Just hit 2200 Blitz on lichess – 6 months from 2100 and how I got there

# The game that pushed me over 2200!

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[Find mate in 1](https://preview.redd.it/t4zfo98nw7v71.png?width=777&format=png&auto=webp&s=62b215660990e3cdecd5b56b37792990a304b254)

I was smart enough to blunder mate in 1(This was part of my studied openings that I’ve played probably 2 times previously in lichess games), playing d4 struggled in the middlegame and swindled mate in one.

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[Find mate in 1](https://preview.redd.it/244thydow7v71.png?width=772&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d0db424c9a7e7b2f7c8a363d26b145dbad1b80b)

# How I did it:

There wasn’t one single thing that I can attribute to this gain. It was a lot of effort on my end; lots of games, opening preparation, endgame preparation, practicing tactics, reading books, hired a chess coach, started working out again and fixed my internet connection (Was losing games due to timeout that I could have avoided with a more stable connection, this occurred in very few games but it tilted me when I lost a winning position due to connection).

# My progress chart:

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https://preview.redd.it/shu39cisw7v71.png?width=1347&format=png&auto=webp&s=19bc2c0d340a3f0d0ba697248d126fd26a4daf51

[https://lichess.org/@/gorilla_12/perf/blitz](https://lichess.org/@/gorilla_12/perf/blitz)

# Opening Preparation

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https://preview.redd.it/0smgcmjtw7v71.png?width=1032&format=png&auto=webp&s=b20fb24595688c0fa92345bd95fbaa2ef0eeb9b6

1. Identify your weakest openings
2. Lichess opening explorer and analysis / openingtree is great.
3. I personally used my own tool([https://chess-pgn-viewer.web.app/pgnLoader](https://chess-pgn-viewer.web.app/pgnLoader)) to view multiple openings at once to really understand where I needed to focus
4. Find pgn responses to those openings, also remember the names of the openings. It really helps me when I know the name because in my head I start grouping things together under that opening. Ideas, common themes etc.
1. I previously created a tool that automatically found opening responses based on an algorithm: [https://www.reddit.com/r/chess/comments/lzb5yk/a_complete_e4_repertoire/](https://www.reddit.com/r/chess/comments/lzb5yk/a_complete_e4_repertoire/)
2. I’ve refined that tool a lot to get to my current openings and have done videos in part to help me understand them better and remember common traps, I would highly recommend creating your own videos in part just to try and remember things better. If you expose yourself to something in multiple ways you’ll probably remember it a little bit better. My videos are probably not the best and definitely think other streamers do much better.
1. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2eE6BzO_40&t=954s](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2eE6BzO_40&t=954s)
5. Include openings in lichess studies make them private or unlisted. Reference different lichess studies within to organize a large group of openings. This was recommended by my coach and has allowed us to efficiently review games, openings etc. There is a bar in the right hand corner after a game that allows you to immediately add it to a study.
6. Play through the openings. Based on how many I created; the simplest way for me to do it was through chesstempos opening trainer. I tried chessable but it was hard to include 100+ variations in some of them and I personally just liked chesstempos opening trainer better. Note: You can also include endgames in the opening trainer
7. Learn openings based on frequency
1. Added the following to a custom lichess instance to view opening frequency better

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[Custom bar to see white/black game %](https://preview.redd.it/g5x8w3lzw7v71.png?width=1187&format=png&auto=webp&s=3dee6f28363e46bcd2952d9f3d2b11f6abc0feab)

# Books/Tactics/Endgames:

This is honestly an area I really need to improve on still. I’ve done some reading into it; know common rook endgames but spent a lot of my time on tactics. I have some tools I’m planning to make to identify specific weaknesses in endgames to best focus my time, I’ll try to see if I can create something useful for people with this and have been reading Dvoretzky’s endgame manual. Note: a lot of people recommend against Dvoretzky’s at my level still and they are probably right. However, for whatever reason it’s my favorite book and I’ve spent many hours perusing and trying to ingrain the ideas/absolute positions. I do think it will probably take me at least 2 years to fully understand and probably longer but am enjoying the journey. I’ve also enjoyed parts of Yusupov’s books and the Woodpecker method (although I’m far from completing any of the books I have).

# Studying tactics:

Mostly did puzzles on lichess and made a tactics viewer previously. I didn’t use this as much as I thought I would and not sure entirely on how useful it is; but it was fun to make! [https://chess-pgn-viewer.web.app/tacticsViewer](https://chess-pgn-viewer.web.app/tacticsViewer)

# Studying middlegames:

Honestly, other than discussing with my coach this is something I’m still trying to figure out how to do well.

# Usefulness of a coach:

I specifically brought up some positions I didn’t understand, couldn’t really figure out from the engine and he was able to explain them really well almost instantly. This has helped my overall understanding of the game. However, you will only get out as much as you put in and I think having a strong player that is good at teaching is an absolute must. He also had a video repertoire of sorts that he had created for various openings and additionally endgames that he had covered. These are very useful and have been really useful for me. He also made me question some of my responses in openings. For example, I struggled performing the Yugoslav attack previously as white and had been doing an early Nb3. He asked my why I struggled, had a video on it and I learned how to play it a lot better. It is now one of my best openings.

# Final thoughts:

Play a lot of games, analyze them, study tactics, study openings, study endgames, ideally study middlegames well and you will likely improve.



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