Learning From Novice Nook
One of my frustrations as a new student of chess has been trying to figure out how to study the game. I think I may have found what I have been looking for at Chesscafe.com's column Novice Nook by Dan Heisman (http://www.chesscafe.com/heisman/heisman.htm). He has some real gems for people like me who want to advance beyond knowing only how the pieces move on the board.
Two articles I read this week from his archives are Chess Books and Prerequisites where he suggests what the beginner should read to establish an overall foundation and then moves to what first books one should read on openings, tactics, game collections, thinking process, endgames, etc., and An Improvement Plan where he provides training advice by ranking.
Even the so called "beginner" chess books are not all equal and book descriptions are not always clear about its intended audience. Dan Heisman recognized the need to provide some direction through prioritizing a student's first books to ensure that the student take in information at the appropriate level so it can be applied.
These two articles have helped me develop a preliminary plan of study as well a set the correct expectations for my progress. Combined with Chess.com's resources for learning and training, I believe the beginner can maximize his or her learning efficiency and not waste time fumbling around with a hit or miss approach.