The question " How to get better at Chess? " is not easy to answer.
There are many chess players playing at different strength and it seems to be unclear to them and others why chess masters play better than the average club player.
These chess masters do win games and tournaments many times, it seems they play chess in a different way compared to average players.
Most Club players believe to calculate variations and memorize opening lines is enough to become a master, but they don't realize that just to look for tactics alone will not make them a master.
To look for tactics alone move after move is simply not enough. The truth is, club players don't understand the game at a deeper level, but look for shallow tactical traps and are happy if the opponent is running into a prepared opening line.
They don't know that a Grandmaster looks at a chess position from a different angle and knows the right move on a higher level, a level that is unknown to the average players mind.
Grandmasters follow a far reaching plan guided by deep positional and strategic understanding that guides them all along while club players lose themselves mentally in faulty strategic concepts.
Grandmasters know when to throw ‘chess specific’ rules overboard that would limit their play in a particular chess position.
In short: Modern club and tournament players do NOT understand chess deeply enough.
They are training their tactical skills by solving countless tactical exercises.
They read chess opening publications to stay up-to-date with the latest chess opening lines.
They invest a lot of time to memorize dangerous opening variations and hope that the next opponent runs into them.
And they love positions that allow them to attack because when there is something to attack then this becomes their guideline and they know what to do.
But when the average tournament player encounters someone stronger who understands chess deeper than they do, then all their opening preparation, tactical skills and attacking techniques are useles, when they drift into a position that requires clear positional and strategic understanding.
The stronger player just reduces their counter chances and improves his position slowly move by move, until he has a winning position.
To get better you need to go beyond studying chess opening lines and tactics.
Only a very small number of strong chess players can play the game at a very high level! They rely on basic principles, are guided by them and just know the RIGHT move in any complicated position.
They are guided by Pawn Structures and find the right ideas and the correct moves in a chess position. They know how to use their Bishops in the game efficiently and avoid having a ‘tall pawn’.
They realize that Bishops can be very powerful in the endgame and trade ‘Bishop for Knight’ if the position requires it.
They know how you should fight against a Bishop to shut down the opponent’s Bishop.
They know the disadvantage of a Bishop compared to other pieces and use this disadvantage to make the opponent’s Bishops miserable. You can reduce an opponent’s Bishop and make your Knight stronger.
These techniques will help you to accumulate little advantages in many of your games and help you to win them.
There are rules that can help you to turn an innocent opposite-colored Bishop into a winning bishop! Masters almost always play to have the Bishop Pair and then turn them into a dangerous weapon.
The same rules can turn you, an innocent looking young player into a chess master.