How to Dramatically Improve Your Chess

fischerzombie

Perhaps the most frequent question I see and get from chess players is, “how do I get better?” That question comes in many forms, such as, “how do I go from a 1500 rating to 2000”, etc. Below is a plan for serious improvement. The plan could be broken down by certain ratings sections but I don’t want to get into that. This plan will work for anyone who follows the guidelines and puts the time in.

1. Study Casablanca’s chess primer. It’s a small book with excellent chess basics. Work through the positions on a physical chess set, not a digital one.
2. Stop playing speed chess for the next few months. Speed chess is a lot of fun but you MUST rewire your brain first or SC will just give you a lot of bad habits. Trust me. I’m speaking from experience.
3. Study chess tactics by setting them up on a real board. DO NOT MOVE THE PIECES when calculating. Find the winning or drawing sequence before you ever touch a piece. Write down your sequences on paper. This process alone will significantly improve your game. I strongly suggest buying the following set of books: Test Your Chess IQ Series by August Livshitz. I personally went from 1400 to 1870 with these books alone and the method described above.
4. Study Jeremy Silman’s, How to Improve Your Chess. Go through the whole book with a physical chess board. Highlight and take notes.
5. Play tournaments and then study your games. Don’t let the computer chess engine solve the positions until you have gone through the game again on your own and made notes. Where did you go wrong and why? Where did your opponent get the advantage and how? Once you’ve thought this through on your own AND made notes, then check it with an engine.
6. Study master games, especially masters who play the openings you like to play. Don’t get bogged down in deep analysis at this stage. Just slowly play through the games on a physical chess board and keep asking yourself what the next move might be. Take written notes of how masters position their pawns or pawn breakthroughs. How they control files and expand their territory while suppressing their opponents counter play. Watch how they maneuver pieces, especially knights, to get better outposts. And take special note of the themes and ideas masters discuss in their analysis: where they attack or expand based on which opening they played, which pieces they traded AND WHY, which endgames they say are common based on the openings they play, etc. It’s best to play through the moves first on your own and take notes BEFORE you read the masters analysis. Then you compare your thinking with theirs. Consistently doing this will dramatically improve your game - over time.
7. Study Jeremy Silman’s endgame course. Seriously study it on a physical board. Also, setup the positions against a strong computer engine and play to win or defend. This will score you a lot of wins in tournaments. You will beat or draw masters by studying this well.  
8. Know the main lines and ideas for the openings you play. Don’t spend too much time on openings until you’re over the 1800 mark. It is the least productive area of study for beginners and intermediate players.

That’s it in a nutshell. Might seem like a lot but do it in the order I laid out and take your time. Give yourself 6 month or a year before you judge your progress. Chess is immensely complex and it takes time to absorb the ideas. Don’t get your expectations too high and then give up studying when you lose a bunch of games in a tournament. Just study those loses, be patient and watch your rating slowly begin to climb.

Good luck!


notmtwain
fischerzombie wrote:

Perhaps the most frequent question I see and get from chess players is, “how do I get better?” That question comes in many forms, such as, “how do I go from a 1500 rating to 2000”, etc. Below is a plan for serious improvement. The plan could be broken down by certain ratings sections but I don’t want to get into that. This plan will work for anyone who follows the guidelines and puts the time in.

1. Study Casablanca’s chess primer. It’s a small book with excellent chess basics. Work through the positions on a physical chess set, not a digital one.
2. Stop playing speed chess for the next few months. Speed chess is a lot of fun but you MUST rewire your brain first or SC will just give you a lot of bad habits. Trust me. I’m speaking from experience.
3. Study chess tactics by setting them up on a real board. DO NOT MOVE THE PIECES when calculating. Find the winning or drawing sequence before you ever touch a piece. Write down your sequences on paper. This process alone will significantly improve your game. I strongly suggest buying the following set of books: Test Your Chess IQ Series by August Livshitz. I personally went from 1400 to 1870 with these books alone and the method described above.
4. Study Jeremy Silman’s, How to Improve Your Chess. Go through the whole book with a physical chess board. Highlight and take notes.
5. Play tournaments and then study your games. Don’t let the computer chess engine solve the positions until you have gone through the game again on your own and made notes. Where did you go wrong and why? Where did your opponent get the advantage and how? Once you’ve thought this through on your own AND made notes, then check it with an engine.
6. Study master games, especially masters who play the openings you like to play. Don’t get bogged down in deep analysis at this stage. Just slowly play through the games on a physical chess board and keep asking yourself what the next move might be. Take written notes of how masters position their pawns or pawn breakthroughs. How they control files and expand their territory while suppressing their opponents counter play. Watch how they maneuver pieces, especially knights, to get better outposts. And take special note of the themes and ideas masters discuss in their analysis: where they attack or expand based on which opening they played, which pieces they traded AND WHY, which endgames they say are common based on the openings they play, etc. It’s best to play through the moves first on your own and take notes BEFORE you read the masters analysis. Then you compare your thinking with theirs. Consistently doing this will dramatically improve your game - over time.
7. Study Jeremy Silman’s endgame course. Seriously study it on a physical board. Also, setup the positions against a strong computer engine and play to win or defend. This will score you a lot of wins in tournaments. You will beat or draw masters by studying this well.  
8. Know the main lines and ideas for the openings you play. Don’t spend too much time on openings until you’re over the 1800 mark. It is the least productive area of study for beginners and intermediate players.

