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I was recently was looking at the forums posted here, and came across a post title "Frustrated Chess Student". The question was a common one on the frustration of stagnation at one level, and failure to comprehend the time to hold position, use a waiting move, or as the student asks " when in doubt push a pawn". Justrookin, responds with some Jedi master like advice....
OK... I am not a great player, but I am not horrible either. I am certain I have potential... but I get lost sometimes between the opening and middle game of "what the hell to do!"
I can push a knight or bishop, but I feel like the move will reverse itself with an easy counter attack. I get stuck in these positions sometimes where I don't want to move a piece, but there is no "pass" option available in these wars. I heard a great quote once, "When in doubt, push a pawn." This does not always work.
I am undecided about castling early because I get concerned about locking my king in a specific corner early on. Maybe I need to get rid of this concern.
I get confused when I watch play by play games of previous grand masters. "Why didn't they take take that rook... or queen, it was right there!!" And yes, I realize the goal of the game is "get the king!"
I solve tactic puzzles here fairly easily, I am not a dope!!
This website has so much to offer for people who want to improve their chess game. What videos or direction do you suggest for me?? I am a full paid member.
I am considering a coach to help me get past my "issues."
OK...thanks for listening, I love this site and the players here, I find, are just extremely decent people for the most part.
Pick a goal to focus on- it doesn't have to be a great one.
GM games can only be understood by GMs.
Castling is overrated. I play 2. Ke2.
Don't let the third line undermine your trust of the first two.
Forgive me Mr. Ivan... I promise I mean no disrespect, but my goal is to get to GM ratings. I appreciate your comment, but I think your comment lacks the idea my goal is to obtain a rating of 2000 or better, thus I would need to understand those GM moves.
Although I have known how to play chess for a long time, I would say that maybe 2 years ago that chess "clicked" in my head and it started becoming more of a "knack." I finally understood chess. I just got it, "if he does this, I do that" kind of thing. I am trying to find that next "click" to that next level of understanding this game.
In my game experiences, I have been focused enough on a few occasions to play some brilliant, GM Level, games. My desire is to be at this level religiously, not be a freak occurrence. I feel like I am so close to the next understanding of Chess.
I have trouble referring to Chess as a "game," it's a war.
If you watch a GM game and you see them make a strange move you don't understand, you need to look at it from every possible angle: What did that move accomplish? What did it defend? What did it attack? Why was the attacked/defended peice important to attack/defend? How did this move ultimately lead to victory/defeat?
Instead of "if I do this, he does that", try "if I do this, then he could do this, in which case I can do this, or he could do that, which I could counter with this". Anticipate your opponent making the best possible move that could hinder you. This will make you prepare for an attack to the point that it will be unstoppable once initiated. Make use of forcing moves that can develop your position or give you tempo.
And, even if it is true, try not to refer to any of your own games as being as on the grandmaster level. I don't mind, but I've noticed there are some incredibly hostile people on these forums who would be more than willing to just fill this thread with hateful comments over that.
GM level isn't possible for you; you're too old, and you won't be able to spend 10 years just on chess.
But 2000 isn't anywhere near GM level. You don't need to understand GM games to reach 2000.
Anyway, at the end you're just asking how to improve in chess. The usual goes.
- Play a lot. Forget about blitz, play serious, slow games against opponents slightly better than you. After the game, do a post mortem: go through the game, explain why you did things, ask them why they did things, see if the things you saw during the game were actually true (if you didn't play a move for some reason, check if that reason was actually correct). Write everything down. Study the game afterwards, try to dig up the Truth. Then play more.
- Play more.
- Learn the general ideas of openings. FCO by van der Sterren is great. Play a great variety of openings using these ideas, and after the game look up how better players play the same variation in a database. That way you'll remember best, and you won't spend time learning variations you'll never play or that you would never play if left to your own thinking. Over time you'll develop favourite openings and that is fine, but every time you have improved 200 points, discard your old openings; your brain is full of old habits and ways of looking at the positions formed when you were a weaker player. You need to stay fresh or you'll plateau.
- Do many tactics exercises.
- Read annotated games. There are many sources -- chess news on the web, books... every day you can find many games where the moves are explained somewhat. A book like Nunn's Grandmaster Chess: Move By Move is great. Or your favourite player's best games collection.
- Play more. Did I mention that the games should be serious? Play OTB tournaments where you'll probably meet players slightly better than you. Let them teach you afterwards.
- When you see a good move, stop. Say to yourself, "Yes, that's nice and all, but isn't there anything better?"
- Dan Heisman's Novice Nook columns.
Hey justrookin, one of the most difficult transitions occurs between the opening and the middle game. Often, you have your pawns and minor pieces in place and you're looking for a good move on a board that appears to contain no possibilities. Andrew Martin said, about this problem, "look for the pawn or piece in the worst position and see if that position can be improved. Sometimes, making a quiet move, a move that allows a piece to target a potential future weakness in your opponent's position, does the trick.
As far as castling is concerned, many players castle too early. This happens because we're taught the importance of King safety early in our studies. I teach chess classes in 5 to 6 schools in my hometown. After, I instill the idea of castling early in my student's minds, I teach them to delay castling (unless doing so puts their King in danger). The idea I plant in their minds is this: If you King is safe and you have the choice of further development or castling, develop. Unless in danger, you shouldn't castle until you have a firm foothold control-wise.
When playing through Grandmaster games, there always is a move that has you wondering "why the move was made?" Determining the reasoning for this move can greatly aid you in your improvement. Some of my students will just give up, stating that "Grandmasters think 7 or 8 moves ahead, so how can I figure out why the move was made." I tell them to start by looking for the obvious. An extremely simple example:
This is an overly simplified example not a Grandmaster game, but it makes my point. My student will ask about 4.h3. The answer is that it prevents the Knight on f3 from being pinned after 4...Bg4. Of course, it is going to be much more difficult to determine the reason for an odd looking move in a Grandmaster game. However, if you use the same basic reasoning you can often determine the motivation. You may have to think a few moves ahead, but you can often discover the immediate reasons.
As for being too old to become a Grandmaster, yes time is working against you,. However, there are chess players in their 50s that are becoming masters. I put my money on sheer determination rather than on statistics. While you may not become a Grandmaster I would think having a Master's certificate would be a nice consolation prize. Follow your dream and don't worry about what any of us have to say. If those people with dreams listened to those around them saying it couldn't be done, we'd have missed out on a great deal of art and technology. Age may be a physical attribute but it's also a state of mind. When someone tells me I can't do it and just say "yeah, just watch me." If I don't succeed, at least I tried. Let me know if you want some analysis of your games. While computers can assist you with analysis, human analysis can offer some interesting insights.
The Stonewall Setup
by FromMuToYou a few minutes ago
12/11/2013 - Topalov-Kramnik, Dortmund 1996
by JacksonJunglist 13 minutes ago
what the #$%^was he playing and how did he win?
by Jaglavak 17 minutes ago
by FromMuToYou 19 minutes ago
Anything to add
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Chess Sacrifice. ...??
by Tactical_Battle 24 minutes ago
Official Chess Troll of the Year!
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Chess Troll for the Year!
by ConnorMacleod_151 27 minutes ago
What's the quickest way to get a title?
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Chess.com is VERY SLOW on Safari
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