Chess Work Ethics

Jun 9, 2009, 8:35 PM |
I got this from one of my instructors.  I take no credit for it's content.  But it has helped me immensely. 
Are you the type of chess player who doesn't have a lot of time to study?  Chess books are too difficult to understand?  You can't seem to get your rating about 1400-1600?  Tired of loosing to your friends? or the computer?

There is one sure way to improve your chess game for the lazy chess player.  The minimum required to improve your game is going over your completed games.  I know this sounds like studying, but here me out.  As soon as you finish your game, whether it is a speed game or an over the board game, you should review the moves made by both sides.

Giving yourself an opportunity to have a second look on decisions made by both you and your opponents will enhance your appreciation and understanding of the game and positions that arrived from that game.

The next step would be to document what you thought during your review stage.  The lazy man way of documenting is some type of voice recording.  The stronger chess player will take notes either in the computer or by using a notepad.

It doesn't matter which method you choose for recording initially as long as you begin the thought process.

I personally review my games (especially tournament games) immediately after I have completed them either with my opponent or on my computer.  Sometimes I might be rushing to play the next round and don't have time to go into full analysis, so I will just jot some notes on the scoresheet directly.

Now let's talk about what happens when you do this.  I have been playing long tournament games and while thinking about the position, I can see my notes!  Sometimes I will be in a position and remember another game where I was in a similiar position.  I am able to recall the analysis that was done at that time during that game.

This would be very difficult to do if I had not been reviewing my games on a regular basis.

Everytime you play a game similar to one you have already played, you should be building on your understanding.  Playing chess is not about making random moves.  You don't randomly decide to leave your house everyday. Nor do you randomly decide to take the window vs. the door when you do leave.  For those of you who have tried the window, you have probably come around to using the door based on your own analysis.

Chess works the same way.  Each game should be an improvement upon the last.  If you aren't playing games in a similar fashion, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to naturally improve.

Also, reviewing your games will help to prevent you from making mistakes repeatedly.  If you don't go over your games, you will make the same mistakes over and over again.

There is a reason why there are so many chess books in circulation.  I once read that some of the super grandmasters have seen millions of games.

I personally want to have as many positive characteristics of a super grandmaster as possible.

If you have decided that you are not a lazy chessplayer but still don't have the time to put hours on end into studying chess...then stay tune for the rest of this series.  There are still many things you can do to improve your game that will only take minutes a day