That’s it in a nutshell. Might seem like a lot but do it in the order I laid out and take your time. Give yourself 6 month or a year before you judge your progress. Chess is immensely complex and it takes time to absorb the ideas. Don’t get your expectations too high and then give up studying when you lose a bunch of games in a tournament. Just study those loses, be patient and watch your rating slowly begin to climb.

Good luck!


And you are an unrated who joined today and came straight to the forum to share this wisdom?

Kriegspiel1
Thanks
kindaspongey

"How to Reassess Your Chess, 4th Edition was designed for players in the 1400 to 2100 range." - IM Jeremy Silman (2010)

Bergidum
kindaspongey wrote:

"How to Reassess Your Chess, 4th Edition was designed for players in the 1400 to 2100 range." - IM Jeremy Silman (2010)

Will have to check out. Read his Endgame Course.

ZupayChess

Looking the activity of the account, this post seems to be an add for Silman's books

tulakr
This guy is very right.
destroyer8470
Bergidum wrote:
kindaspongey wrote:

"How to Reassess Your Chess, 4th Edition was designed for players in the 1400 to 2100 range." - IM Jeremy Silman (2010)

Will have to check out. Read his Endgame Course.

I suggest it to im reading it great read relly will help!

EnergizeMrSpock

OP is clrarly Sliman, pushin hiz bookz again..soon we will have new "article" again, where sum made up playerz "played" some briliancie in tajikistan in 1879 haha u Sliman iz foolin no1, takin yo material from sum tactics server just copy-pastin, gotta hand it 2 u, nice way of makin money doin nuttin

EnergizeMrSpock

u can damratically improve ur chess by following : 1.play lots of bullit aand only bullit2. do puzzle rush til ur eyez bleed, everyy day 3.watch nUkamara play , u will soon bcome like him = Granmaster in a couple yearz!!!!

drmrboss

 

 

Use this!!

drmrboss

Or this!!

drmrboss

At least this old one is good enough.

ChessBookCollector

I love the original Chess Master. So good. Waitzkin's videos were fantastic. These days I prefer to watch videos, read books, or study on Chessable. I would go for the top trainers to study, personally. Nunn has a new tactics book coming out this year. I'll check that out. Kislik has a new book. I'm curious what's in there. New Shankland book should be this year too. A lot of good stuff coming out in 2019 that I'm eager to read

Fixedthx

Wear cape

1051981wolfslave

if you master calculation skill. i think. every move afterward will be stronger and near perfection!

rvalessandro

This dude is  probably a grandmaster in disguise

Joseph_Truelson

RAR is also going to help dramatically improve your chess, if you will listen to it: http://rar.host22.com/

So join it today! 

Nwap111

The Livshitz books are excellent.  Yes, they will take you to 1900...and beyond...if you do the work.  I disagree that Silman's book is for 2100's.  2000's already know the chess theory he gives, too basic for them, good review course.

kindaspongey
kindaspongey wrote:

"... 1400 to 2100 ..." - IM Jeremy Silman (2010)

My guess is that the way to think of that is as 1750 plus or minus 350. The point being that 2100 is at the upper extreme of what is presumably appropriate for a reader of the book (just as 1400 as at the lower extreme). Perhaps the book is really best for those around 1750 with suitability dropping off for ratings away from that number.