1600 ELO rating? Look no further! As a grandmaster with over 15 years of coaching experience, I’ve distilled the essential strategies that will help you skyrocket your rating.

This lesson is your ultimate blueprint, divided into two parts. From mastering the fundamentals to unleashing devastating attacks, you’ll learn the key steps to reach 1600 ELO. Ready to take your chess skills to new heights? Let’s dive in! Don’t forget to watch the full video tutorial for an in-depth guide.

Below, you can find the examples shown in the video:

Part 1: From 0 to 1000 ELO

1) Fundamental Chess Strategy

First, you have to learn the crucial chess strategy to set a strong foundation for your game. No more memorizing random rules—understand the big picture! For example, grasp the concept of controlling the center and developing your pieces to active squares, maximizing their power.

Ideally, you want to reach a position like the one below after the opening stage, where your pieces are developed, controlling the center, and the king is castled:

increase chess rating

2) Learn the Basic Chess Openings

Get a head start by grasping a few simple chess openings. You’ll see how these concepts align with your overall strategy. For instance, the Italian Game offers a solid opening for beginners, promoting quick development and easy control of the center.

increase chess rating

3) Notice Threats and Captures

Avoid blunders and elevate your tactical vision by solving puzzles that sharpen your awareness of potential attacks. Recognizing simple threats like capturing an unprotected piece or setting up forks becomes second nature with practice.

For example, in this game between two players rated 600, White played Nc3 to attack the d5-pawn instead of noticing that the pawn is already hanging.

increase chess rating

Part 2: From 1000 to 1600 ELO

1) Study Educational Chess Content

Trade entertainment for education. Immerse yourself in instructional content to gain deeper insights into positional chess.

increase chess ratingFor example, in this position after Black played 8…Be6, offering an exchange of the bishops, White played 9.Bb3, which is a positional error. Because Black can damage the White’s pawn structure after 9…Bxb3 10.cxb3.

increase chess ratingBy understanding pawn weaknesses, backward pawns, and other strategic concepts, you’ll make informed moves that solidify your position.

2) Learn to Attack

Develop an attacking style and unleash devastating moves to keep your opponents on their toes. Think aggressively, like a barbarian on the battlefield, seeking opportunities to deliver checkmates, execute tactical combinations, and disrupt your opponent’s defense.

increase chess ratingIn the following position, White exchanged the bishop with 8.Bxc5, instead of the aggressive 8.Bxg7. This shows White’s lack of attention and the ability to find aggressive moves.

3) Notice Your Opponent’s Attacking Moves

Develop the ability to anticipate your opponent’s attacking moves and counter them effectively to avoid costly blunders.

increase chess ratingIn the above position, Black wanted to avoid ruining their pawn structure after 14.Bxc6 bxc6 and therefore played 13…Na5. However, Black did not think about their opponent’s attacking response 14.b4, which forks the minor pieces.

By studying positions from your opponent’s perspective and solving puzzles from their viewpoint, you’ll become better at predicting their plans. I call it “Look before you leap”.


Becoming a 1600 ELO-rated chess player is not an impossible dream. With the right approach, you’ll steadily advance towards your goal. In Part 1, we discussed about mastering the fundamentals, from understanding strategic principles to learning basic openings and developing tactical vision.

In Part 2, we discussed about adopting an attacking mindset, studying positional chess, and learned to think like your opponent, becoming a force to be reckoned with on the chessboard.

Remember, consistency and continuous learning are key. Watch the full video lesson to deepen your understanding and enhance your chess skills even further. It’s time to embark on an exciting journey—one that will lead you to the elite world of 1600 ELO chess players. Good luck and happy gaming!

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want GM Igor Smirnov to help you get better at chess, watch this Masterclass.

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