I answer all your doubts to improve in chess - Are you finding a coach? Alberto Chueca: FIDE Master

AlbertoChueca

Hi friends, I open this post to solve all the doubts you could have about how to improve in chess. I appreciate if you could attach the rating, the age and the country in the question to help you better.

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca

https://www.albertochueca.com

jmlima007

Right, I'll take the pole-position. You can see my miserable rating in here, 656. But I have a question to which I cannot find a single answer. It concerns a rather popular topic for beginners, it concerns openings. No, I'm not going to ask which one is better.

 

What I'm trying to clarify is this: Some authors argue that beginners should have a simplified opening repertoire (say, one white, one vs 1.e4, one vs 1.d4, for our purpose it does not matter the specifics of the openings selected). They argue that only with balanced development can you truly improve.

Some authors argue that beginners have nothing to do with openings and should stick to 'opening principles' and spend their time studying tactics ignoring any attempt to study openings. Tactics should be their only study material.

My question, for a beginner looking to improve what is the better path?

 

 

 

 

AlbertoChueca

@jmlima007 Clearly, the second choice. But not only tactics. I would focus my time to learn concepts! Mainly middlegames and endgames (like pawns structures, domination, how to play bishop vs knight positions, rook endgames, pawn endgames...) And for the openings, you must understand the concepts of center, development and initiative mainly.

If you work hard and focus on the concepts you will progress quickly and you will win more games because while you are spending time on openings you are not using it to understand concepts, ideas and plans and you will get normal positions in the openings but you will lose in the middlegames and endgames. Then it's frustrating because you have studied and keep the same level. If you understand better the middlegame and endgames, although you could get a bad position you will be able to fight the game and win it because the 90% of the games are decided mainly in the middlegames and endgames.

A bit of advertisement: grin.png In the Rebel Alliance (click to know what is) we've got 3 masterclasses monthly and all the masterclasses are about these kinds of concepts. I'm working with adults and are progressing with this methodology.

Hope it helps you happy.png Did you think the same like me?

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com

jmlima007
AlbertoChueca wrote:

@jmlima007 ... But not only tactics. I would focus my time to learn concepts! Mainly middlegames and endgames (like pawns structures, domination, how to play bishop vs knight positions, rook endgames, pawn endgames...) ...

 

Actually, that does make sense. I can entirely see the point in that.

(BTW, interesting coaching school!)

 

Manuever_knight

I am about 1420 rated in here.

My question is: Almost all the people say that studying basic endgames helps to gain 100-200 points. But I wonder how it happens by studying opposition, Philidor, lucena , king +queen vs king+ pawn etc. like positions. Out of my many recent games, I have reached lucena position only once and I don't think I reached other basic endgame positions in any of my games recently( in last few months). So, how shall I improve? I want to improve my game and increase my rating. What is the correct method to improve? Do basic endgames really help or shall I focus on something else? 

MyGreatMethod1
Manuever_knight wrote:

I am about 1420 rated in here.

My question is: Almost all the people say that studying basic endgames helps to gain 100-200 points. But I wonder how it happens by studying opposition, Philidor, lucena , king +queen vs king+ pawn etc. like positions. Out of my many recent games, I have reached lucena position only once and I don't think I reached other basic endgame positions in any of my games recently( in last few months). So, how shall I improve? I want to improve my game and increase my rating. What is the correct method to improve? Do basic endgames really help or shall I focus on something else? 

You cannot show your Philidor, Lucena and any of your endgame expertise if you are already dead meat in the opening.

WildLlama

I'm about 2000 on here, and about 1700-1800 FIDE, and quite a young player. Whats probably the best thing for me to focus on? Tactics? Studying world champion's games? Studying positional play books?

blueemu

One big advantage to studying endgames, even at low rating levels:

You can't make sensible opening and middle-game decisions if you don't know which endgames are won, which are drawn and which are lost. Learning endgames won't stop you from blundering... only patience, practice and tactical alertness will help you there... but at least you will have a better idea which direction to try and steer the position.

AlbertoChueca
Manuever_knight escribió:

I am about 1420 rated in here.

My question is: Almost all the people say that studying basic endgames helps to gain 100-200 points. But I wonder how it happens by studying opposition, Philidor, lucena , king +queen vs king+ pawn etc. like positions. Out of my many recent games, I have reached lucena position only once and I don't think I reached other basic endgame positions in any of my games recently( in last few months). So, how shall I improve? I want to improve my game and increase my rating. What is the correct method to improve? Do basic endgames really help or shall I focus on something else? 

 

@Manuever_knight You must mix endgames with middlegame concepts like Isolated Pawn, Hanging Pawns, The initiative, The dynamic in chess, The rule of 2 weaknesses, The positional sacrifice of the pawn... concepts like these ones. And of course a bit of tactic. With this, you would improve much.

We do this with very good results in my community: The Rebel Alliance.

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com

AlbertoChueca
MyGreatMethod1 escribió:
Manuever_knight wrote:

I am about 1420 rated in here.

My question is: Almost all the people say that studying basic endgames helps to gain 100-200 points. But I wonder how it happens by studying opposition, Philidor, lucena , king +queen vs king+ pawn etc. like positions. Out of my many recent games, I have reached lucena position only once and I don't think I reached other basic endgame positions in any of my games recently( in last few months). So, how shall I improve? I want to improve my game and increase my rating. What is the correct method to improve? Do basic endgames really help or shall I focus on something else? 

You cannot show your Philidor, Lucena and any of your endgame expertise if you are already dead meat in the opening.

