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I had a few questions on general chess improvment. It would be great if you could give some insight into them, as I feel that many players in this group probably have the same questions.
1. What are some good ways to improve one's tactical abilities? Are there any techniques/helpful tips/books/resources you would recomend? I know tactical puzzles are popular. Is it better to do these by setting them up on your own board, or simply looking at the diagrams?
2. Are there any helpful exercises, techniques, or books that can improve one's calculating speed/depth/accuracy? (By calculating, I mean "I move here, then if he moves there, I take here, and if he doesn't move there, I go here, then he goes there," and so forth. In other words, what goes on in your head through most of the game.)
3. I have recently started playing in competitive OTB tournaments, with VERY mixed results. What are some good ways to improve one's tournament results?
4. On average, I can usually squeeze out about 1 hour to spend on concentrated chess study. During this time, what should I be focusing my studies on in order to get the best results? Specifically, how much time should I be spending on tactics, positional play, studying master games, actual playing time, etc.?
Any help with any of these questions is very much appreciated. Thanks!
Hey Hankm, I'm a professional chess instructor and coach so I'm familiar with most of the good training method available. One solution is the Peshka training programs. Most of them come with 5,000 problems that are designed around specific topics usch as tactical devices - pins, forks, etc. A number of their programs are designed for club players (1700-2000 ELO). Books are another good source. Where exactly are you weakest? This would help to evaluate what would work best for you. Let me know either on this forum or send me a message. I'll be happy to provide you with some suggestions.
I'm not sure if anyone else around here is like me but I can't seem to get my head wrapped around chess notation. Any ideas about getting this to stick in my brain?
Hugh_T_Patterson: Thanks for your comment! Sorry to take so long to respond. Where I'm weakest is probably in calculating accuracy and speed. My problem isn't so much recognizing potential tactics, it's the calculating associated with the tactics. I will frequently see potential combinations, and make a sacrifice, only to find that there is fairly basic refutation I overlooked. Frequently, I will see tactical opportunities that aren't there, and will discard ones that actually do work. Also, I tend to be very slow in calculating, and so I tend to do rather badly in tournaments with a G/30 time control.
Yoopy: There are several types of notation, but I'm assuming you mean algebraic notation (Nf3, Bxd4, O-O, and so on), which chess.com uses. If you haven't got the hang of it yet, don't get discouraged! As long as you can count to 8 and know the alphabet from a-h, you will be able to learn it after a little practice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebraic_chess_notation gives a pretty decent explaination of it. If you haven't done this already, I would suggest adjusting the board settings on your online chess to include the numbers and letters on the edge of the board, to make it easier to remember.
Try practicing on your board at home by putting a knight on the board and moving it around, and doing your best to write down its moves on a piece of paper. After you have done this for a while, try doing it with different pieces. Then, start adding more pieces and try captures, checks, and pawn promotions. While doing this, print out some instructions for writing notation and keep them by you, and look at them if you ever can't figure out how to write a move. Just remember--after a bit of practice, you'll soon master it, and then you will have the ability to write down not only your own games, but also to play through nearly all games played by famous players ever recorded!
Ok thank you. I'll start that right now.
Another thing you can do is play against a computer with no time limit to the game. Look at each of your opponent's pieces. Mentally note what each of those pieces can do both offensively and defensively in a single move. Note whcih of your pieces are being attacked. Look at the board again and look for your opponent's pieces that have the potential to attack your pieces in two moves, then three. The idea is to develop long term board vision.
Next, create an over all plan for each move you make. Sya you decide to push a pawn one square forward. Have a plan, such as: If I move this pawn forward one square, then I can defend it with my Queenside Knight, etc.
Chess is a constantly changing landscape so your plans are constantly changing. You need to stick to simple plans and follow them through. Too many of my students come up with complex plans that are destroyed the minute their opponent makes a move the student didn't see or didn't take into account.
hey dudez.......suggest me any chess book to improve my tactics ,and any book about chess masters games and stories etc,
I would try the "Chess Kids Book of Tactics" to start. While it is written for kids, it takes you through basic tactics to more complicated positions. "Attacking Chess" by Josh Waitzlin is another good basic book. Attacking Chess covers tactical positions that come up in most games and explains them in detail. Too many books provide great tactical positions but don't explain the setup in enough detail.
You need to practices a lot when you playing a person.It's easy once you get it.
Is it more beneficial to play a computer or a human? Also, any good suggestions on starting to grasp pawn structure?
Play humans if you are looking to improve. Pawn structures depend on the openings you play
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