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I used to play a lot, and hit 1900 (USCF) before I ran out of time to keep playing competitively. So I'm not a pro by any means, but I might know enough to help you get started.

The best way to increase your rating is to find a good chess coach. Otherwise, off the top of my head, my suggestions would be (in order of importance):

1. Learn an opening really well. Ideally, find one opening for white that doesn't generally have many weird transpositions, e.g. the London system. Also, find a couple of solid defenses for black in response to 1. e4 and 1. d4, e.g. the French and the Slav defenses.

2. Study the most basic endgames -- queen + king vs king, rook + king vs king, etc. I'd suggest [0] as a resource.

3. Practice a lot of tactics. You can do this through books (I'm partial to [1] for beginners and [2] when you reach 1600 or so) or through online services like lichess.org.

4. You can probably hit 1500-1600 fairly easily with 1-3. At this point I'd start learning the basics of strategy/positional play, e.g. static vs dynamic advantages. I think [3] is a pretty good resource for this.

5. Study some of the more advanced endgames in [0].

6. Start looking at some more complex openings and go a bit deeper into positional play. IMO the most important thing in the long run is just to find an opening and style of play that you really like.

Hope that helps!

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Endgame-Challenge-John-Hall/dp/188067... [1] https://www.amazon.com/Combination-Challenge-Lou-Hays/dp/188... [2] https://www.amazon.com/Sharpen-Your-Tactics-Sacrifices-Combi... [3] https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Positional-Evaluation-Dan-He...

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