 

@MyGreatMethod1 Although your sentence is true, with 1420 rating, suggest him to study openings is a bad advice in my opinion. With this rating, you need to learn how to elaborate good plans in the middlegame. Then, you need to be focused on middlegame and endgame concepts. And of course, know the minimum concepts about center, development and initiative to not have big problems in the opening.

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com

Checkmate_06

I have a tough tournament next week. Any suggestions? If yes. PLs do

Khallyx

Hi Alberto. I'm rated around 1500 FIDE and I have trouble finding motivation to study chess books. I just feel like my time would be better spent playing more games - which I know isn't true. Any tips on how I should mentally approach chess books?

AlbertoChueca
WildLlama escribió:

I'm about 2000 on here, and about 1700-1800 FIDE, and quite a young player. Whats probably the best thing for me to focus on? Tactics? Studying world champion's games? Studying positional play books?

 

@WildLlama The rating you must check to see your real level is the FIDE rating. Forget the online ones. Being young is easier to improve in chess, you can improve faster. After it will be more complicated, you will need to work more to improve the same. Then, I would recommend you to get a coach (not necessary me although I'm available wink.png) to use these years at 100%, with the help of a professional, because after several years although you would want to get a coach, you will need to work more hours to get the same result.

With your rating, generally you know more or less all the concepts but in a basic way. Then, you should be focused to learn advanced concepts of middlegames and endgames mainly, practice a bit of tactic and review the basic ones to get a good base.

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com

abcx123

I only get worse lol.

AlbertoChueca

exactly.

But what's the right way to improve?

@Surajgaire0 Now it's solved happy.png

@blueemu Well said!

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com

DeirdreSkye

    Thank you for your good advices Alberto and thank you for not giving false promises.

Allow me to add that I think the simplicity of the endgames allows valuable skills to develop. Jacob Aagard says he uses them to help his students develop their calculation skills since endgames force you to calculate many moves. They also help beginners develop a thinking process since in endgames it is absolutely necessary to have a plan. You need to find targets and you need to find the best places for your pieces.

    Overall , you don't study endgames to win endgames ,this is a huge misconception, you study endgames to develop skills.Winning endgames, when it happens, is just a pleasant side-effect.

AlbertoChueca
Checkmate_06 escribió:

I have a tough tournament next week. Any suggestions? If yes. PLs do

@Checkmate_06 Honestly, there aren't miraculous recipes in some days. The homework must be done MONTHS before! The tournament is the proof of the studies and the hard work that you have done before. Then, I only can wish you the best. Sure you will do it well! Stay concentrated and my unique advice could be to train tactics before playing the tournament to be fresh. Maybe you had other expectations but if I tell you another thing I would be lying you. Good luck mate! You will do a good tournament!

AlbertoChueca
Khallyx escribió:

Hi Alberto. I'm rated around 1500 FIDE and I have trouble finding motivation to study chess books. I just feel like my time would be better spent playing more games - which I know isn't true. Any tips on how I should mentally approach chess books?

@Khallyx Study by yourself is hard. This is true. (Let me remember that we are working in group studying concepts in the Rebel Alliance (which is cheap) where I offer several masterclasses per month and in group is more fun). Why do people go to the gym instead of doing exercise on their own? To get motivation and professional machines. This is the same. If you study alone you haven't a guide, then sometimes you can learn things that are not going to be useful to improve and you don't know if you are in the correct way. And with the doubts, you lose the motivation. It's normal.

And play games doesn't solve the problem because if you only play, you're not going to know new concepts about chess and you will keep the same level.

What is my advice? You need to learn concepts and mainly of middlegames and endgames (in addition to practice a bit tactic of course). You've got coaches and training programs where you can learn chess in a fun way or better than the books... (wink wink) wink.png but if you want to continue reading books I like the authors more than the themes, I would recommend you my favorite ones: Jacob Aagard (middlegames), Cyrus Lakdawala (openings) and Mark Dvoretsky (endgames).

And remember that you can get knowledge in different ways: books, private lessons, videos... You must find the way that you enjoy more and get more motivation. Personally, I prefer to treat with people, this is because I would recommend you train with a coach or join to a training program (it's not needed to do it with me). Hope it helps you happy.png

 

abcx123 escribió:

I only get worse lol.

@abcx123 Then you are not working enough or you are not doing properly but you can change it! Try to learn chess a bit and your results will change happy.png

 

DeirdreSkye escribió:

    Thank you for your good advices Alberto and thank you for not giving false promises.

Allow me to add that I think the simplicity of the endgames allows valuable skills to develop. Jacob Aagard says he uses them to help his students develop their calculation skills since endgames force you to calculate many moves. They also help beginners develop a thinking process since in endgames it is absolutely necessary to have a plan. You need to find targets and you need to find the best places for your pieces.

    Overall , you don't study endgames to win endgames ,this is a huge misconception, you study endgames to develop skills.Winning endgames, when it happens, is just a pleasant side-effect.

@DeirdreSkye I couldn't explain it better. happy.png

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com

CoolChess01

I SUCK AT CHESS HOW DO I IMPROVE, IM ONLY 1472 USCF AND MY MOMMY SAYS I HAVE TO HIT 1600 by END OF YEAR OR I GO TO BOARDING SCHOOL HELPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

AlbertoChueca
CoolChess01 escribió:

I SUCK AT CHESS HOW DO I IMPROVE, IM ONLY 1472 USCF AND MY MOMMY SAYS I HAVE TO HIT 1600 by END OF YEAR OR I GO TO BOARDING SCHOOL HELPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

@CoolChess01 If she supports you, you will get it easily with a chess coach.

If you must do it by yourself... A boarding school is not bad either! grin.png I'm joking... Try to learn new things. Start with tactic and basic concepts of middlegames.

FIDE Master Alberto Chueca
https://www.albertochueca.com