How to take control of your chess study

May 27, 2013, 1:26 PM |

Firstly a word about chess in general; Chess is a massively complex game and once about ten moves have been made there are literally millions of possible options, so it is simply impossible to know important things about specific situations.

What i mean by this is that unless you have experience and have STUDIED, by this i mean reviewed your games and then actually looked up those situations and instructions somewhere it will mean little for you to just play hundreds of games.

So just general chess reading is not very useful unless you lern how to apply that into your existing games. By this i mean you might read and understand something but unless your brain believes this information will be required usefully in your future then your brain will "over-write" this information with more important stuff and your retention memory of it will be lessened.

So you must play games and focus on reviewing your own games so your brain repeatedly sees these patterns and recalls their importance. So you can read as much as you like about which is a better pawn to try and promote the F file or G file pawn or how to CheckMate with a kNight and Bishop but you will not recall this information because your brain will not prioritise it important so you memory will be lessened. 

How can i prove to you this is true? Simple we know how the f7 square can be targeted by a queen and bishop or knight for the early checkmate. This is what pattern recognition does by you see that pattern and understand it as important, but reading over masters games and learnign their moves means nothing to the average mind since we will never see those positions and recall them because your brain has wiped this information as of no importance to you.

So the best way to learn is to use the mentor program here since tactics training can only show you one aspect of the game, whereas the chess mentor program gives you a wider variety of information.

Once you have mastered a the lower rankings and moved up to around (who really knows; it is different for each person) it might be good to find a real experienced coach, as a real life human; depending on how you learn face to face or just via technology, i think 1600 and definitely 1800 are good places to get the advice of two different ExPeRiEnCeD coaches.

Why a real-life coach? well i am a nobody but i personally do not think chess coaches know a real lot about chess since the subject is so huge. I mean i am sure a chess coach is a strong/solid player but they certainly do not know everything and anyone who tells you such a person is the guru on chess than beware.

I think a great chess coach is someone who can analyse YOU, to say; this is how you play... YOU are doing this wrong, this is your weak area, this is the type of game style you should be aiming to play since it will give you the best place to use your personal style of play etc.

So be realistic and never ever ever ever follow the stupid advice of finding your "chess hero" and trying to be like them. Many people believe Fischer is their hero and thus follow his methods, i suppose it probably helps your chess games more than doing crosswords by reading about Fischer; but it certainly not going to help you play like him. In fact i believe only one percent of people reading about Fischer would even be able to understand his games.

Adopt your own study program, set realistic goals and follow your plan. If you are trying to learn and advice its probably best to avoid those who are trying to mould you into an amazing player if you are not completely comfortable, do yourself a favour and get a second opinion and remember (just like me here) most advice you get about chess is simply almost worthless to you since you are different and have different needs; most chess 'experts' are simply people who want others to listen to them and think they are "the-Man"...