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A Training Guide to Steady Chess Improvement

A Training Guide to Steady Chess Improvement

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Greetings all, because most people are trapped indoors due to the lockdown in response to COVID-19, I've devised a clever improvement guide that I'm certain will give substantial results given persistence, discipline, and several hours of your day. (Openings vary a lot depending on your level and what lines you like to play. You may PM me in order to receive tailored book recommendations in your lines.)

A template for your training may be based on the success story of this adult-improver From Amateur to IM


Playing- This is without a doubt the most important part of training, but now people must resort to online games. Regardless of your level, one of the following should suffice:

  • 2-4  10-minute games.
  • 8-10 5-minute games
  • 8-10 3-minute games
  • 5-7 blitz games with some sort of increment. (3+2 or 5+5, for instance)
  • 2 30-minute games

All games require at least a brief introspection of the critical points (what went wrong and why?) and if you struggle with something in particular, notice a pattern, or even more importantly, can't find a pattern in your losses, definitely consult your coach.


Tactical Vision- I recommend at least you do one of the following daily from each category.

  • 10 attempts at puzzle rush/puzzle battle
  • 5 tactics on the chess.com tactics trainer

And solving problems from books are also great, here are my personal recommendations.


Endgames- Endgames should be studied at least twice a week to improve both practical instincts, theoretical knowledge, and raw calculation. Choose a book depending on your level. I've linked my top picks for endgame study. The main point is to feel you've understood the material. Don't be concerned about volume. Don't rush...

Note: Chessable has courses on some of the above books.


Strategy- Perhaps it's difficult for many to rigorously solve strategical exercises from books daily however it's key not to neglect them. Solve one position from one of the books every day. Also studying the classics are important.


Psychology- Chess psychology is a subtle aspect of chess improvement too many respectable authorities ignore. I've addressed psychology in numerous previous blogs and will keep consistent of recommending the same study material. These are the types of books you should always read before bed or before a tournament. You should observe the practical tips contained within it's pages, and the convenient part of all is that it's effective passive-learning! (I know there will be no tournaments OTB anytime soon