Amateur Chronicles : Introduction

Amateur Chronicles : Introduction


Hello Everyone! I am back with a new series and as the title suggests, it is something related to amateurs. I will be focusing on the problems faced by many amateurs and club players. In fact, why do amateurs face problems? This is a very important question. There are players who spend hours before chess but never improve. Their rating remains the same after playing dozens of tournaments. The answer is simple - They are not training in the correct way. In this post, I am going to tell you about a simple but effective study plan. Lets get started!

Tactics, Tactics, Tactics....

This is the first step. Keep doing tactics everyday. This improves your tactical ability and keeps you active. has an amazing tactics trainer but I recommend you to do the excercises over the board from a book. If you want it to be more fun, you can use a stop watch. I recommend the book - 'Winning Chess Tactics'. I advise you to go directly to the tests section but you can of course do other tactics too. In fact, any tactic book with challenging puzzles works.

Analysis of Grandmaster Games

There are many ideas you can learn from Grandmaster games which can be used in your games. Analysing two or three games a day will help you a lot. First, go over the game and annotate it yourself. Then, look at the annotations of the same game by another Grandmaster. Compare your analysis with his. There are books with annotated GM games like 'Understanding Chess : Move by Move'. Going over master games in your openings could be more helpful. Almost every opening book has annotated GM games.

Play Training Games

This is where the fun part comes! It is time to play a game to test your skills. I would advise you to stop playing blitz and bullet and concentrate on slow chess. It might be a good idea to play blitz for relaxation but too much blitz is not good. It is of course, essential to analyze your games after playing. Go over every move of the game and write down your feelings, other variations and so on. Then, use a computer engine to find if you missed something. And yeah, what next? Go on and play another game and do not forget to analyze it.

Work on Your Endgame

Without a solid endgame understanding, it is difficult to improve. Go over endgames from any Endgame book, but as soon as that book is finished, start another book. To test your real endgame understanding, try exercises from the book 'Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual'.

This is all you have to do guys! With the best effort from your side, watch how you will dramatically improve! Please send in your games, queries and anything else to me. Feel free to contact me by any means. Till my next post, good bye, and good luck .