59 ( +1 | -1 ) Analyse a few of your losses. If you are dropping material or falling into nasty combinations, focus on tactics. If you are gradually getting squeezed to death, or trading down to lost endgames, focus on strategy.
For strategy, Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess is excellent, and aimed solidly at average players. (Many other strategy books are very advanced.) For tactics, there are tons of problem books out there. Playing against a computer will also help, since they both punish mistakes ruthlessly and let you take moves back and try again.
38 ( +1 | -1 ) logicalchess.coma good selection of books, but I would recommend substituting "Unbeatable chess lessons for Juniors" by Robert M. Snyder, Random House 2003 over Logical Chess Move by Move by Irving Chernev its just a better book. I also recommend "Aron Nimzowitsch My System New Translation" Quality Chess 2007 for people who read and speak English.
109 ( +1 | -1 ) Simple chessHave a look at "simple chess" from Michael Stean: -> books.google.ch This is my favourite chess book ever. It's not simple, it's not about tactic but it's about planning, strategy and logical thinking. Even if some says that tactic is everything at sub-2000 levels, I would say that planning and and strategy are also quite important.
For tactic, I wouldn't recommend a book but instead two practice tools: * free website "Chess Tactic Server:" -> chess.emrald.net * cheap program "CT ART 3.0 http:" -> products.convekta.com From my own experience, I've found out that reading about tactics only took me so far. Practice is everything...
27 ( +1 | -1 ) PSI forgot to tell that the "Chess Tactic Server" is a good practice tool but has a bad disadvantage: you've only a few seconds per exercise. This train well one to quickly reads the board. On the other hand, it could be dangerous and exacerbate tendency to move too quickly...
26 ( +1 | -1 ) Another book recommendationLynvingen, I give credit to "Understanding Chess Tactics" by Martin Weteschnik for the most recent upward trend in my rating of about 150 points or so. I am planning to read and study the book again. I think it will continue to benefit my tactical play.