How to Improve at Chess

I have played eight games against players on the in the rating range 1400-1500 and my impression is that people at this level of skill are not really aware of what is happening in a chess position. In particular, they seem to be unable to foresee what I regard as straightforward attacking tactics on my part. Apart from making gross blunders, they miss simple combinations and sequences of forcing moves. It seems to me as though they simply do not look at what is going to happen next. I think this may contain a valuable insight for me, as if I played someone rated at 2000 they would probably think the same of me.

If I were to tell a person rated 1450 that they were not looking at my possible moves, they would probably deny this but say that they missed the particular continuation I chose. Yet in most cases this continuation seemed like a 'natural' one to take from my point of view. I want to adopt this insight to improve my own play, but how to see what seems natural, or even obvious, to a player who is at a higher level of skill than me? That's the $64 question. I guess study and practice are the answer.

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