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Probably been asked many times before...

  • #41
    mjharris77 wrote:

    When did you become a National Master?


    And that's the thing is I understand it takes a lot of hard work I just kind of feel like I need some sort of direction other than merely playing hundreds or thousands of games.

    A long long time ago (in 1984).

    Books can offer plenty of direction.  Two of my favorites--back in olden times--were Pawn Structure Chess by Andrew Soltis and Complete Chess Strategy by Ludek Pachman (I used the one-volume edition because that's all that was available back then, but now you can get it in 3).

    Also there is a section in Znosko-Borovsky's How Not To Play Chess which was the first thing that ever told me what a plan really is.

  • #42

    Thanks again to DeirdreSkye for the game. I do seem to currently be on a losing streak however, but I've a tournament starting tomorrow and others starting sometime in future.

  • #43
    Nckchrls wrote:

    Only 22? I think you underestimate how good your chess can possibly be!

    To get there I'd suggest considering two main ideas. Firstly, chess games are lost rather than won. Secondly, when playing good chess, being a single pawn up greatly increases your winning chances and significantly decreases your losing chances.

    Practically, I might start with some middle game principles stuff. My favorites were books like Fine's middle game book and Evan's New Ideas in Chess but they may be out of print. I read Silman's Amateur's Mind and Reassess and they seem as good but I'd guess there are plenty of others available as well. The aim is to be well grounded in middle game principles.

    Probably also want to dip lightly into endgame and opening principles. With a focus on openings you play. The aim here is to be able to at least get to a reasonable middle game out of the opening most of the time and to at least have some idea how to finish off a won end game.

    And of course, probably spend some time on tactics. But I wouldn't emphasize them too much at the expense of getting really comfortable with the principles.

    The most important thing might be that you want to take away a lesson from every game you lose. Since games are lost, if you know when and how you goofed up and learn how not to make the same mistake ever again, you should lose less and less the more experience you get and remember. I recommend a game diary which lists the date, opponent and reason for the loss. Might also want to review the diary routinely to be reminded of the ways you might be prone to lose. 

    This kind of plan can help you stay motivated in two ways. Hopefully, you will lose less and less. Which is nice. And, over time, you will also greatly increase your understanding of "good chess". Which allows you to increasingly appreciate how much masters of the game employ art in their craft.


    That's some great counsel there!!


    It hit me like a double exclam thunderbolt when you said most chess games are lost rather than won.  


    I never considered that before, and by jove, I think you're right!  This tells me something very useful.  


    Thank you.

  • #44

    Right now I'm currently finding that I'm doing (reasonably) okay at daily chess but at rapid games (15+10) I do far worse. And I'm not struggling for time as I always have plenty of time so maybe I play too fast I don't know. I do find that I seem to blunder more and maybe I need to play slower however it feels like people are more aggressive in rapid compared to daily, trying to get quick attacks or mates that I have to deal with and potentially mess up. For the record my current rating for daily is over 200 points higher than my rapid, and I've won more than I've lost with daily (though some are due to opponents timing out). With rapid however I've lost more than I've won. Interestingly for both I do better as black it seems, no idea why though. And as for blitz and bullet, I only play those if I'm bored or in a hurry since I can't really handle anything faster than about 10 minutes each. Also, I have about a 50 50 ratio with the easy computer in rapid and I've not yet won against the medium computer. I think the record is currently 16 losses and 1 draw. :(

  • #45

    you might like chesskid.com's gold membership because it is cheaper then chess.com for unlimited puzzles, the videos are mostly for beginners, (not as good as me -under ~1000 USCF or ~1100 chess.com) and the articles are good but not as many as them as chess.com. please let me know if this post is against the rules of this website. PS; chesskid.com is owned by chess.com

  • #46

    It's an option though I've already paid for diamond membership here which lasts until November 2018. Plus the videos might be too basic for me. I'm still not sure exactly what to improve on, probably just reducing blunders and calculating better (when to play moves and in which order etc, and avoiding traps).

  • #47

    There are two types of learning experiences.  For things like starting a car engine, if I explain to someone who knows nothing about it how to do it, almost instantly they understand what to do.  But for things like playing chess well, there is a huge gulf between knowing the governing principles of the game and being able to put them into practice.  In my own case, I have recently learned a huge amount about the basic principles of chess strategy and tactics, but this additional knowledge only seems to weigh me down when playing chess, and my chess performance just constantly grows worse.  At some point knowledge should turn into competence, but it is not clear how to propel this transformation in chess.

  • #48

    Long story short I just don't want to be a noob any more sad.png

  • #49

    I'm wondering how recent grand masters learnt in the early days. Of course they started at 5 or 6 rather than 22. But did they have tutors or books or videos or did they just play a lot? Of course they have natural talent, something I lack, so they can probably learn easier and faster. 

  • #50

    Have you considered hiring a chess coach?  I have been considering doing that lately, but I'm worried that that will just make the situation worse, since the lessons may just rub my nose in my own incompetence, which may be educational but I don't feel like paying money for it.

  • #51

    I've considered it but I can't afford one and I don't know how effective one would be and if I'd work with or benefit from their teaching styles, however they may be.


    At this point I'm kind of hoping that my future son or daughter, if I ever have kids, has better luck with chess than me.

  • #52

    Chess is a journey.....much like life.....sometimes arduous, disappointing and occasionally painful.....sometimes joyful, inspirational and fulfilling....you will continually encounter setbacks and successes along the way.....like in life just keep on trying to make the best of it, with a determined, positive attitude......with your eyes on the elusive prize keep moving forward.....savoring and embracing the best the journey offers you along the way....

    There might be something to inspire you here.....learn to enjoy the process of learning.....and you will surely improve...

    Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond....




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