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How do YOU study chess? Your typical, daily, chess "diet"?
It is an interesting topic; how many of us thinks that we do SERIOUS study (and, in that case, how)?
Personally, I do periodic tactics, solving 3,4 problems from some book every day. Then, I get tired, and just play on the web; then I study endgames for some weeks, playing through examples, and read some chapter in a book. Later, I work on my openings for some time. Then, tactics.
A loop, that is.
You? Do you do similar stuff? Do you play through games collections? How careful are you in solving exercises? Etc
I don't really study. Seems like a sisyphian task with very little pay off for the time and stress invested.
It would be if you didn't enjoy it. I've enjoyed reading books about chess ever since I was a kid, so it never feels like "work." More like a lifelong hobby (though with long periods of absence from it).
I study 1-3 annotated games per day from whichever collection I am going through at the time. That is the "core" of my study. Around it, I do (currently) 25 tactics problems per day from whichever book I'm working through. Right now its Chess Tactics for Champions.
I do the tactics study in a way where, after going through the book once, I'll go through it again but doing double the number of problems/day on the 2nd pass through. Then I double it again for a 3rd. Then move on to another workbook. I prefer the emphasis on learning patterns rather than spending 10-20 minutes trying to solve one problem, so I avoid books that are geared that way.
I study some endgame theory once or twice a week using Silman's Endgame Course.
I haven't been doing much with openings. Where the 4 books I currently have on openings, and which covers most of what I play, use the annotated thematic game collection style of teaching, I could switch things up by moving from a collection focused on strategy (what I'm studying now) to one of the opening books. Then alternating (since I have several collections geared around strategy/positional play).
Besides playing Online in Chess.com (if you are not in an actual club), a goodway to study is doing some tactics training here and with books like "1001 Chess Sacrifices and Combinations" by Fred Reinfeld. Then reading good "teaching" books, which explain the "pros and contras" of the moves, like "Complete Idiots´s Guide – Chess Openings" by W. Aramil and "Logical Chess, Move by Move" by I. Chernev.
That, of course, accompanied with following some good games, In particular, miniature games is a good option. . . no to long that you get lost, and long enough to show darn good chess.
And interest and dedication. . .
Scandum, thanks for your elaborate post. I am impressed of the sheer amount you digest, every day. 25+ tactical problems would take me two hours (given that they are reasonably non-trivial), and above that you go through games. It will surely make you improve greatly, in the long run.
tabor, I didn't ask for advice how to study, I asked how other people study chess. It interests me; do most players actually study, or are they lazy? If they study, how much, and what.
I am working with the "Beat the Grandmasters" tactics book right now, trying to identify those problems that pose me greater difficulties; then, studying why they appear difficult.
I study chess by watching chess videos about training, reading books, playing chess, and analysing my own games.
ok, .. how much, daily? All of it, every day, or do you do "periods"
If you people don't mind, let us try to be specific; what kind of books, and how do we use them? If tactics, which, and how many puzzles a day? If game books, which etc
Approximate current weekly schedule (may vary according to circumstances and work) :
The tactics problems I do aren't that difficult, so I can usually do that many in about half an hour. I read an article awhile back where the author divided problems into two distinct categories, and stated that the different categories produce results in different areas.
The first category are the easier problems that can usually be solved within a minute are two. These ones are perfect for building pattern recognition as they allow you to work through larger numbers of problems, and its in that large number being solved where pattern recognition develops.
The second category are more complex problems which can't be solved within a few minutes. Those are good for developing calculation skills.
My approach is to focus on just the first category for now, and later, after I've done what I think is a decent number of them (a couple thousand), to begin adding in some tougher problems aimed at improving calculation.
My biggest challenge right now is continuing to hold off studying the four opening books I have. Each uses the complete game method, with variations within the games themselves (and indexed at the end of the chapter or book), which tempts me to study them based on the fact that I'd still be working through an annotated game collection - just one that is centered around the thematic opening it covers.
So far I've been able to resist it because it seems like some positional concepts that eluded me in the past are finally working their way into either my games, or thought process when I play. And I want to keep nurturing that along by staying focused on collections that are centered around chess strategy/positional play.
The game collection I'm working through now is McDonald's "Chess: the art of logical thinking." I'm almost finished it now, and I think I will be tackling Nimzowitch's My System next. I have the newly printed edition with the new translation of his work.
I also have many alternatives, so my choice may change before I start it. Those include Secrets of Positional Chess, Winning Chess Explained, Lessons with A Grandmaster, and Chess Secrets: The Giants of Chess Strategy. The tough part is figuring out an ideal order to read them in (if there is one).
It depends on the time I have to study that day. I plan differently everyday morning. Today's plan with around 5h to study:
+ Study 2 games from Capablanca's Best Endings by Irving Chernev (1 hour)
+ At least 20 tactics from tactics trainer or the book Test Your Tactical Ability (40 mins - 1 hour)
+ Play 2 online games (with at least 15 mins each side) + analyze (1-2 hours)
+ Look at some games in Ruy Exchange + Study 4-5 pages from Soltis book on Ruy Exchange (1 hour)
I usually don't complete my plan and end up doing 3 out of 4 because I am lazy but still, making plans is fun :)
thanks again; I am so far impressed over the amazing amount of time you guys spend, but I guess that is what it takes to reach 2000 ... maybe a bit depressing for us with only (roughly) one hour daily avalaible for chess.
One hour daily is good enough to make good progress I think. Actually 15'/day + 1 or 2hrs once a week is enough to make significant progress.
Depending on your definition, study may include elements of practice (training games, active learning exercises...). Mine definitely does.
Of course you need regular practice to get something out of your study, else you just forget and/or are unable to actually use what you're learning.
i solve 2-3 tactics puzzles and try to complete analysing one game in one week thoroughly, my problem is that i get bore soon but never let the fire get down
Most people here claims that they don't spend the majority of their time on the opening.
Is it plausible to think that there is a selective bias here; those who only check their openings are not interested in this discussion. People often claim that most players neglate most respects on chess training, and focus on preparing their openings
Admittedly, your sample is quite small here Dave
Maybe people who are into opening study don't want to hear about other people advocating not to spend all your time on openings, blah blah blah...
yeah, i dont have that kind of practise session neither do i have some one to teach me, i usually solve 3-4 tactics a day and take out a game for analysis which i usually finish i 5-6 days or sometimes a week
There isn't anything wrong with opening study - if that's what the player enjoys studying. It is a game after all, so one should enjoy it, rather than find it to be a chore.
I would like to spend more time on my openings, but there is only so many hours in a day to work with, so I stick to my focus on the other elements where I'm more confident of attaining results.
I'd like to recommend this thread from a while back on the same topic, to those interested.
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