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How will I ever get better

  • #21

    Honestly, I had a very very similiar problem at my school. I was already in the chess club, granted, I was already interested before I had the misfortune of meeting him (although from what it sounds like you're starting to get hooked).

    He was not the best on the team, but carried himself like he was to us lower players. Anyway, I decided to just buckle down and beat him. I studied tactic after tactic, and bought John Bain's Chess Tactics For Students (after the recommendation of Chess.com's own Dan Heisman. 

    After about 3 months of study (mostly on the weekends mind you, the week was dedicated to school for the most part), I challenged him to a game. To my surprise, he had no opening, castled far too late, and after I entered into a completely won endgame, he resigned. To be honest, I felt a little sorry for him.

    Now that you've my triumphant tale, which I'm sure you did not care to hear, I would honestly suggest a few things.

    1. Get a basic opening (probably a system is best. Ie King's indian, stonewall, etc) they are just basic setups for your pieces that you can play, under almost any circumstance. Be sure to watch the opponent's moves though! Don't be too inflexible.   

    2. Tactics tactics tactics. I honestly cannot stress this enough. Buy a premium membership here and use the tactics trainer. Or, go to chesstempo.com and do it for free. Tactics are what will win the game.

    3. Learn your basic endgames (King + pawn v. king, K and R v. K, etc) 

    4. Once you've done these things, which primarily rely on the opponent's moves, investigate a little positional play. Determine what type of player you are (most likely tactical) and then research themes like outposts, open files, exchanges, passed pawns. One thing that i noticed hinders a lot of players is that they can't ATTACK. Formulate a battle strategy and adapt it to your opponent's moves. 

    Probably the two biggest resources that I used during my studies was Aron Nimzowitsch's My System, a little heavy read, but nothing too bad. It addresses some of the positional aspects I highlighted earlier. 

    And then Chesscafe's Novice Nook column, written by National Master Dan Heisman, a well-loved regular here at chess.com. I downloaded every single article he wrote (>100 articles!) and am currently reading them. They have helped not only with the chess part, but also mental development, time management, and formulating a plan.

    With any luck, MSteen's assumption will be right and he will be merely relying on other's mistakes and pure talent. Simple study will tear these players down every day of the week. 

  • #22

    Ponz, I don't think we know how good the opponent in question is. Good is subjective and his opponent may objectively still be a beginner. 

  • #23

    Hmmm..."how will i ever get better in chess?". Ive been asking that myself.But i did improved when i started studying Capablancas books.

  • #24
    Grayone wrote:

     They also say no one can be abused unless you give permission for it to happen.

    No matter how internet impervious we feel we are, every once in a great while we stumble upon a statement so foolish, we can not bite our tongue.

  • #25

    Sup dude, peep this.  He is assuming you are a bad player and this is going to be your best weapon.  When you improve, and you will ;) don't let it show.  Sun-Tzu and the art of war stuff, when you are retreating,, Attack!  Play to what he expects and you can use this to gain an edge.  First, try this.  within your first 10 Moves, have moved your e and d pawns no more then 2 spaces.  Both knights.  Castle kingside and keep your nite of f3.  If possible and fianchette your queen side bishop.  If you  lose a pawn try and put a rook on the open file.  Don't try and do anything but keep your material (pieces).  If he is used to beating you swiftly he will, I repeat will Make a mistake. Be looking for it and don't do anything fancy.  Just keep your pieces protected, pawns connected and make sure you keep practicing.  Play for a few week's straight here on line and make an excuse not to play him for like two weeks and play player's that are stronger then you and don't mind losing.  See the whole board, alot of new players focus on one quadrant of a the board or just a few pieces in a position and forget about the rest of the board.  So soften your eyes, relax, play safe strong and let him come to you.

  • #26

    Thanks guys again for all of this.

  • #27

    How good, exactly, is he? When I was a beginner, there was  a senior who was rated 1200, and he saw things I didn't even think to look for; I thought he was going to become a GM or something. 1 year later, I beat him blindfolded. So keep that in mind.

    Now if we assume that he is around 1700 . . . I would say that the previous scenario is unlikely. I don't think you will get to 1700 in a year, unless you don't have a life outside of chess. But that doesn't mean that a lower rated player can't beat a higher one (most of my games are upsets, whether I'm the "better" player or not). For one, he will probably not put forth his full brain power to beat you. He will probably move quickly, and disregard any threats you make. He will probably even make unsound sacrifices, expecting you to mess up.

    The most likely way to beat a higher rated player is to play sharp games. If you play a positional game, I would imagine he has much more endgame and structural knowledge and experience than you. The more imbalances, the more opportunity for him to make a mistake.

    On the other hand, he might NOT be good at the positional garbage. I can't play a closed positon to save my life (like lost to a 500 rated player), but I've out-tacticked 1900's . . . so if your opponent is that kind of player, then just close the game up and wait for him to get impatient and start sacrificing material, trusting that you will mess up if he gets activity.

    If all else fails, you can always try a trap. The Ryder line of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit has a little known trap called the Halosar trap . . . it only works on a certain rating level . . . they have to be good enough to make "good" moves, yet bad enough not to have seen the  opening before. It has worked on most 1700's I've used it against.

    Just be careful, and remember that he IS beatable.

  • #28

    9thEagle, Im getting the impression we are not talking about an above average player but rather someone who knows how to play and is above average in his tribe.  Most likely knows some sharp opening tricks and traps and uses a pet opening almost exclusively.  Using my extraordinary powers of empathy, joking, from the OP I'm guessing that if this kid is taken off his normal game he could blunder and blunder big.  Squirmmaster just needs to relax get the fundamentals down to where he is not hanging pieces and pick a good solid system to learn well.  Traps only work once and the other kid would probably bump the board by accident and start over.  Imagine the red faced, hubris and horror as each of his pieces are sytematically removed from the board. 

  • #29

    EXACTLY, Seraphimity.


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