1200 rating is a big milestone in the life of any chess player. It’s where you transition from a beginner to a solid intermediate player. To help you reach this milestone, here are 7 easy chess tactics that will help get you to 1200 rating in 1 month.
1. Study like Magnus Carlsen
A few years ago you couldn’t study like Magnus Carlsen. Because he had access to chess analysis software powered by artificial intelligence. Magnus used this software to review his games and see which of his moves were wrong. That’s how he got so unbelievably good.
But now this software is available to everybody with a Chess.com Diamond membership. And it’s super easy to use. After a game, you get the analysis report right there and the AI can explain what the correct move was in every position of the game. Do this, and you can get to 1200 rating in 1 month even if you’re a beginner.
2. Play chess openings that are easy to learn
There are a lot of openings that are great but hard to learn. Some of these openings are the Sicilian Defense, the French Defense, and the Ruy-Lopez. You should instead focus on chess openings that are easy to learn, such as the Queen’s gambit, the Vienna and the Caro Kann. This way you can outplay your 1200 rated opponents without having to study for many hours.
3. Use your pawns to control space
One of the most important things you can do at the 1200 level is to use your pawns to control space. By controlling space, you can make it harder for your opponent to develop their pieces and make it easier for you to attack. Learning to play with a space disadvantage is actually quite hard and usually is only mastered by players with about 2000 rating.
4. Play actively
At the 1200 level, it is important to be active. This means that you should look for ways to make moves that will improve your position. You should also look for ways to put your pieces on active squares. Just by being active you can beat 1200 rated players because you can take advantage of their blunders.
5. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice
At the 1200 level, it is often correct to sacrifice material in order to gain an advantage. This can be done in many ways, such as sacrificing a pawn to gain control of the center of the board, or sacrificing a piece to expose your opponent’s king. 1200 rated players often can’t defend very well yet, and they’ll crumble under your pressure!
6. Attack your opponent’s pieces on every move
One of the best ways to win at chess is to attack your opponent’s pieces. Especially if you put your pieces on squares where they can attack multiple enemy pieces. This causes your opponent to think longer which also gives you a time advantage in the match. And at 1200 they might even just blunder and let you take one of their pieces.
7. Never resign
Even if you are down material or position, never resign. Many times 1200 rated players will make mistakes that allow you to come back and win the game. So always fight until the end and you might be surprised at what can happen.
8. Look for forks
The most common way for a 1200 to lose a game in 1 move is by blundering a fork. Usually a knight fork. Whenever a knight is close to your valuable pieces (king, queen, rook and undefended pieces), take 5 seconds extra to look for forks. This will save you so many rating points.
9. Study chess tactics puzzles
Tactics are the bread and butter of chess. If you want to get better at chess, you need to study tactics. A great way to do this is to solve chess puzzles. You can find puzzles online or in chess books.