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I have one off the beaten path. To become better at chess, you must be a critical thinker:
USE TEH POWER OF HOUDINI, KOMODO AND STOCKFISH TO BEAT PLAYERS. COPY FEN OR PGN. ANALISE FOR A MIN, STOP, THEN PLAY THE MAIN LINE REKOMENDED TO BEAT OTHERS AT FAST CHESS.
I didn't know your son was using your profile to play at chess.com. Perhaps I was looking at the games where your son lost. But I did look at your game at chessluddite.com where in the first game against sicilian opening it seemed every thing was equal till your 18th move Nd5. Here black had a weakness which was his d6 backward pawn and you had an outpost at d5. By putting pressre on d6 you could have occupy the d5 outpost with your piece (and not by pawn). You will see many examples in masters' games where they sacrifice their pawn to create this type of outpost for their pieces, unfortunately you gave it away. At move 20 b4 was a mistake, it created an outpost c4 for your opponent and your c3 pawn became weak. Since the position was closed and you had queen side pawn majority and your opponent had king side pawn majority, you were most likely to make a plan for queen side attack by playing a4 at a suitable moment.
agree...sortof what i was trying to allude to as well...+1. Of course i dont know if its what the OP needs necessarily, I simply find it to be the most common obstacle. People often make mistakes in the u2000 range which show that they simply arent thinking objectively/clearly...
You should work on your games by analyzing it afterwards. There you can point out your weakness, the mistakes have been made and to never repeat them again. Look on the things that make you overestimate your attack and underestimate on your opponents. Then you can vastly increase your playing strength as it helps you know deep of your strength.
Many training methods are possible, but I suggest the most basic and effective way of improving your game.
Seeing and realising one's mistakes is no guarantee that they will not be repeated.
But then helps you play better in next games as your intuition might be well aware on situation where you make mistakes. We can't play a mistake-free game in chess but we can atleast lessen it.
I think Till's offer is amazing and you should accept it with both hands. Just see what he has to offer. The problem with analysing your own games by yourself is the same problem that occurs when programmers debug their own code. It reminds me of the quote by the famous programmer Brian Kernighan: "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
Properly analysing a chess match is tough, since it requires a fairly deep knowledge of positional play, strategy, tactics, principles of attack etc. IMHO without outside help, analysing your matches is a waste of time. Apart from the obvious blunders that you can most likely spot yourself, you will only sporadically come up with new insights that are solid enough to be applied in every match. And it is exactly that which makes you a stronger player. If you were able to improve in a self-contained way, you would somehow access latent chess knowledge you already had in you, all by yourself, which I think is very difficult, also given the plateau you can't seem to get off of.
I notice it in my play as well. Sometimes positions come up that I can't analyse myself due to lack of chess knowledge. Turning to outside help, e.g. instructional videos here on chess.com or asking an instructor, suddenly make it clear what I had to do. I wouldn't have come up with those structural improvements all by myself.
To make a (way too) long story short: grab every opportunity for free lessons. Grab a hold of the basics (as mentioned above) and expand your knowledge with the help of (much) stronger players that you feel comfortable with instructing you. Find your favorite teacher and see if he has posted free lectures on Youtube. Good luck!
Old Chess Dog, thank you. I am sure it is something to do with the way older people think and I am interested in this process. I watch my own son and other kids, 6, 7, 8.. yrs old and I am amazed by how quickly and well they learn. knowing that Magnus Carlsen at 13 was a grandmaster (and seeing these games online) shows how well young minds adapt. I am interested in how this method of thinking works and whether there are ways adults can learn in such a way so I'll check out your videos.
Batman thank you for your analysis. You'll see that I did identify 18.Nd5 as my biggest mistake. I gues what I should do is look at alternatives and FOLLOW THEM THROUGH with calculation to see what might have been better. Casper is right though, sometimes it does take an outside eye - a skilled one - to see where problems are. It is difficult analysing positions when my positional understanding isn't developed.
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